2010 Annual General Meeting – Save Our Lake Report

Greetings, Grindstone community,

I’ve kept you informed via the Gazette on various issues throughout the year. Despite our Wetland project currently facing delays, we remain committed to achieving our foundational goals:

  1. Environmental Assessment: We aim to determine if 40 years of sewage effluent has harmed the natural area between the lagoon and the lake, possibly due to nutrients or pharmaceuticals used by cottagers.
  2. Restoration and Education: We are exploring the potential to engineer the area, if necessary, and reintroduce native Manitoba plants to foster wildlife habitat. This initiative could also include creating an educational and recreational boardwalk for our cottagers outside the main development zones.

We are actively seeking alternative funding sources, as provincial government grants have fallen through, although we still enjoy community support.

The GCOA Board reaffirms that the Wetland initiative remains a priority, emphasizing that solutions like using Alum for sewage effluent treatment do not align with our vision for a Green Grindstone. The province has recently endorsed Wetlands as a viable environmental strategy, a stance we wholeheartedly support.

SOUL continues to address provincial water issues, advocating for a proactive approach to sustaining our vital water resources. We’ve crafted a new brochure for cottagers across all lakes, reinforcing our commitment to water stewardship.

Mo has represented our general membership on the LWRC Board this past year, focusing on operating the Namao research platform and expanding educational programs for schools, which our donations support.

Despite environmental education’s broader success, there remains a gap in ongoing adult education, a sentiment echoed by my peers in environmental action groups.

Our early efforts in the Save Our Lake campaign have influenced regional changes, like the recent $1 per capita donation from five RMs to the LWRC, inspired by our initiatives like the $500 Challenge and the creation of a phosphate-free product list, now recognized with a LAKE FRIENDLY logo in local stores.

Despite advocating against solely digital outreach, government departments favor cost-effective methods, underscoring the importance of grassroots efforts to spread our message and lead by example.

Our community was highlighted as a model for effective environmental action in a recent government progress report despite the disbandment of the Lake Winnipeg Water Stewardship Board after five years.

A heartfelt thank you to the cottagers who contributed to our MSSS Special Awards for projects improving water quality in the lake and its watershed. I also want to thank my co-partner, Amanda leRougetel, for her unwavering support in our Save Our Lake efforts.

“If you want to go fast, Go alone. If you want to achieve success, go together.”

Mo Tipples, Chair of Save Our Lake “SOUL”