Sand Dam Reservoir Association Newsletter

www.sanddamreservoir.com

June, 2019 Issue

SDRA Annual Meeting

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Glocester Town Hall, Room A

6:30-7:00 p.m. social time

7:00-9:00 p.m. business meeting

Greetings from the SDRA President

June is here — time for the Annual SDRA Meeting! This is one of the most important events you will attend this year. Sand Dam Reservoir Association is made of volunteers — and that means you!  

Annual Meeting

As volunteers, we continue to work together to improve, protect, and preserve our beautiful lake. Our Annual Meeting on June 19, 2019 is the time we come together and share what has been accomplished in the preceding year — such as our successful Bella Wine Tasting and Dinner fundraising event. Working together and following “Best Practices“ is definitely the best way to support our lake. By doing what is right — not what you want — following the guidelines — not seeking forgiveness for doing it your way — will foster the health of our lake.

Our lakefront community needs your support. See you on the 19th. If all do something, many things will be accomplished.

This issue’s SDRA Spotlight is on…

This “spot” in the newsletter is usually where I recognize a lakefront community member for an extra accomplishment.  Today, I want to spotlight the entire SDRA Board. Each Board member has contributed to the growth and improvement of the Association.

It is always great to work where everyone is willing to give and take ideas and concerns in a respectful manner. As I have said for five and a half years, it has been my honor and pleasure to be President of SDRA. Thank you, Carolyn, Mary, Marissa, Eric, Brian, and Steve Hopkins for all the time and effort you have put into the Association.

Sincerely,

Judy Colaluca

From the Board

My family and I feel extremely fortunate and blessed to be members of the SDRA. It’s an honor to work with such dedicated neighbors and friends. Our mission to preserve the beauty and health of our lake can only work with your help. Please make this season your time to get involved. From volunteering on litter clean-up days to working an afternoon on the suction harvester and everything in between, there are so many opportunities to get involved.

Thank you,

Eric LaRiviere

Annual Meeting Preview

By-Laws

Reading can be such fun!  With by-laws, that may not be the case.  However, we have a MAJOR review coming up at the Annual Meeting, and I ask you to look at  the by-laws in advance of the meeting. This year we have had the advantage of formal attorney input, which has enriched the document.  Although some changes are minor, others are of substance, and there are several new components as well.  Coming to the meeting prepared will help all to review this important document which defines our mission, structure, methods of operation, and legal requirements.  This is an action item and, following our questions and discussion, we will be voting on this item.

Many, many thanks to the SDRA Board and additional members who worked hard on this project:  Steve Hanley, Elaine Theriault, and Ray Theriault. They provided feedback, suggested important items for consideration, and helped to write changes or new language. With this endeavor, as with so many of our SDRA activities, many hands help to make a heavy job lighter and always improve the end result.   

Thanks,

Janice Baker

Nomination and Elections

With a group of officers and a director relinquishing their roles for the 2019-2020 year, we will be electing new leaders for our organization. Join us for the annual meeting to learn more about who will be part of our governing board moving forward.

Rico Colaluca and Steve Hanley

Looking Back to the Last Quarter

2019 Bella’s Fundraiser

The 2019 Bella’s Fundraiser was another great success! We were at full capacity, with the Black Tie Affair playing music to dance by, Kevin Kitson providing paired wines with the 6 delicious Bella’s dinner courses, the Silent Auction garnering much audience interest, the 50-50 auction a big hit, and a wonderful sense of community and conviviality to support SDRA throughout the evening.

Thank you to those who sent along a donation if you were not able to attend. You can still donate to this wonderful fundraiser, and feel free to designate your donation to the general fund, herbicide application, or Lakesmart RI project.

The Herbicides Committee Fundraising

The Herbicides Committee conducted a voluntary donation fundraiser this year that has resulted in $5650 being added to the previously amount which had been set aside, approximately $4000.

As we all know, herbicides is not the most desirable avenue for addressing milfoil, nor is it the cheapest, but we have gone to this method because of the serious invasive growth that greatly limited the use of our lake 2 years ago.  Last year we did a treatment of 43 acres at a cost of $10,000, which included the DEM permit, a lake survey that identified targeted growth areas, and the treatment itself.

Currently, the process is underway to obtain the DEM permit that would enable 2019 treatment, if deemed as needed. Once the permit is obtained, Solitude will do a lake survey to identify areas of significant growth and, based on their findings, the Board will decide if we should spot treat this year.

Professional guidance and experience has taught us that periodic treatments, which are significantly less expensive, are the way to go.  However, let us not lose sight of the fact that we, as landowners, must all do our part to heed the guidance to implement “Best Practices” for our own properties so that, over time, herbicide strategies will be needed less and less and less.  

A special note of thanks to all who contributed to the fundraiser and to our committee.  

Deb Silva & Cleo Monti

Save the Lakes

This year’s Save the Lakes (STL) annual meeting was a success! It was a fine opportunity to talk directly with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and learn ideas from other Rhode Island lakefront owners. Marissa did a great job delivering a presentation concerning the Lakesmart RI program — which is being piloted in Rhode Island here on Smith & Sayles Reservoir. 🙂

Thank you, Marissa! Everyone, watch for future STL events!

Judy Colaluca

Upcoming Activities for Summer, 2019

Lakesmart RI

LakeSmart RI is a new program that SDRA has embraced, alongside assistance from the Maine Lakes Society. Lakesmart RI offers FREE opportunities for homeowners to learn how to manage their homes and yards to protect the water quality of their lake. The goal of LakeSmart RI is to change the increasingly common suburban landscaping practices around lakes to more natural, lake-friendly environments.

Landscaping and managing your property in an environmentally friendly manner through LakeSmart is one way for you to help your lake and have a low-maintenance, great-looking property.

Want to learn more? Click here. Want to sign up to become a trainer or to have a Lakesmart RI property walk at your place? Contact c4tuna31@gmail.com. Able to make a donation to help our fledgling Lakesmart RI program? Send it to SDRA, PO Box 284, Chepachet, RI 02814 with the memo line “Lakesmart RI.”

Cheers,

Carolyn Fortuna

Suction Harvester

Just a reminder — the Association did purchase a suction harvester.  Anyone who would like to use it is more than welcome. I would be glad to train anyone to use the machine, as that is what we purchased it for. It is available to all, even if members use it in front of their own properties.  

The more we work at cleaning up the milfoil on a consistent basis, the better chance we have to keep it at bay. As of today, the pump is not on the machine.  If there is a group of people who would like to come together, help me put the pump on, and check to see if there is anything else needed to fix, I am always a phone call away at 603-986-9185.  

Once you are trained with the harvester, it does not have to stay at Rico and Judy’s. Those who are trained are welcome to keep it at their property while using it.  

Best,

Aaron Colaluca

Final Thoughts

Have a great summer! Together, we love our beautiful lake and appreciate every day we get to experience it.

See you at the Annual Meeting!!

Judy

Posted in Annual Meeting

May SDRA Board of Directors Meeting

Dear SDRA Friends and Neighbors,

The SDRA Board will hold its next meeting on Thursday, May 23 from 6:30-8:00pm at the Colaluca Home, 61 Wood Road, Chepachet.

A draft agenda appears below

All members are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to judycolaluca@aol.com so that Judy can plan for enough seating.

The SDRA Board

https://sanddamreservoir.com/

Sand Dam Reservoir Association

 Board of Directors Meeting Agenda

May 23, 2019 6:30-8pm

Colaluca Home, 61 Wood Road Chepachet

Call to order

  1. Welcoming remarks
  2. Minutes
  • Review/approval of minutes from March 14th & April 18th meetings
  1. Reports of the officers
  2. President
  3. Vice President
  4. Treasurer
  5. Old business
  • Earth Day Community Clean-up Sat, April 27
  • Bella’s fundraiser, May 18
  1. Lake management
  2. Website/Education
  3. New business
  • Planning for annual meeting, June 19
Posted in Uncategorized

Bella’s Wine Dinner Fundraiser, Saturday, May 18, 2019

This Saturday is the SDRA fundraising wine tasting dinner at Bella’s Restaurant. Only a few tickets are left. Call Eric LaRiviere at 401-241- 4851 or Judy Colaluca at 401-486-8414 for tickets. This is a fun event!

Posted in Uncategorized

Step Up and Run for Office with SDRA!

Dear SDRA Members,

It is that time of year when we are working toward developing a slate of Board members for the upcoming 2 years for Officer positions and for a single Director/at-large position that is a 3-year term. To be eligible to serve as an Officer one must have been an SDRA member for at least 3 years, whereas only a single year of SDRA membership is required for the Director/at-large position.

If you have the time, interest and commitment, please put your name forward for consideration. To do so please answer the 3 questions listed below and submit it electronically or by the United States Post Office to arrive NOT LATER THAN Friday, May 17th. To file electronically send your information to one of the following (or all 3):

Rico Colaluca: Rico@smithfieldsupply.com
Steve Hanley: schanley45@gmail.com
Janice Baker: neverneverlandjb@hotmail.com

If mailing, please send information to: SDRA, PO Box 284, Chepachet, RI 02814.

The goal of the Nominating Committee is to present a proposed slate of nominees to the membership. Only if we are unable to identify someone to fill a position will nominations be accepted from the floor for that position (s) at the Annual Meeting. Thank you for considering service to the SDRA in a Board member capacity.

Rico, Steve & Janice

—————————————————————————————————–

NAME:

PHONE #:

EMAIL:

(1) What position are you interested in?
( ) President ( ) Vice-President ( ) Secretary ( ) Treasurer ( ) At-Large

(2) Tell us a little bit about yourself. It could be about why you are interested in serving, or prior experience that could be helpful, or about your commitment.

(3) Would you be willing to accept an alternate position? ( ) Yes ( ) No

Posted in Nominations

Board of Directors Meeting Agenda

Sand Dam Reservoir Association

April 18, 2019 6:30-8pm

Colaluca Home, 61 Wood Road Chepachet

Call to order

Welcoming remarks
Minutes
Review/approval of minutes from March 14th meeting
Reports of the officers
President
Vice President
Treasurer
Old business
By-laws
SDRA Insurance
Herbicide Committee fundraising
Earth Day Community Clean-up Sat, April 27
Lake management
Website/Education
New business

Posted in Uncategorized

Sand Dam Reservoir Association Newsletter | April, 2019

Officers’ Updates

President

Since the last newsletter, SDRA has been busy! No matter the season there is much happening  here on Smith and Sayles Reservoir.

Thank you, Mike Benoit, for controlling the water level in our lake; Art Searle for organizing the data collected by Rico Colaluca and Hunter Dionne on water levels; Janice Baker and the committee on rewriting the SDRA by-laws; Mary O’Keeffe for compiling the fishing tournament data; Carolyn Fortuna for the newsletter, website, grant writing, etc.; Marissa Danville and Eric LaRiviere for working on our fundraiser in May; and, the effort and time that the Board donates continually.  

There is always much occuring on our lake, and so many folks make it happen. 

This leads me to think about the SDRA next events. Glocester’s 2nd Annual Earth Day Celebration Clean-Up will take place on Saturday, April 27, 2019, 9am – 1:00pm.  Everyone needs to participate to make this a success! SDRA is a sponsor and organizer for this event. The poster for Earth Day Clean-Up is attached for you to put up on your refrigerator and to share with  friends and family. Cleaning up our lake and the land that surrounds it is important to everyone.

The next event for all to get involved in is a great “FUN” night, a time to enjoy being with friends and neighbors. On May 18, 2019, from Saturday, 5:30 — 8:30 p.m.+  Bella’s Restaurant will be the setting for SDRA’s 6-course dinner with accompanying fine wine tastings led by Kevin Kitson. The entertainment will be the “Black Tie Affair” — the evening event is not to be missed. You can also help by donating items to the Silent Auction. A Poster is attached below..

SDRA’s Annual Meeting is the third Wednesday in June. This is a very important meeting, as there will be a review of the by-laws, a “reflection of the past year,” and election of officers. This is your chance to get involved.

Also, a Board majority has selected the company Solitude to do a lake survey this year in case the need for DEM application for herbicide application arise.

SDRA keeps moving on!

