Hello again from the shores of Moose Pond! It has been another amazing year on our special Lake. With all of the craziness we have experienced over the last 9-12 months, I feel blessed to have a place like Moose Pond where my family and friends can come to relax and unwind. I suspect you feel the same way.
It has also been a busy year on the lake. We started this spring with an update of the Moose Pond Watershed Survey. Volunteers gathered on the west shore of the middle basin and walked the properties and shoreline along Mountain Road. The results of the survey can be found by clicking here. A big thank you to all of the property owners who let us have access to their properties to allow this to happen. We are still offering matching grants to those homeowners who wish to make their lots a bit more lake friendly. We hope to continue our watershed survey update this spring. If you want to help us, please contact me directly. Training is provided and it’s a great time to get out for a walk with your neighbors and learn firsthand what each of us can do to protect our lake from unhelpful runoff. (Picture). As in previous years we also contracted with LEA to perform our annual invasive plant survey and to help with water quality testing. Several articles about all three of these important initiatives appear elsewhere in this newsletter.
Bill Muir continues to be the MPA coordinator for the Courtesy Boat Inspection (CBI) program and boat wash stations. He applies for DEP grants which provide a small subsidy to the program. We contract with LEA to provide the paid inspectors and manage the program. Volunteers can also provide boat inspections at our two launches. For those members who might have an interest in becoming a volunteer CBI, we offer an annual training program to that end. Many of the MPA board members and others are trained inspectors. From my personal experience, it is a great way to meet your neighbors while providing an invaluable service to the MPA. And, on the slower days, it is also a great way to sit by the lake and read a good book. Again, contact me if you are interested in becoming a volunteer CBI. Collins plumbing continues to set up and take down the boat wash station in Denmark at no charge to the membership. Please show them your appreciation by patronizing their business.
Bill Dexter and his sister, Elizabeth Stockwood, continue to coordinate our Lake Smart program. See more information on this important program appears later in this newsletter. The Maine Lake Association developed and provides training for this homeowner-oriented effort.
In deference to the COVID Pandemic, we held our annual meeting via Zoom this year. To our surprise, the member turnout was about the same, if not slightly better, than we normally experience when we hold these meetings in person. We heard from many members that they appreciated the opportunity to attend remotely. We will hopefully be able to meet in person next August but will definitely try to make Zoom participation an option for those that cannot attend in person.
Laurie Vance continues as our treasurer. She coordinates with a local bookkeeping service to pick up and deposit our membership receipts from the local post office. Laurie also assembles our financial statements for all of our board and membership meetings.
Chip Wendler continues to be our vice president. The duties of the VP include planting and retrieving the MPA Annual Meeting signs that you see positioned around the lake every July and he is also responsible for sending out the donor thank you letters/tax receipts – a rewarding but time-consuming process. Chip is also leading the charge to help stabilize and restore Caruso Island to its former glory. This ongoing initiative is discussed in more detail later in this newsletter.
Laurie Vance and I attended the Bridgton select person meeting this summer. The Town of Denmark – who owns the Moose Pond Dam – controls the structure and manages its maintenance. At that meeting, Denmark presented a plan for Bridgton, Denmark and Sweden to share the cost of an upcoming inspection and maintenance process. The proposal was to have each of the towns participate based upon the amount of frontage they have on the lake. Denmark and Bridgton have agreed to pay 47% each. Sweden has yet to agree to participate with their 6%. If you are a tax paying resident of Sweden, your lobbying assistance would be greatly appreciated. The total cost of the inspection and repairs are estimated to be in excess of $180,000.
Our MPA Facebook page continues to be extremely active. All of us greatly appreciate the stories and especially the beautiful photos posted on the page. A big thank you to Peter Munstedt and Nancy Campbell for all of their fabulous photos. Nancy has put together another Moose Pond Calendar for 2021. Please message her on Facebook if you would like to have one (or more) of them. They make great gifts! And speaking of gifts, the often copied but never duplicated, MPA hats are still available. You can contact me on Facebook or the MPA website for one or stop by the Lil’ Mountain Store on Route 302 in Bridgton. They agreed to sell them for us. Lil’ Mountain is a great little store with awesome take out, a great beer selection and gas that is close by. The price of the hats is $15.
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not put a plug in for expanding the MPA membership. We hover around 20-25% membership for hundreds of Moose Pond residents. Some lake associations attain 80% membership. The more financial support we obtain, the more we can do to support our mission, “To maintain and improve the quality of life on Moose Pond for all to enjoy for generations to come”.
Please stay safe and enjoy our special lake. — Mark Patterson, President