As the new year approaches, we’d like to reflect on our accomplishments of 2019. The year brought some new milestones, such as the first community programs held at the Lake Hopatcong Foundation Environmental and Cultural Center and a record attendance of more than 4,000 at the Lake Hopatcong Block Party! It also brought the difficulties of an unprecedented lake-wide algal bloom which closed beaches and hurt local businesses. Through it all, we continued to work toward a vibrant and healthy lake and community. Below is an infographic and list of just a few of our accomplishments from 2019. It’s an impressive list that was only made possible by the support of our donors, supporters, and volunteers, so please take a moment with us to appreciate all that has been accomplished. Thank you so much for the positive impact you’ve made.
- Created a Lake-Friendly Living Guide with simple, positive steps to help protect the water quality of our beautiful lake. The guide was also posted online as a series of eight “Lake-Friendly Living” posts that were shared through social media with a reach of more than 11,000.
- Established a collaborative body, represented by lake groups from around the state, to discuss a harmful algal bloom (HAB) response and present findings to governments officials in Trenton, as a unified voice.
- Brought together the mayors of the four lakeside municipalities for monthly meetings to discuss opportunities to collectively support the lake environment.
- Continued to hand pull invasive water chestnut in the Liffy Island area with our team of volunteer Water Scouts.
- Educated more than 1,200 students through our educational field trip program and on our Floating Classroom, where we highlight the relationships between human actions and their effect on the environment in order to cultivate environmentally responsible behavior.
- Added eight new digital microscopes and tablets for students to use, enhancing the experience of learning about Lake Hopatcong and its watershed.
- Published an educational children’s book, “Lake Hopatcong Speaks Out,” to further educate young people about Lake Hopatcong and what they can do to protect it. The book was created by our education team.
- Brought more than 4,000 visitors to Hopatcong State Park for our biggest and best Lake Hopatcong Block Party, to date. It featured nearly 200 businesses and organizations from the lake area and celebrated all things Lake Hopatcong. We couldn’t have done it without the 143 volunteers who helped make this summer kickoff event happen!
- Opened the Lake Hopatcong Foundation Environmental and Cultural Center as a community meeting space, hosting local groups and organizations.
- Produced and distributed a video to promote Lake Hopatcong and its surrounding businesses during the HAB advisory.
- Hosted a Boating Safety Refresher presented by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 15-10 in Lake Hopatcong, highlighting: general boating safety information; boating regulations specific to Lake Hopatcong, and; a review the “Lake Hopatcong For All” courtesy boating guidelines.
- Distributed B-SAFE dock number signs, designed to help emergency personnel efficiently respond by land or water, to an additional 29 property owners, bringing the total percentage of lakefront coverage to 38 percent.
- Funded additional hours of weekend/evening police patrols on the lake, providing protection at times when there would otherwise be no coverage.
ARTS & CULTURE
- Welcomed more than 700 visitors to the Lake Hopatcong Foundation Environmental and Cultural Center for a six-week exhibition of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition, “Water/Ways.” The exhibit is an exploration of water’s environmental and cultural impact.
- Hosted “The Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour” at the Palace Theatre in Netcong, featuring 11 films that illustrated the challenges facing our planet, as well as the work communities are doing to protect the environment and the places we love.
- Presented a series of three history programs to packed houses, this fall, at the Lake Hopatcong Foundation Environmental and Cultural Center.
- Added one mile of newly blazed trail to the Lake Hopatcong Trail System on Prospect Point in Jefferson Township. The trail aligns with the James Leech Boardwalk Trail and includes a footbridge to Liffy Island, installed by Jefferson Township.
- Celebrated all our lake has to offer with our annual Lake Loop bike, run, paddle event.
Awards and recognition
- Roxbury Area Chamber of Commerce 2019 Roxbury Business Beautification Award for the rehabilitation of the Lake Hopatcong Station, now the Lake Hopatcong Foundation Environmental & Cultural Center.
- 2019 Morris County Chamber of Commerce Not-For-Profit Volunteer Excellence Award.
- State and General Assembly Citation in recognition of our 2019 Morris County Chamber of Commerce Not-For-Profit Volunteer Excellence Award.
- Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority’s 2019 Clean Water Stewardship Award for our leadership role in organizing the 2018 Lake Hopatcong community cleanup, in conjunction with the 60-inch drawdown of Lake Hopatcong.
- The New Jersey Governor’s Office on Volunteerism and the Governor’s Advisory Council on Volunteerism 2019 Outstanding Service Award for efforts in sustaining the communities of New Jersey.
- State of New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry Certificate of Appreciation for outstanding service and volunteer efforts.
- Roxbury Township Historic Advisory Committee commendation for the “restoration of the iconic stone Lake Hopatcong Rail Road Station.”
- The first-ever Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education (ANJEE) Pat Skelly Community Award, which honors volunteer-led efforts in environmental education in local communities—awarded to our education team for their incredible work in helping create and run our field trip program, which has taught thousands of students about watersheds, lake ecology, and how to protect the lake environment.
THANK YOU! We are looking forward to an amazing 2020 and we hope you will join us.