Judy Colaluca

Vice President

Judy Colaluca and I represented SDRA at the annual URI conference for individuals affiliated with watershed associations and land trusts, called the Land and Water Conservation Summit,  on Saturday, May 9, 2019. It was fabulous! I wrote 2 articles about it: “Wildly Fluctuating Forecasts” & Flooding — A Common Theme Of Climate Change” and “Statewide Perspectives: Siting Renewable Energy Projects Takes Collaboration.” I also attended a workshop on rain gardens and was able to brainstorm possible solutions with the presenters about “Rhode Island Stormwater Solutions.” I recommend that more SDRA members plan to attend next March, as the information presented at these workshops helps to inform the decisions we make here on Smith and Sayles Reservoir.

— Carolyn Fortuna

Secretary

As illustrated in the reports above, we are very fortunate to have such dedicated and forward-thinking individuals in key SDRA leadership positions. As I complete my 6th and final year as SDRA secretary, I continue to be impressed and humbled by the efforts of all of those serving on the board.

As we look forward to the 2019 Annual Meeting, we have an opportunity to bring new voices into leadership positions. If there is a change you would like to see, stand for office and work to make that change happen.

I hope to see you at the April 27th Earth Day community clean-up. Last year’s event was productive and fun (with an informal competition to see what brand of beer drinkers seem most likely to toss their cans out the car window).

It is an excellent way to give back to our beautiful lake community by working together to keep her clean and healthy.

– Mary O’Keeffe

Treasurer

Our treasury has been stable this past quarter, with normal operating expenses totaling right around $60 and deposits from dues of $250 and the herbicide reserve fundraiser of $1,250. Thank you to everyone who paid their dues and, if you still need to pay yours, they can be sent to SDRA at PO Box 284, Chepachet, RI 02814.

The birds are chirping. It’s a beautiful season here on the lake watching the trees grow green and the perennials pop though the ground. Soon the lake will be in full bloom. I’m excited to see what this season will bring. Thank you for your support, and don’t forget to come out to our wine dinner on May 18th!

–Marissa Danville

Director’s Update

The SDRA continually works hard at improving our lake and community.  In order to fulfill this commitment, it takes time, money, and volunteers from our Association.

Please consider volunteering at our Community Clean Up day on Saturday, April 27th 9:00am-1:00pm. Each year we pick up hundreds of pounds of litter that surrounds our lake and neighborhoods.

Bella’s Restaurant in Glendale will once again host our Annual Dinner and Wine Tasting on May 18th. It has proven to be an exceptional evening of wine, food, and dance. For additional information, please see the poster below.

Hope to see you there.

–Eric LaRiviere

Committee Updates

By-Laws

SDRA hired an attorney to assist our Association in a number of areas, one of which was to review our current by-laws to help regain our non-profit status and suggest overall  improvements. Mr. D’Olvidio’s involvement was most welcome because our by-laws, to my knowledge, have never had an official, legal review since their inception. At this time, a committee is reviewing the attorney’s work, as well as several ideas that emerged from the Board and by-laws reviewers.  Our goal is to present recommendations for membership consideration and approval at the SDRA annual meeting in June.

– Janice Baker

Bella’s Wine Dinner

Our annual wine dinner is just around the corner. Join us at Bella Restaurant for a 6-course dinner and wine tasting Saturday, May 18th from 5:30 – 8:30!

This event sold out quickly the past 2 years so get your tickets now by contacting Judy (401) 486-8414 or Eric (401) 241-4851.

Vegetarian and gluten-free options available.

If you have something you would like to donate to the silent auction, please contact Marissa Danville at mjdanville@gmail.com or (401) 632-7780. This night is sure to be a blast. I look forward to seeing you all there!

– Marissa Danville and Eric LaRiviere

Annual Earth Day Cleanup

Membership Update

We revised last year’s membership postcard on Vistaprint to reflect the dues increase from $50 to $100 and ordered #50 at a cost of $22 plus postcard postage. Marissa updated the membership list to reflect recent dues paid. Carolyn  addressed and sent them out for mailing. Marissa will keep the remaining blank postcards for future use.

