Through a series of dedicated initiatives and unwavering commitment, Lake Leelanau Lake Association (LLLA) has made impactful strides in safeguarding Lake Leelanau's ecosystem, fostering community engagement, and bolstering talented board and staff with new appointments. The following are the Top Ten 2023 LLLA Accomplishments:
1. Shoreline Consultations
Our Shoreline Ambassadors visited 22 Lake Leelanau homes this year to perform Shoreline Consultations, helping riparians learn how to improve their waterline to prevent erosion and protect the lake from land-based pollutants. We are hopeful that around 2,685 feet of shoreline will be improved on Lake Leelanau as a result of this program.
2. Invasive Species Remediation, Monitoring, and Control
Our work to protect Lake Leelanau from the invasive Eurasian Watermilfoil (EWM) continued in one of our most impactful years yet. Our team killed more EWM than ever before and vastly improved efficiency, setting us up for another year of success in 2024.
3. New Board Additions
Another 2023 LLLA accomplishment is that the Association welcomed Rob MacKenzie to the Board this year and Nancy Popa as our new president. We extend our sincere gratitude to past president, Tom Hiatt, for all that he did for the Association during his term as president.
4. Boat Cleaning Stations
Another one of our 2023 LLLA accomplishments we are proud to share, is the construction of our four boat cleaning stations on Lake Leelanau to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, available for us in 2024. We encourage encourages everyone to wash their boats at these stations located at the DNR Narrows, Bingham Township, and West boat launches on South Lake Leelanau and at Suelzer Park on North Lake Leelanau.
This year, we raised a record $126,000 in the annual spring auction! The Association couldn’t have done it without our dedicated volunteers on our auction committee and the overwhelming support of our community. Thank you!
6. Hired a Marketing and Communications Specialist
Our fundraising success has provided the Association with the ability to hire a part-time Marketing and Communications Specialist, Jen Watkins. We are so happy to welcome Jen to the team, and is incredibly grateful for the expertise she brings to the table.
7. Welcomed Ron Reimink as Lake Biologist
In 2023, we welcomed Ron Reimink as a lake biologist, taking over for Brian Price. Ron brings over 30 years of freshwater research experience and we are honored to have him as a member of the team. We extend our gratitude to Brian Price for all that he contributed to the health of Lake Leelanau and the EWM program.
8. Zoning for Water Quality Subcommittee
This year, we made great strides in developing a Zoning for Water Quality Subcommittee, working with townships to advise on zoning matters to protect our waters.
9. Advocacy Subcommittee
Our Advocacy Subcommittee has done excellent work staying attuned to projects around the lake that could affect its health. The Association provided comments on the Northgate Leelanau Pines Proposed Expansion and Development Plan to the Centerville Township Planning Commission, and has been live-streaming their meetings to expand awareness on the proposed development—which has the potential to damage the surface water, groundwater, wetlands, habitats, and diminish the overall enjoyment of the lake by members, the wider community, and visitors.
10. Community Engagement
The Community Engagement Committee continued to share our work and love for the lake with the community through in-person events such as the Member Mixer, Annual Meeting, Lake Leelanau Street Fair, and more. We are grateful to all those who have contributed to sharing the Association's messages virtually as well.
As we look toward 2024, the Association is poised for another productive year where our programs will continue to benefit permanent and seasonal residents, visitors, businesses, and governmental units. We envision a future where Lake Leelanau and its 89,000-acre watershed not only flourishes as a thriving ecosystem, but also serves as a vibrant hub for recreational pursuits.
The Lake Leelanau Lake Association is deeply grateful for the unwavering support of our members as we foster environmental stewardship, community engagement, and responsible recreation.