Report from the 2nd Annual

Kirk Lake Community Meeting

       At our annual meeting on May 22, representatives of the KLWA Board, including Eric Birnbaum, Abby Grow, Jane Kartsch, Lynn Ligay, Minia Sas, and Joe Montuori were introduced.  Board members provided updates on KLWA’s incorporation and organizational structure, as well as the Carp Project, and the Watershed Management Plan. 


    KLWA is currently working on developing formal by-laws for its organizational structure and operations, and will also be applying for tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status.


    Attendees also heard from Ed Kuck of Kuck Excavating, on septic systems, Jerry Davis of Aquacleaner Environmental, on Diver-Assisted Suction Harvesting of invasive aquatic plants, and Jay Archer on “Landscaping for a Cleaner Lake.”


    Watershed Management Committee members Lynn Ligay and Mary Rosit obtained numerous discounts for KLWA members from Mahopac Septic and Evans Septic, among others. (If you mention KLWA when you call, you’ll get a discount on your septic pumping!)  Discounts are also available from Whispering Pine for no-phosphorus lawn fertilizer, and from Shaklee products offered by our neighbor, Jeanne Toovell. 


Watershed Management


    Better information about lake water quality is necessary to determine the best steps we can take to improve it. The Watershed Management Committee is therefore trying to obtain assistance from a local university’s biology or environmental sciences department in analyzing lake water data.  We’re also pursuing a low-cost DEC program (CSLAP); see below.


    KLWA President Joe Montuori attended the annual New York State Federation of Lake Associations (NYSFOLA) conference over a long weekend in May, up in Hamilton, New York.  The conference workshops were very informative and Joe made contacts with a number of other associations in our area.  KLWA has an organizational membership in this incredible federation of lake stewards that entitles it to conference attendance and ongoing advice and support. 


    That  membership also got KLWA on NYSFOLA’s waiting list for a program called CSLAP. That’s Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program, and it will allow volunteers in our community to take samples and send them to NYS DEC for analysis.  It’s a far cheaper alternative to professional services, and requires only a modest fee of $250/year.  DEC picks up the balance of the cost, which is close to $2,000 per year.  The program is run by DEC’s Scott Kishbaugh whom you may remember from our First Annual Meeting.   KLWA may be able to participate as early as August of this year. 


Lake-Appropriate Practices


    As summer gets into full swing, many Kirk Lakers will be taking boats in and out of the lake. Be sure to check your boat and trailer for “hitchhiking” plants.  Even if they look dead, be sure to remove them BEFORE you launch into Kirk Lake!  Even dried out invasives can spring back to life once they rehydrate! 


    By the way, inspection for hitchhiking plant matter goes for fishing tackle and anything else you put in the water.


    For beach users and lakefront property owners, removing floating plant matter from the lake is a smart (and sometimes necessary!) step to limit their spread.  But be sure to bag and dispose of plant matter properly. Leaving it on the ground, even yards from the shore, may allow it to wash back in withstorm water runoff.


    Keep grass clippings and trash off the road, where it will be washed into storm drains.  Remember, every storm drain in our neighborhoods flows into Kirk Lake!  If you wouldn’t throw it in the lake, don’t let it go down a storm drain.  For more information, go the KLWA Lawn Care web page.


    Enjoy the lake this summer season, and do your part to protect and preserve it!