April 2017 SDRA Newsletter

April 2017 Sand Dam Reservoir Association Newsletter


Officers’ Updates


YEAH! Spring is here! Our lake is filled with water! Fishing boats, canoes, and kayaks have been seen on our lake along with geese, ducks, and returning birds.  A successful fundraising event has just passed. Summer is almost here, and we are ready.  Everyone is getting their property ready for all the planned summer activities.  Summer residents have started opening their cottages — so great.

So important to be mindful of good waterfront practices!  Instead of green grass down to the water’s edge, consider planting a buffer zone. This would capture runoff from your yard and prevent unwanted materials from fertilizing the invasive weeds in our lake— plus, it will improve the look of your property. There are many members of SDRA who are working HARD to control the number of invasive weeds growing in our lake. Everyone needs to use ways that do not foster the growth of weeds. DEM’s website has many ideas how waterfront property owners can help manage invasive weeds; ask us, and we’ll share them with you.  OUR grandchildren, future grandchildren, and all future generations will enjoy our freshwater lake if we exercise good judgment.

Get involved in SDRA Community. Thanks, SDRA members, for all you do to protect, improve, and preserve Smith and Sayles Reservoir!! Happy Spring!!!

Judy  Colaluca


We are so lucky to have such a dedicated group of officers and board members here at SDRA! Our treasury is in very good shape. Although the winter was long and raw, we gathered forces on several initiatives which significantly improved our cash reserves as well as total membership. We have more member involvement than ever before in our lake association efforts. Review the entries below to see each activity. Thank you!

Carolyn Fortuna

Fundraiser at Bella’s Restaurant

On Saturday, April 8, 160 friends of Sand Dam Reservoir Association (SDRA) gathered at Bella’s Restaurant in Pascoag, Rhode Island to share a meal, sample a selection of fine wines, and dance the night away. What a fun night it was! And it was the most profitable fundraiser that we at SDRA have ever held. Thanks so much to everyone who contributed to this fabulous event.

The well-lit room was filled with round tables at which 10 or 11 guests were seated. As the board planned the event over the past few months, we never hoped we would get such a turnout! Sarah, the banquet coordinator at Bella’s, was so helpful as our guest list expanded. We appreciate everything she and the large Bella’s staff did that evening to make us feel so welcomed. (Click here to read the entire article at our SDRA website.)

Carolyn Fortuna and Steve Hanley

April 2017 SDRA

2016-2017 Membership Drive

Judy, Marissa, and Carolyn

We wrote letters to families whose memberships had lapsed. The result? 5 new or returning members. We now have 37 memberships in our Sand Dam Reservoir Assocation family. That is the most memberships we have had in recent memory! Wonderful!


Suction Harvester Fundraising Campaign

December 1, 2016  – February 1, 2017

Bronze Level

($50 and under)

Carol and Eric Lariviere
Connie Worthington and Terry Tullis
Bill and Sue Worthington
The Balcoms: Louise, David, Carol Ann
Louise Sheldon
Silver Level

($51 – $100)

Claudette and Harvey Lariviere
Dorothy Steere
Terilynn Colaluca and Jason Dionne
Pauline and Rich Finlaw
Gold Level

($101 and up)

Mark Bard
Father John Hunt
Tony Hawkes
Carolyn Fortuna and Steve Hanley
Almerinda M. Colaluca and Angela Chiperas
Rico and Judy Colaluca

($500 and up)

David Bourdeau
Brenda OBrien

Annual Fund Drive to Support the Suction Harvester Purchase

Judy, Marissa, and Carolyn

The graphic above says it all! We are so grateful to each family who donated to our Winter Suction Harvester Fund Drive. Your support will help SDRA to continue its efforts to preserve and protect Smith & Sayles Reservoir through sustainable means.

GoFundMe Site

Marissa and Dennis Danville

Our GoFundMe site is still going strong. Over the winter during our postcard fundraiser, we received $100 from the website. This may seem like a  small percentage of total donations raised but every donation makes a difference. The site will remain active and can be visited and shared at www.gofundme.com/sanddamri. Thank you for all your donations.

Board of Directors’ Reports

Marissa Danville: I just want to take a moment to thank everyone who brought a donation to be used in the Silent Auction at our wine tasting evening at Bella’s Restaurant. I knew of several donations going into the evening, but I was astonished at not only the number of donations received but also the quality of the baskets. All together, we had 23 baskets, bringing in over $1,000. So thank you to everyone who donated and participated!

Brian Sirois: As a SDRA board member, I am amazed at the overwhelming response from ticket sales, the awesome band, and the concentrated efforts of our team to get things done for our Bella’s Restaurant fundraiser. It’s been a great experience to be on the SDRA board!

Programs and Committees

Lake Management Plan

During the 2016-2017 drawdown, there were fourteen days recorded where the average temperature was below freezing, and there was no snow covering the exposed lake bed. Both factors are important because exposed milfoil can be killed by freezing it and drying it. Snow insulates exposed milfoil, keeping it from freezing and also keeping it moist, so lack of snow and presence of cold is important. Based on the information gathered, we expect an absence of rooted, living milfoil in areas where the water depth is about 43 inches or lower.

You are encouraged to view the full details on our most recent drawdown can be viewed here. If you have any questions about the drawdown, please contact a board member or a lake management team member.

Art Searle

Save the Lakes

Save the Lakes (STL) has been extremely busy this Spring. Bass Pro Shop hosted STL on a busy Saturday in March. Here, information regarding best practices was distributed to shoppers. On April 8, STL and SDRA coordinated with  Hope Leeson from the RI Natural History Survey to present a workshop at the Land and Water Summit at URI. What an honor!! The workshop explained how to recognize freshwater aquatic plants and prevent their spread in RI. Mary O’Keeffe did a fine job explaining how volunteers use the GREAT Boater Program to promote boat hygiene throughout the state to limit the introduction and spread of invasive plants.  On April 26th, STL will host the Annual Meeting with DEM at the Johnston Senior Center, 1291 Hartford Ave., Johnston. Come hear the latest news from Director Coit and her staff. This program starts at 6:30 PM, ending at 8:30 PM. Also, you will have the opportunity to gather information from Matt Ladewig, project scientist and Group Manager at ESS Group. Matt will answer the question, “So your lake has issues. Now what?” This is sure to be informative evening. Go to the web site at wwwSTL.RI.org for more information.

Judy Colaluca

Boat Greeter Program

We are waiting for fishing tournaments for the summer season, 2017. New volunteers are always welcomed. During the summer 2016 season, we inspected 69 boats, 18 of which had plant material. This is consistent with past years, and we continually find about 20-25 percent of boats having suspected invasives. It reinforces the importance of proper boat hygiene. Come join us and share in this important SDRA activity!

Mary O’Keeffe

Nominations and Elections

We are currently accepting applications from any SDRA member in good standing who has lived on the lake for at least three years and who would like to run for an officer’s or director’s position. This is a wonderful way to get involved with your lake association and learn from the inside how many different approaches we take as an association to preserve and protect our lake ecosystem.

Rico Colaluca and Steve Hanley

Water Testing

We are always looking for volunteers to assist us as we test our water periodically. This water testing has a very long data record with URI and provides a valuable resource for us and for other Rhode Island lake associations as they monitor changes in water quality, temperature, and habitat. This is a fun way to get involved!

Water testing by Deb Silva and family


%d bloggers like this: