Thanks to the help of a number of enthusiastic volunteers, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation has started to move forward on several initiatives on behalf of the lake community and environment. Here are updates on what we've been up to during our first few months:
Lake Safety and Security Team
This group of volunteers has been busy looking into ways to improve overnight security, law enforcement, and safety infrastructure for the lake. They successfully gathered representatives from all levels of local police enforcement and emergency services (state, county, and municipal) to discuss needs and options. Police representatives have been willing to work on a shared-services solution, with the possibility of a weekend/overnight pilot project to enhance security during the 2013 boating season.
Boater Signage and Information Team
This team has already made efforts to improve the visibility of government buoys on the lake -- volunteer John Shaw has worked hands-on to add reflective tape to many of the buoys, in fact. The group is also working with the recreational trail team (see below) on creating an app for lake users, and has researched ways to better inform boaters of severe weather and temporary speed restrictions on the lake.
Recreational Trail Team
Actively looking into developing an app that would provide recreational trails (hiking, kayaking, etc.) as well as historical information about various places around the lake, this team of volunteers is looking into ways to enhance the recreational experience for those who use Lake Hopatcong.
At the same time, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation has pledged more than $10,000 to Jefferson Township as it develops lakeside hiking trails in Prospect Point and, eventually, on Liffy Island. More on that as the project develops.
Water Level Study Team
This team is exploring ways that the Lake Hopatcong Foundation could partner with local universities and hydrological experts to develop models for the water level on the lake. Such information could help lakefront residents know what to expect in the case of a heavy-rainfall event, such as the floods of 2000 and 2011, and provide some insight for those who make decisions regarding water flow downstream.
"Support Lake Hopatcong Businesses" Day
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is looking into ways to join together businesses all around the lake -- in all four municipalities and in both counties -- with a day that would encourage residents and visitors to shop/eat/drink locally. This day (or weekend) will probably be set up in the late spring of 2013, though you should be hearing more details in the months before it happens!
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is moving forward on a collection of other ideas, including beautification of the fence area at the southern end of the lake in Landing, supporting regular water-quality monitoring, and helping to fund an effort by the Lake Hopatcong Alliance that would evaluate different methods of weed management. If you have an idea (or would like to get involved in one of the ideas already mentioned), please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fundraising and Marketing Team
This group is focused on surveying the community to get a sense for needs and desires, as well as raising money for the Lake Hopatcong Foundation and its initiatives through a variety of activities and events, including restaurant deal nights, 50/50 raffles, a silent auction/tricky tray, and a miniature golf tournament. If you would like to get involved with helping to plan these events, please email email@example.com.