Sand Dam Reservoir Association
June 2016 Newsletter
Board of Directors’ Updates
Summer, wonderful summer is here!! Without a doubt days are longer and warmer, water crafts are traveling around the lake, children can be heard laughing as they jump into the lake for the first time: excitement is everywhere. Smith and Sayles is getting ready for all to enjoy!
One of the best ways to ready yourself for the summer is to attend the Annual Sand Dam Reservoir Association Meeting on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, in Room #9 at the Glocester Town Hall on Main Street in Chepachet. We’ll have a social hour from 6-7pm and the business meeting will run from 7-9pm. (Make sure you have paid your dues so you can vote). There are many important agenda items that need to be discussed, information shared, plans to be developed, and decisions made that directly concern Smith and Sayles Reservoir. Attend and get involved!!
In your early summer lakefront planning, please consider your actions around the lake. Drainage into our lake constantly occurs — nutrients from fertilizers, compost piles, filling in to extend your property, and runoff are all polluting our beautiful lake. Our lake needs to be protected and, as lakefront stewards, that is our job!
— Judy Colaluca
During the spring months, the SDRA Board of Directors has met several times to plan and discuss matters of importance to the Sand Dam community. Fundraising, education and outreach, lake management, the proposed 14-home lakefront development, lakefront clean-up efforts, coordination with Keech Pond, fundraising, and planning for the June 15th, 2016 annual meeting have been included on the BOD meeting agendas.
– Mary O’Keeffe
In the dates from March-June 2016, we have maintained a stable treasury. The receipt of a State Legislative grant for $500 and the continued success of the GoFundMe site (see the Danville’s entry below) have been excellent additions to our treasury over the spring months. And, of course, our second fundraiser of the fiscal year also helped us to move forward financially.
Wine Tasting Fundraiser at the Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery
Flames burst from the center of the outside patio area, and the sounds of voices and laughter permeated the night air. SDRA’s second Wine Tasting event took place on Friday, May 20th from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery on Money Hill Road in Chepachet. Inside, guests listened to the sommelier describe the selection of wines. Across the room, SDRA’s volunteers served an assortment of appetizers including cheeses, dips, pizza strips, lemon squares, cookies, veggies, and many other different delights. The late spring Friday became a way for the community to reacquaint after a long winter season.
In addition to the wine and nibbles, guests had fun bidding on the various Silent Auction gift baskets. Local merchants such as Purple Cat Vineyard, Inland Marine, Frederickson Farm, Kitson’s Liquors, and Smithfield Supply were generous contributors, as were several SDRA and community members. Proceeds from the evening were added to the funds that SDRA has been raising toward the goal of reducing invasive milfoil in Smith & Sayles Reservoir with the construction of a suction harvester.
Dues and Membership
We have a robust membership in place, with 100% of members sustaining their dues payments over the last two years. If you are one of the very few backdated families who receive this newsletter and have not paid dues for 2015-2016, please send a check to Sand Dam Reservoir Association, PO Box 284, Chepachet, RI 02814 so that you, too, can vote at the June annual meeting. Thanks to everybody for your generosity and continued support of our Association’s efforts toward sustainable maintenance and protection of our beautiful lake environment.
Please remember to bring a check made out to SDRA in the amount of $50 for 2015-2016 dues. This will enable you to vote on any action items at the June 15 SDRA Annual Meeting. Thanks.
Annual Day of Service: Application Pending
One of SDRA’s sustainability partners is Northwest RI Supporters of Open Spaces. SDRA submitted a proposal to NRI SOS in response to a call to be part of an Annual Day of Service. The opportunity comes from an anonymous local workplace which would designate interested employees to participate in a volunteer project on the morning of Friday, October 14, 2016. We would host another dam clean-up day on Chestnut Hill Road, with the intent of removing any and all debris in proximity to the dam that have accumulated since our last clean-up in spring, 2016. You can see the narrative here. The application deadline was June 1; we’ll appraise our membership as soon as we hear back from NRI SOS if our application was or wasn’t approved.
