At Watchic Lake, we are lucky to have two long term volunteer lake monitors (Eileen and David Burnell) with over 20 years’ experience reporting on water quality in our lake. This year the Lake Stewards of Maine (formerly Maine VLMP) asked monitors to write about what it means to them to be a lake monitor. Eileen was invited to share her submission at the 2018 Lake Stewards of Maine annual meeting. Here is what she said:
Our lake home is a legacy that began with my grandmother. The lakefront property has been passed down with love through my parents to my husband and myself. We feel the gratitude and responsibility of this legacy and are proud to be stewards of the lake. The buildings are not important. It is the lake and our special spot on it that truly matter. This has been and will always be my special place.
Being able to monitor our lake has always been a very special thing for us. It never seemed like a task to be done. Monitoring our water quality has always been a privilege. We have learned so much from so many and have enjoyed being able to share and educate others. The study of limnology has bridged the gap from trained scientists to citizen scientists. Although many of us among the ranks of the first volunteer monitoring program in the United States have scientific background, we are always impressed with the new knowledge that is being found regarding lakes.
I think my Nanna would be happy to know what we have done. Our legacy now is to preserve the quality of our special lake for our grandchildren. Against all odds from the dangers of pollution, invasive species, and climate change, we hope that our descendants to come will be able to enjoy this most beautiful spot on Earth. It truly is a gift, and we share our lake with as many people as we can. It is not our lake alone; instead, it is a lake to be shared with others just as my grandmother did.
Thank you Eileen for sharing your passion for the lake. And thank you David and many others for your support of for Watchic Lake over the years.