— Marissa Danville and Carolyn Fortuna

Boat Greeter Program

Now that another major lawsuit has successfully demonstrated that Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup causes cancer, it is clear that we must be more mindful about the use of toxic herbicides as an approach to control invasive species in Smith and Sayles reservoir. Specifically, in relation to Navigate 2-4 D, the herbicide used last summer on our lake:

According to several sources, this herbicide has moderate acute toxicity, is a potential groundwater contaminant, possible carcinogen and probable endocrine disruptor/estrogen mimic in certain amphibians and people. 2,4-D has been shown to reduce the rate of survival in ducks and waterfowl, is toxic to some fish and causes mortality in crayfish, many mussel species and certain insects and zooplankton”(Rebecca Nystrom, Professor of Biology (retired), Member of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance Science Advisory Committee, Jamestown Post-Journal, 2017).

In spring of 2012 I responded to a training announcement from Save the Lakes that read “Volunteer lake greeters are the first line of defense in stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species in Rhode Island fresh waters.” Since that time we have talked with hundreds of visitors to our beautiful lake, educating them about the problem of aquatic invasive species and helping them inspect their boats and remove “aquatic hitchhikers.” The SDRA Boat Greeter/Voluntary Inspection Program will be getting the list of 2019 fishing tournaments soon.

I hope you will consider joining us this season in this important, sustainable, education and outreach effort to help control the spread of invasive species in our lake.

– Mary O’Keeffe

Drawdown

Winter 2018-2019 was the year of the un-drawdown. There was simply too much precipitation to lower the water level beyond 47 inches lower than capacity. There were five days when the high temperature was at freezing or below and the lakebed exposed, but the lowest level was a mere 35 inches below capacity. See the included chart. The lake is currently refilling. The drawdown remains part of our lake management strategy and we intent to continue the practice next year.

— Art Searle

Education and Website

If you have not done so, please sign up to receive an email anytime we post a notice on our website through blog posts. Go to this home page and enroll in the right column. It’s really easy! I’ve been posting notices of meetings, for example, which are open to all members. If you are signed up to receive blog posts, you’ll get a copy of these notices as well as other information that is disseminated on behalf of the Association.

— Carolyn Fortuna

Herbicide Fundraising

The Herbicides Committee is pleased to report that a major fundraising drive this year has achieved approximately $5000 in payments and pledges!  These dollars will be added to the funds already earmarked for herbicides application. As you may recall, last year SDRA authorized herbicides application to treat 46 acres of unwanted, disruptive  milfoil. Both research and experience have taught us that follow-up treatments will likely be needed sometime in the future, and that work is not cheap. So, like the Scouts motto – “Be Prepared”  – we will have the funds in place if needed, for more than one additional treatment. Thanks to all who helped make this fundraiser such a success.

Currently this Committee is working with the Board to put in place the necessary paperwork for DEM to enable the application of herbicides this year, if deemed needed by the survey and approved by the Board.

As always, our committee hopes that other strategies underway can abate the milfoil problem sufficiently without the use of herbicides.

— Deb Silva and Cleo Monti

Non-Herbicide Fundraising

Restore America’s Estuaries: In an attempt to locate additional funding for SDRA, I attended the Webinar for “Restore America’s Estuaries: 2019 Southeast Program, Watershed Grants.” This turned out to be a program for very large grants — generally of $100,00- $500,00. Smaller grants would be for bigger scale projects that need additional funding to complete. A special category this year called “peer to peer learning” of a regional importance of around $20,000 to $50,000 would be considered for smaller funding. This program “is not interested in funding small projects,” like a $20,000 stormwater project.

After attending the webinar, I recommended to the board and to our partner, Save the Lakes, that this grant application was not a good fit for us. The grantors were really looking for big organizations/ entities with big projects. It cannot have a localized impact — it must show upstream and downstream impacts.

Rhode Island Foundation: We have some information back from RI Foundation regarding our recent grant application for swale and rain ponds — good news and bad news. I’ll give the bad news first: we did not get the grant.

But here is the good news: the reviewer said the grant as a whole was really good! She said the biggest impediment was that it was ineligible — they do not fund construction, and they considered the swale and rain ponds to be construction. That being said, she said she liked a lot about the grant and organization.

