Lakes Association meeting

A full evening of enjoyment and interest marked the 31st annual Washington Lakes Watershed Association (WLWA) Annual Meeting. The gathering was held at the Corner Gallery in Washington Village. A highlight was the selection of the winners of the photo contest that has been underway since spring. All entries were framed and hung in the gallery for easy viewing by all. Every photo submitted was a worthy entry and choosing winners was narrowed down to a simple people’s choice. Second place photo “Lily Pads from Down Under” was by Doug Crossley – a remarkable picture of lily pads creatively photographed from under the water. First place went to a photo by Rachel Feero Oakes “Golden Hour 1.” I’m not an artist and don’t know the language to describe this picture but it (for me) beautifully captures a mood and a moment – a child by the water in afternoon sunlight – and has an emotional and well as photographic impact.

Loons topic of guest speaker

Susan Gallo, Executive Director of Maine Lakes, presented her talk, “Our Loons and Our Lakes” at the WLWA Annual Meeting. Susan commands an abundance of facts and lore about loons, the familiar and beloved birds of our summers. These beautiful creatures can live to thirty-or-more years old. Interesting to know is that loon chicks can’t feed themselves until they are old enough to overcome their buoyancy and they don’t become fully independent of their parents until about twelve weeks. Susan shared news from the annual loon counts (volunteer Washingtonites help with those) and talked about loon protection efforts. She also spoke about Maine Lakes’ “LakeSmart” program and described easy ways lakeshore owners, renters and visitors can protect water quality, wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities for everyone. Maine Lakes is Maine’s only statewide membership organization devoted solely to protecting lakes and ponds and providing science-based action, education, advocacy and networking for individuals, lake associations, and communities. More at https://www.lakes.me/ .

Alewife project update

Landis Hudson, executive director of Maine Rivers, attended our meeting to inform the gathering about progress on the alewife access restoration project – Medomak Brook Connection. She spoke about the collaborations and procedures – legal and physical – required to make clearing waterways possible. Landis answered numerous questions from the audience. More at https://mainerivers.org/.

WLWA business meeting

Association president, Jeff Grinnell, conducted the regular business meeting with reports and updates. A number of by-law revisions were unanimously approved by those in attendance and a slate of candidates for board of directors was ratified. Incoming directors include: Casey Carr, Scott Edwards, Sue Edwards, Roxanne Eggen, Dale Griffin, Jeff Grinnell, Neil Gross, Kathleen Gross, Peg Hobbs, and George Stone.

Trapdoor snails update

WLWA member Kathleen Gross described the invasion of trapdoor snails (Chinese mystery snails) – Bellamya chinensis [BEL-am-yuh chee-NEN-sis] into Washington Pond. They were discovered last summer and quickly addressed by WLWA members and volunteers from the lakes community. The small group studied and educated themselves quickly in order to effectively work to keep the snails from spreading. It is a long story to manage an assault by invasive species. There will be some organized work sessions with supporting instruction on correct ways to harvest and destroy these snails. Please watch for announcements of these times to get informed and help with this effort.

Last and not least

Yummy refreshments were enjoyed by all, courtesy of Washington General. The WLWA annual meeting concluded on an optimistic note. Abundant gratitude to all the members, guests, and speakers who made this a great meeting. Thank you, thank you. Special thanks to George Stone who, because of the bad weather which made use of the canopy impossible, manhandled all the chairs in the gallery and took notes of the meeting besides.

Heritage Day coming up

Washington Historical Society will hold its annual Heritage Day on Saturday, September 10 at Razorville Hall, the society’s museum on Razorville Road. The guest speaker will be Kevin Johnson, photo archivist at Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport. Kevin will show images from early 20th century glass plates made by the Cunningham brothers who left an invaluable record of this area in their time, the late 1890s to 1910s. Guests will hear history and anecdotes about the Cunningham brothers. The talk starts at 10 a.m. Both Razorville Hall Museum and the Old Town House will be open for visitors. Heritage Day also includes the Tasty Pie Baking Contest. The 2023 WHS Calendar theme is “Washington Shopkeepers” and it will be available for sale ($10).