March Update

posted Feb 26, 2018, 6:10 AM by Joseph Bickard   [ updated Feb 28, 2018, 5:02 AM ]

Happy Winter to everyone! 

The HLA is in the midst of dynamic changes. From an invigorated and active Civic Affairs Committee, headed by Dennis Brown, Kim White and Chantal Scott, to the updates on the Water Quality testing program at Highland Lake. The news about the Watershed Survey that will engage with every resident in the Highland Lake watershed.

Also, I would be remiss if I did not mention the upgraded web site, overseen by board of directors member, Joe Bickard. The web site contains a wealth of information about Highland Lake. Our community is changing – more development, and more activity in the watershed. This development is no doubt the driver of a trend that points to increased levels of phosphorus into Highland Lake. Phosphorus is the culprit that leads to algae and most particularly, in Highland Lake, it is believed to be the primary driver of the picocyanobacteria blooms that have reduced the water clarity levels from a usual 5 meters to less than 2 meters for the past 4 years during a 4 week period from mid- July to mid-August.

It’s going to take a lot of work from a lot of people to lower the phosphorus levels in Highland Lake. We as a community have been here before. For those of you who have lived in the watershed since 1999 , you well remember the collosal effort and thousands of dollars (over $600,000) invested in the effort to reduce runoff into Highland Lake. Now I am calling on each of you to renew your commitment to preserve and protect this most valuable resource.

What can you do?

First if you are still reading, you have made a decision to become more informed regarding the situation at the lake.

Second, you are taking ownership in this lake – this is your lake, and you want to preserve it for generations to come.

Then of course we want you to become a member of the HLA and actively participate in the ongoing work of the HLA. There are so many ways that you can get involved. Here are just a few:

Volunteer for the Watershed Survey! Please contact Chantal Scott at if you are interested.

Become part of the ongoing effort to update ordinances in Windham and Falmouth so that these ordinances better protect the lake. (Contact John MacKinnon or Dennis Brown for more information )

Get trained as a water quality monitor and help the water quality team take samples this summer. (see article describing how to get certified as a water quality monitor)

Learn how you can become involved with Project Based Learning at Highland Lake – a focus that will engage students from the Windham Middle School, is just now getting started, and needs ongoing leadership.

Contribute an article or photos to this newsletter.

Get engaged with your local road association as this is a concrete way that you can influence how your private road is maintained, which in effect helps the lake!

I look forward to seeing everyone at the Public Forum on March 7. And by the way – we have a contest running to get a new name for this newsletter. Top prize for the contest winner will be a selected piece of HLA themed t-shirt!

Finally, want to get in touch with a board member? See complete list of all board members plus contact information at the

Rosie Hartzler