top of page

NEWS

Search

We look forward to seeing you at the Averill Lakes Association Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 23rd, 2024 at Quimby Country between 11 am and 2 pm. We are grateful to Gene and Lilly Devlin to host us again.

This meeting is unlike previous Annual Meetings - not only the time of year but in the format and agenda. Please review the following. Registration (and some socialization) is between 11 am and 11:30 am. Please plan accordingly. After a brief opening from me at 11:30 am, we will be going directly to our keynote speaker, Sam Mayne, of the Essex County Natural Resources Conservation District, who will provide a high level overview of the Averill's Lake Watershed Action Plan. His talk is expected to go from 11:35 to about 12:15 with Q&A. From 12:15 to ~12:45 there will be a break where you can grab some lunch and say hello to your friends and neighbors. Please continue to enjoy the sandwiches, salads, and desserts as we move to the business part of the meeting where we have 5 things to accomplish before the 2pm adjournment.


  1. Elections - Under our bylaws, all of the officers serve a one year term. This term's officers (Bernie Gracy, Susan Gresser, Gennette Carr, and Connie Jackson) have volunteered to serve in their positions for another year. We serve at the behest of the members. If someone would like to run for President, VP, Treasurer, or Secretary please let one of us know. I would like to add if I am privileged to be re-elected I've notified the board that this would be my 4th and final term but look forward to continuing to serve the organization in what ever capacity that creates the most value.

  2. Camp Dues - at our last quarterly board meeting, a motion was made and adopted to raise camp dues to $25 from $20, subject to the approval of the majority of the membership at the Annual Meeting. The purpose of this increase is to fund our boat steward program next year to prevent aquatic invasive species for our lakes. It is uncertain what our reimbursement will be from the State of Vermont next year hence the increase. Based on a discussion last night, I expect an amendment from the floor to raise the dues to $30 subject to your approval. We ask for your support as we are putting the dollars to good use in protecting our beautiful lakes.

  3. Wake Boat Briefing - Susan Gresser will conduct a briefing on the status of our petition to opt-in for wake sports prohibition. Until that petition is fully adjudicated, wake boats are likely on their way. We are preparing a handout which Susan will review with all of you about what to do if you see wake boat operations that are not in conformance with the regulations.

  4. Raffle - we will announce the winner of the beautiful hand tied net from Sunny Brook Nets!

  5. Adjournment - we will adjourn the meeting at 2pm sharp to allow Gene, Lilly, and the Quimby's team to prepare for another event. We will also remind you to come to the Averill's LWAP Public Meeting taking place the following Sunday, June 30th, from 10 am to 12pm at Jackson's Lodge.


There will be no sales of t-shirts nor a 50/50 raffle this year because of the time constraints. Thank you in advance for your consideration and we look forward to seeing you at the 2024 Averill Lakes Association Annual Meeting. On behalf of your leadership team and the Board of Directors, Bernie Gracy President, Averill Lakes Association

84 views0 comments

The Memphremagog Watershed Association (MWA), in partnership with the Essex County Natural Resources Conservation District (ECNRCD), and the Averill Lakes Association were awarded a contract by the Vermont Dept of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC) to develop a Lake Watershed Action Plan (LWAP) for Little & Great Averill Lakes. MWA & ECNRCD are thrilled to engage with the Averill community, stakeholders, and other partners through this 2-year process. What is a Lake Watershed Action Plan? An LWAP is a collaborative process, a strategic tool, and an actionable plan that works to protect and improve water quality and aquatic habitat. In-depth desktop and field assessments will evaluate the many tributaries, shorelands, roads and driveways, working forest lands, and other features of the landscape to characterize and prioritize potential restoration or enhancement projects. Through this process, our Team will identify the greatest threats to water quality, habitat, and lake ecosystem health. Results of the assessments and high-priority projects will be summarized in a final report, and 30% designs will be developed for the most significant and beneficial projects. The plan will be developed with community and stakeholder input to reflect the needs and character of the Averill watershed. On Sunday June 30th from 10 am to 12 pm, there will be a public meeting at Jackson's Lodge to review the LWAP process, present the watershed data library, and solicit public input on projection prioritization criteria and potential benefits. Hope to see you there! Bernie Gracy President, Averill Lakes Association

56 views0 comments

One of the many joys of my family and friend network in Connecticut is a good card game where some money was on the line (small stakes!). It could be cribbage, Setback, or a hand of dealer's choice poker. However, there was nothing like a Texas Hold ‘em tournament. There is a high-pressure moment in that game when a player risks all of their chips by declaring "I'm all in" and pushes them into the middle of the table hoping they have a strong enough hand to win the pot.


