Glen Lake Guardian Press Release

Glen Lake Guardian Press Release

For Immediate Release

Be a Glen Lake Guardian and protect the watershed

GLEN ARBOR, MI — A new initiative that will help protect the Glen Lake and Crystal River watershed will launch this summer and is expected to have a positive ripple effect locally and beyond.

The Glen Lake Guardian program invites all residents of the watershed, visitors and business owners to adopt a series of best practices that preserve water quality. Education is a big part of the Glen Lake Guardian initiative, but participation is paramount.

Modeled after the Lake Charlevoix Guardian program in Charlevoix County, Glen Lake Association (GLA) officials view the effort as a multi-year program that has the potential to be adopted by other lake associations throughout Michigan.

By taking the “Pledge to Protect,” Guardians will be promising to take steps that help not just Glen Lake, the Crystal River and the watershed around them, but the whole environment. The pledge is free and easy to take. It includes steps like not feeding waterfowl, regularly pumping septic tanks and building greenbelts on the shoreline. Pledge forms are available online and will also be mailed to all members of the Glen Lake Association, neighbors and area businesses.

Once the pledge form is completed and returned, Guardians will receive two Glen Lake Guardian decals to display. Names of Glen Lake Guardians will be listed on the Glen Lake Association’s website, www.glenlakeassociation.org.

“Despite our documented success in protecting the overall water quality in the Glen Lake and Crystal River watershed, we know this area will continue to be stressed,” said Rob Karner, watershed biologist for the Glen Lake Association. He cites increased tourism, more full-time residents, tree diseases, invasive species, chemicals and destruction of greenbelts as sources of stress on the watershed.

“We all can see these signs when, on summer weekends, we visit downtown Glen Arbor or cruise our waterways,” he said.

Since its founding in 1954, a major focus of the Glen Lake Association has been the preservation and protection of water quality in the Glen Lake/Crystal River watershed. The association has funded programs that monitor water quality, built and maintained a boat-washing station and focused on education and outreach to identify potential problems and intervene before they become major problems.

“This diligence by the association has paid off,” said GLA president Denny Becker. “Testing shows that water quality continues to be at a high level, while our protection efforts earned GLA the state award as the Best Lake Association in Michigan in 2011. But there’s still work to be done.”

The Glen Lake Association offers numerous ideas, tips and resources on its website to help Guardians fulfill their pledges. There are two seminars planned this summer as well. “Building a Greenbelt to Meet Lake and Family Needs” is scheduled for 7 p.m. July 8, at the Leelanau School. “The Art of Composting” is scheduled for 7 p.m. July 15, also at the Leelanau School.

For additional information on the Glen Lake Guardian, visit the website, www.glenlakeassociation.org, call the GLA office at (231) 334-7645, or write to the Glen Lake Association, PO Box 551, Glen Arbor, MI 49636.

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