In no particular order, she said that she was impressed with the website and the organization of volunteers. The application was well-written. The Association mission was clearly stated. We had a specific series of lessons we intended to learn and that we would be able to share with other entities/ Associations. She could see the benefit of the rain and swale ponds in this way to the larger state.

With our clear grant mission and intent, it also appeared to her that SDRA has good governance through the executive board. We showed the capacity to do the type of fund-raising that would be necessary for our part of the grant activities. Moreover, our larger relationship with Save the Lakes is excellent in showing how we would “pass the baton to other Associations.”

She also had some advice for future grant writing. Because we are a small organization, it seemed, on first glance, that the benefit of the grant was quite limited. However, if we were to speak about public access, we would be able to talk about more numbers of people who would benefit, such as those that use the state boat ramp. She also said that we should try to be more specific when using consultants and to provide a scope of work — in this case, we might’ve outlined better how one landscape architect would need to do X number of hours as opposed to the landscape engineer, who would need to do Y number of hours.

As a whole, while I was disappointed in not receiving the grant on behalf of SDRA and STL, I did feel as if our research and writing was appropriate to our goals. If anyone comes across another small grant that might fund such rain and swale pond construction, please let me know. We’re not done yet, people! Thanks to each person on the committee who contributed to the grant writing process.

— Carolyn Fortuna

Nomination and Elections

All members, this is the time to think if you would like to be part the Board.

Now is the time to speak up and submit your name to the nominating committee.

Rico Colaluca 603-986-7532

Steve Hanley 401-641-4515

Janice Baker 401-578-2308

Save the Lakes

Save The Lakes is busy planning the Annual Meeting on April 23, 2019 6:30 – 8:30 pm at the Johnston Senior Center 1291 Hartford Avenue, Johnston, RI 02919.  This meeting is open to everyone concerned and interested in preserving, protecting, and improving freshwater here in Rhode Island. This year the focus is on DEM office of Water Resource staff explaining changes in the freshwater wetland regulations, answering questions, addressing our issues, and updating us about their activities. Also , we will learn learn more about the Lake Smart RI Program that is piloted here on Smith and Sayles Reservoir through SDRA. And Resident Initiative will be part of our conversations, too.

Come meet other RI waterfront residents and share solutions and ask questions about waterfront problems.

~Judy Colaluca  President, STL

SDRA Spotlight on Janice Baker

Janice has spent much time on studying, reviewing, writing and rewriting SDRA’s By-Laws.  This needs to be completed for our organization to apply for a 501(c)4 status. Janice held many meetings with her committee and with the SDRA Board.  Her persistence and dedication to excellence is commendable and a positive attribute for our organization.

Thank you, Janice, for all you do!

As SDRA moves forward, it has been and will always be my honor to serve in preserving, protecting, and improving OUR lake.

–Judy Colaluca

Posted in Community Advocacy, Fund Raising, newsletter | Tagged , , , ,

SDRA Board Meeting on March 14, 2019


Dear SDRA Friends and Neighbors,

The SDRA Board will hold its next meeting on Thursday, March 14 from 6:30-8:00pm at the Colaluca Home, 61 Wood Road, Chepachet. A draft agenda appears below. All members are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to judycolaluca@aol.com so that Judy can plan for enough seating.

Sand Dam Reservoir Association

Board of Directors Meeting Agenda

March 14, 2019 6:30-8pm

Colaluca Home, 61 Wood Road Chepachet

Call to order

Welcoming remarks
Minutes
Review/approval of minutes from Nov 29, 2018 and Dec 19, 2018 BOD meeting. Distribution of notes from Jan 31st
Reports of the officers
President

Vice President

Secretary

Treasurer

Old business
By-laws: Consider proposed changes submitted Feb 19th from By-Laws committee
SDRA Insurance
Herbicide Committee fundraising
Lake management
Website/Education
Proposal to reimburse SDRA members registration fee for RI Land and Water Conservation Summit http://www.landandwaterpartnership.org/summit_program.php
New business
Earth Day Community Clean-up Sat, April 27

Posted in Uncategorized