The executive leadership and board of directors of the ALA have faced our own high-pressure moments in 2024. With the promulgation of the wake sports rule, the risk of introduction of aquatic invasive species, and our nomination and acceptance of a Lake Watershed Action Plan for Big and Little Averill Lakes, we too have pushed all of our chips “all-in” for our lakes and the community because we believe we have the winning hand – the

passion of the leadership and our members, community, regional, and state level alliances and partnerships, and our balance sheet.


Big and Little Averill Boat Steward Program – last March, the board voted to commit $8,000 towards initiating an Aquatic Invasive Species boat inspection program for the boat ramps on both lakes under the auspices of the Vermont Public Access Greeter Program. Partnering with the UTG as our fiscal agent, Board member Susan Gresser began recruiting individuals

for seasonal employment that will start on July 6th and run every Saturday and Sunday through September 1 st with pay at $20/hr. This pledge of $8,000 was with the hope that the majority of that would be granted back by the State of Vermont. We are pleased to announce that the State has granted $7,000 for the program – requiring only a $1,000 net investment to

protect our lakes. Moreover, we are so pleased to announce that stewards have been hired for both lakes, backed by trained volunteers of the ALA!


Wake Boat Petition – on March 30th , the wake boat regulations were adopted by the State of Vermont. Immediately thereafter on April 1 st , the ALA submitted a petition that would prohibit wake sports on both of our lakes to Peter LaFlamme of the Watershed Management Division of VTDEC. The petition was also sent to Julie Moore, the Secretary of Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources; Commissioner Jason Batchelder of VTDEC, Deputy Director Bethany Sargent of the Watershed Management Division, the Town Clerks of Norton and the UTG, the UTG Planning Commission, the Northeastern Vermont Development Association, and Dale Gilman, President of ARCO. We are awaiting next steps from the State.


The Annual Meeting goes from an August retrospective to a June Kickoff! Based on our survey of the membership, our Annual Meeting will be Sunday, June 23rd, 2024 at Quimby Country to highlight our go forward plans for the year. Beyond boat inspections and the wake boat petition, special focus will be on the Lake Watershed Action Plan (LWAP) discussed in the previous newsletter. The LWAP has been formerly kicked off. On May 13th, representatives from the ALA, ARCO, Weyerhauser, the UTG, the Town of Norton, and others met with Patrick Hurley, the LWAP Project Manager from the Memphremagog Water Association and Sam Mayne, District Manager for the Essex County Natural Resources Conservation District who will be co-leading the LWAP effort for the next two years. As such, we are so pleased that Sam Mayne will be our guest speaker at the Annual Meeting and his talk will focus on the LWAP. Also, 2024 is the 50th anniversary of the Averill Lakes Association! The deadline for registration is on June 14th. Please register here. This is a meeting that you will not want to miss!

We will also be raffling off a beautiful hand tied net from Sunny Brook Nets with a retail value of over $100. A $10 raffle ticket can be purchased online here. Note all online purchases must be made by June 22nd. Thank you in advance for your support of the ALA!


Testifying to the VT Joint House/Senate Budget Conference Committee - I was honored to be asked to testify about the chronic underfunding of the State's Natural Resources Conservation Districts and how critical Sam Mayne and the Essex County NRCD is in direct camp owner engagement and education through the Lake Wise program.


Almost Graduation Day - as part of the commitment I made to our community when I was elected President of the ALA in 2021 was to enroll in a Master's in Natural Resources Conservation (with an aquatics concentration) degree program at Paul Smith's College in the Adirondacks. That journey is almost complete. Commencement was last weekend where I and my cohort got to celebrate each other and the program. We will formally receive our diplomas in August after our successful project presentations/defense on June 22nd (yes, the day before our Annual Meeting!) and completion of my project writeup. My project has been a comprehensive watershed analysis of Little Averill including 2 years of sampling on the 3 tributaries, decades of water sampling at the deep hole, and weather data from a NOAA station at the Lake View Store. The data and preliminary analysis was shared with ALA Leadership on 3/14; with Kellie Merrell, Dr. Peter Isles, and Mark Mitchell of VTDEC on 3/29; and with Patrick Hurley and Sam Mayne on 5/15 to inform the LWAP. Once completed in August all data and the writeup will be posted in the Little Averill Lake resource section on our website as well as an update to the story map last published in December 2022. Now that I am "dangerous" with my degree - I look forward to "crunching the numbers" on our lay monitoring data coming from Big Averill as well as the data coming from the Little Averill buoy sensor array for years to come.

On behalf of an energized and grateful leadership team and Board of Directors, we look forward to seeing you on June 23rd at Quimby Country! Bernie Gracy President, Averill Lakes Association.

150 views0 comments
bottom of page