On April 15, 2023, Nottingham held a town wide clean up day. Volunteers from the PLIA pledged to return to the scene of their campaign last year at the Town beach. This year there was a surprise awaiting them – Autumn Ricker had brought his loader and rake to do the groundwork (so to speak) for their project to remove grasses and rocks and roots from the beach sand. While he was operating his heavy equipment, the crew got busy hauling fallen branches and debris from the area under the trees next to the beach. Then they removed more rocks and roots from the sand excavated by Autumn, resulting in a pristine area for summer visitors to enjoy. The PLIA would like to make Autumn Ricker an honorary member of their organization! Thanks to all for showing up and pitching in! Check out the before and after photos below. We are happy to help make Nottingham a Town to be proud of!
On April 1, 2023, three dozen people filled a room at the Nottingham Town Offices for a training conducted by the Pawtuckaway Lake Improvement Association (PLIA). The topic was about spotting and preventing invasive species from entering a lake or pond. PLIA Lake Host Coordinator Dee Decker and Weed Watcher Co-Chair Steve Soreff made presentations about courtesy inspections of boats and trailers, and how to recognize aquatic pests like milfoil, phragmites, purple loosestrife, and water chestnuts.
PLIA member Sonoma Potavin explained about the dangers of Chinese mystery snails and her project to find and remove them from Pawtuckaway Lake. When the rain abated, the crowd moved outdoors for more instruction on ways to inspect boats for the presence of invasive “hitchhikers.”
The meeting ended with a pizza lunch and time for swapping stories and exchanging information about invasive species and how to help keep our lakes clean and safe. The program was a great success!
Recently the PLIA arranged for a Zoom meeting with the State Park Planning and Development Director, Johanna Lyons. The subject was the upcoming expansion of Pawtuckaway State Park to add 35 campsites and other amenities.
For those who were unable to attend this meeting, it was recorded and we are happy to make it available here:
Those attending the meeting were able to pose questions in the “chat” function of the meeting format. Those questions can be found here: Chat Questions State Park Zoom Meeting
The meeting host was able to summarize many of the questions which the speaker answered. That portion of the meeting can be viewed here:
The PLIA will continue to follow the progress of the expansion project and alert our members and friends to new developments as they arise.
On October 17, 2022, Milfoil Team Chair Neil Santos made a presentation to the Nottingham Board of Selectmen at one of its regularly scheduled meetings. He outlined the history of milfoil infestations in Pawtuckaway Lake, emphasizing the hundreds of hours that PLIA volunteers have donated in efforts to find and extract this noxious threat to the lake.
The Town has contributed support to the PLIA’s Lake Host Program for many years. Dee Decker, Chair of this Program, trains and deploys people to conduct voluntary boat and trailer inspections at public ramps on the lake to prevent invasive aquatic species of all kinds from entering the water. Last year she organized a community training to include interested residents from other lakes in town.
In 2015, however, milfoil was discovered in Pawtuckaway Lake just off the State Park boat ramp, and since then it has been located – by PLIA volunteers – in many other coves and areas of the lake. Pawtuckaway is located entirely within the borders of Nottingham, and thus the Town has taken a special interest in preserving the health of its signature resource. For this reason, the PLIA felt it was important to keep the Board of Selectmen and citizens of Nottingham informed about the threat posed by the growing presence of milfoil in the lake. The Town beach and State Park have recently experienced significant milfoil discoveries.
Neil’s report demonstrated how widely distributed the areas of milfoil around the lake have become. The maps in his report are particularly dramatic and disturbing. He also outlined the efforts made by the PLIA and its volunteers to locate and contain these infestations. Finally, he explained what more comprehensive and possibly drastic measures might have to be taken if the situation continues to worsen.
One member of the Board of Selectmen urged others to visit the lake for themselves to learn about these undertakings and see how serious the problem has become. The best way to understand the scope of milfoil growth in Pawtuckaway Lake is to read Neil’s report, Pawtuckaway Lake Milfoil Status and Outlook. We think you will find this report comprehensive, informative, and eye-opening. Please join or renew your membership in the PLIA now and help us fight this threat to our lake!
A few rain sprinkles did not deter attendees at the PLIA’s Annual Volunteer Appreciation Cookout on Sunday, September 25th from enjoying themselves. Under the shelter of the State Park Pavilion, about 40 members of the PLIA who volunteer their time in various programs and service projects gathered to eat, drink, and be merry.
PLIA Board members organize this event every fall to celebrate and thank the folks who give of their energy and dedication to support our organization. They arrived early to set up and get ready for guests.
Our volunteers are Weed Watchers, Lake Hosts, Milfoil Team searchers and extractors, water samplers, neighborhood ambassadors, Chinese mystery snail eradicators, community service contributors, roadside trash pickers, event planners, trainers, fundraisers, committee members, and all-around supporters of the work the PLIA does. When they get together, you can feel the energy of their love for
Pawtuckaway Lake fill the space and raise the roof!