With our recent wine tasting fundraiser less than a month old, the SDRA Board is still in the process of assessing our fundraising agenda as a whole, which seeks to deepen our treasury, involve our membership, and enhance community awareness of sustainability issues on Smith & Sayles Reservoir and other New England lakes. At this writing, we do not have another fundraiser in the works, so, if you have an idea and would like to join with SDRA Board and Committee members to spearhead a fundraiser, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Carolyn Fortuna
Boat Greeter Program
The Boat Greeter Program is an education and outreach effort designed to inform boaters about the importance of proper boater hygiene in preventing the spread of invasive species. Rhode Island is the only state in New England that does not have a formal program to inspect boats for plant and animal material prior to launch in local waters. Boat launch volunteers are stationed at our launch during high traffic times (mainly fishing tournaments) to perform complementary inspections and to talk with boaters about the importance of thoroughly cleaning boats after each use.
We’ve worked two scheduled tournaments so far this year, inspecting about 25 boats. Consistent with previous seasons, plant material has been found on about 25% of all boats. Participants in the fishing tournaments tend to be receptive, friendly, and well-educated about invasives, yet without a state-supported, formal inspection process a substantial number of these boats still arrive without being properly cleaned and inspected.
Surveys of our beautiful lake have confirmed only one type of invasive aquatic species, variable milfoil. Twelve additional species of aquatic invasive plants, including American Lotus, Brazilian elodea, curly-leaf pondweed, Eurasian milfoil, fanwort, inflated bladderwort, mudmat, parrot feather, spiny naiad, water chestnut, water hyacinth, and yellow floating heart, have been identified in Rhode Island’s ponds and lakes. In addition, eleven freshwater bodies in Rhode Island have confirmed Asian clam (aquatic invasive animal). The most important primary prevention effort we can engage in for our lake is to educate visitors, visually inspect their boats, and remove plant material while “driving home” the importance of proper boater hygiene.
We’re always looking for additional volunteers to help out with this important and rewarding activity. A sign-up sheet will be distributed at the annual meeting. Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com or 568-2657 if you’d like to learn more about the SDRA Boat Greeter Program.
—- Mary O’Keeffe
The 2015-2016 Drawdown concluded on March 1, 2016. As noted in the previous newsletter, you may view the drawdown details online. During the summer months, we will continue evaluating drawdown effectiveness in the shallower areas of our lake. The 2016-2017 drawdown is scheduled to start Columbus Day Weekend.
— Judy Colaluca and Art Searle
The GoFundMe.com page, proceeds of which will be used to reduce the invasive milfoil in our lake, continues to support SDRA’s efforts toward sustainable lake management. We are all aware of the need to be diligent and proactive in controlling the milfoil, and your contribution to the GoFundMe.com page helps us to hire divers and buy necessary supplies to hand pull weeds, among other initiatives. Please continue to share the GoFundMe page as every dollar counts. Thank you to all of you who donated over the winter months, and feel free to ask us more about the program during our upcoming Annual Meeting on June 15.
Here is the website URL for the GoFundMe Site, in case you have an upcoming birthday and would like to designate a gift in your name. https://www.gofundme.com/sanddamri
— Marissa and Dennis Danville
In May there was a request from Keech Pond to lower our lake to allow work to be done on the spillway of Keech Pond. John Holmes requested they would need a minimum of 12 inches. For this to be completed, we would have to lower the lake for Memorial Day Weekend. Since many folks on Smith & Sayles put their boats in and enjoy the lake at this time, it was decided by the Board not to comply with the request. Keech Pond agreed to do their work when we lower the lake in October.
— Rico Colaluca
Nomination and Elections
At the Annual Meeting on June 15, two positions will be open. One is the Treasurer, and the other is one Director. We do have candidates at this writing for both positions (Carolyn is running again for Treasurer for a final two-year term). If you would like to put your name in for either position, please notify us ASAP. We at the Nominating Committee are working alongside the SDRA Board of Directors and Janice Baker, who led the 2015 By-Laws revision, to assure we are interpreting the new two-term language contained within the By-Laws correctly.
—Rico Colaluca and Steve Hanley
On Thursday, May 26, Save The Lakes received a Resolution from RI State Senate and House of Representatives. What an honor to have members of the Senate and House stand and applaud for efforts being done by folks across the state. Our boat inspection program here on Smith and Sayles was highlighted by Senator Fogarty. Consider getting involved in STL as there is much to be done on the State level.
— Judy Colaluca
Website and Education
We are conducting a full website review and update in anticipation of the SDRA Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 15 at the Glocester Town Hall. Also, if you didn’t get a chance to read about the May 20 Wine Tasting event on our Association website, you can click here to read the blog post.
—Steve Hanley and Carolyn Fortuna
Thanks, everybody. See you at the SDRA Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at the Glocester Town Hall.