Dear LakeSmart Team,
I hope this message finds you safe and healthy at home with your family. I also hope that you are finding comfort in the newest signs of spring. The lake ice is melting, our beautiful waterbirds are returning, and we will be on our lakes before we know it! In the meantime, I have an update for you regarding our 2020 LakeSmart Training Workshops.
Even in early March, when our lives were just beginning to change, I had no idea how much Covid-19 would impact our summer LakeSmart plans. But now, and even though so much uncertainty still exists, at least one thing has become very clear: we must adjust. After much discussion over the last few weeks, we have decided to cancel our in-person LakeSmart Training Workshops this year.
While cancelling our workshops is hugely disappointing, I feel very strongly that we can still have a successful and fulfilling 2020. This year will also provide more time to reflect on our current program, think critically about potential improvements, strengthen our existing connections, and find innovative ways to promote our message.
Here are just a few things we have in the works:
Do you know homeowners interested in receiving a LakeSmart Award but still might have some work to do? Since we are currently living in a socially distant world, we are working on methods for existing Evaluators and Coordinators to communicate with homeowners online. By sharing emails and photos, we can make recommendations for homeowners to improve their properties. This gives them a head start for receiving an Award in 2021!
LakeSmart: Where Are They Now?
What ever happened to folks who received Commendations? What about those who received an Award several years ago? This will be a great year to follow up with previous participants and check in on the status of their properties.
LakeSmart Webinar Series and YouTube Videos
We are working on ways to share LakeSmart messages online: BMP demonstrations, LakeSmart tips, information about native plants, loon conservation, and much more. Stay tuned!
Lake Hero Nominations
Hopefully you’ve been following along on Facebook as we recognize a weekly lake hero. Do you know someone deserving of recognition? If so, please see the nomination form here. We need a short paragraph about what the person or association has done over the last few years that make them stand out as a Lake Hero, as well as a high-resolution photo of them that represents their lake or their efforts. Check out our Facebook page for examples, and send in your nominations now!
With a little creativity and flexibility, we can still share the message of LakeSmart with many people. I will be in touch again soon to share an update. I invite anyone with questions to please reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
On behalf of everyone at the Maine Lakes society, thank you for your continued support!
Brooke Hafford MacDonald
LakeSmart Program Manager