Our President listed and praised all the many volunteer activities that have been performed this year. Plans for a winter event or events on the lake are already being hatched, according to our Vice President! This summer has been particularly challenging for our Milfoil Team, with more infestations to extract and fewer Weed Control Divers to do it! We are looking to train more of them for next year.
So, if you see one of our volunteers at work or at rest, please take a moment to say THANK YOU!
On August 20, 56 paddlers entered the Third Annual Paddle Poker Tournament held on Pawtuckaway Lake. It was a fundraiser for the PLIA and raised a whopping $2,200 for our organization’s programs! Troy Brown of the Mountain Road Trading Post donated $250 to sponsor the event, as well as discount coupons for merchandise at the store. Thank you, Troy!
There were five stations around the lake offering playing cards and refreshments to participants as they paddled the course. These hosts contributed generously to the fun and games: Tom Duffy and Karen Rydeen, Michele and Mark Lefebvre, Bob and Karen Given, Pete and Carol Wawrzonek, and Dee and John Decker. Thank you to these wonderful hosts!
After making their way around to all of the stations, tournament players landed at the beach of Barb and Les Thompson, where more refreshments were available and prizes were announced. Poker winners were: Kim Larkin (highest hand), Gayle Kenney (second highest hand), Mary Bates, (third highest hand), and Roger Frieden (Low hand).
Next were the lucky raffle winners, taking chances on a superb variety of gifts: Gregg Larkin and Roger Frieden (Mountain Road Trading Post gift boxes), Matt Currier (photographic print by Susan Medeiros), Pat Farrington (harvest basket from the Lefebvres), and Melody Bergevin (charcuterie Board by David Turcotte).
The weather was fine, the company was lively, the conversation was spirited, and the love for Pawtuckaway was abundant. What’s not to enjoy? Thanks to all who participated and made this event such a spectacular success – there was plenty of fun to go around (see for yourself)!
Whether you missed it or were in the thick of it – including water cannon competitions – it’s fun to see all the imaginative and patriotic decorations of boats on Pawtuckaway for the annual boat parade all in one place. Here and in the permanent Photo Gallery, you can feast your eyes. This is truly a creative bunch!
The PLIA Annual Meeting held at the Pawtuckaway State Park Pavilion on June 11 attracted a crowd of over 80 people. The weather was fine, spirits were high, and attention was focused on issues of importance to wildlife and recreation on the lake.
The featured speaker, Krystal Costa Balanoff of NH LAKES, addressed the gathering on the topic of making shoreline properties lake friendly. She stressed the harm caused by runoff of polluted water into the lake and ways to mitigate such damage through landscaping and other practices. NH LAKES offers a program called LakeSmart designed to help property owners assess conditions on their property, suggesting methods to improve their land and its impact on the health of adjacent water. The program is free of charge and completely confidential. To learn more, click here.
Reports on the PLIA’s programs were given, updating members on the status of various issues related to the lake and its community.
A fundraising effort initiated by one of our youngest members was also introduced.
The annual Local Hero award was presented to Jamie Burleigh for his tireless work and countless volunteer hours extracting milfoil from the lake with his diving partner Sarah Patey. Neil detailed the efforts of this exceptional team of volunteer divers over the past several years, starting as early as April with ice still on the lake until October amid the lake drawdown. Because she could not be present at the meeting, Sarah was presented with her award at the home of Milfoil Team Chair Neil Santos. Thank you, Sarah and Jamie!
Folks who attended the Annual Meeting came away with a fresh sense of enthusiasm for the work of the PLIA and their part in that work as supporters and volunteers. Below are photos of this wonderful crowd! See you on the lake!
ANNUAL MEETING – LET’S DO IT AGAIN!
We are returning to the Pavilion at the State Park for our annual gathering of members and friends, but we are also returning to our old meeting time, at the beginning of June. This will help us kick off the new season, while giving us the chance to review our work from last year. As before, entry to the State Park will be FREE to all comers!
We have changed our lineup for the meeting:
SATURDAY, JUNE 11, 2022 9:30 AM
9:30 – 10:00 Registration, Membership, Refreshments
10:00 – 10:15 Socialize, Program Displays, Hat & T-Shirt Sales
10:15 – 11:00 Speaker and Questions
11:00 – 11:45 Business Meeting, Vote for Board Members, Treasurer’s Report, Program Reports
11:40 – 11:45 Local Hero Award
11:45 Wrap Up
The map to the right shows the State Park and the Pavilion. The sign at the intersection of Route 156 and Mountain Road indicates that the State Park entrance is two miles down Mountain Road. Drive into the Park to the entry booth and let the Park staff know you are going to the PLIA Annual Meeting at the Pavilion. Entrance will be free of charge. Continue down the Park road until you see a sign for the Pavilion to the right, then take your next left into the parking lot. We are excited about our program this year and we look forward to seeing members and supporters. You should not hesitate to bring a neighbor or friend to share with them all that this organization does for the lake. And welcome!