Lake Nipmuc Association



Lake Nipmuc Association Update (Draft for Mar.5th Crier)

This fledgling Association is off to a flying start! After voting on a set of bylaws, Ted King was elected President; Laura Tosches, Vice President, Michelle Walsh, Secretary and Ileen Matthews, Treasurer. Committees are in place and we already have ? paid memberships including 15 families and two local businesses: Myriad Ballroom and Mendon Area Real Estate. The biggest problem confronting the Association in its mission to protect and preserve Mendon’s most valuable natural resource is the storm runoff from Route16. Numerous storm drains from the highway are connected to pipes that dump salt, de-icing chemicals, oil, grease, zinc, nickel, and lead directly into the lake. And the tons of sand put on the road during the winter months? That too ends up in the lake. It has formed a 20 foot long peninsula that extends out from the shoreline near Old Taft Ave. and it has completely filled in an inlet up toward Park St. Route 16 is a state highway and, for ten long years, our Highway Surveyor, Alan Tetreault, has made futile pleas to the Massachusetts Highway Department to correct the problem. The Lake Nipmuc Association (LNA) not only has State Rep. John Fernandes and the Department of Environmental Protection looking into the matter, but is closely watching a trial in federal court where the Charles River watershed Association and others are suing Mass Highway for violation of the Clean Water Act. Pictures of the Lake Nipmuc highway sedimentation are a part of the evidence in that case. These pictures, along with much additional information, can be viewed on our website at

Many LNA members are gravely concerned about invasive species. Thirty percent of Massachusetts water bodies have infestations that can become an overwhelming and expensive nightmare. To help keep this from happening to Lake Nipmuc, we have invited the Department of Recreation and Conservation’s Weed Watcher Program to come to Mendon. This program consists of a two hour long training complete with books, guides, posters and a CD. This is free and open to the public. The trained Weed Watchers will then patrol the lake every two weeks to check for invasive species. Boat owners will also be educated on how to prevent the spread of these noxious weeds.

Another threat to the water quality of Lake Nipmuc is the Canadian Geese. Anywhere from fifty to one hundred of these winged polluters can be often be seen on the lake when there is open water. Between Joan Calderella’s swan decoys and the loud boom of Damon Tinio’s flare gun, the Canadian Geese are spending far less time on Lake Nipmuc.

One of the most important steps the Association has taken is to become a member of the Massachusetts Congress of Lakes and Ponds. (COLAP) At the COLAP Annual Meeting, there was attendance at the following workshops: Aquatic Invasive Species, How to Have a Successful Lake Association, Permitting, and Storm Water Projects. Our Secretary, Michelle Walsh, is in charge of the many educational manuals and booklets on all aspects of protecting lakes and ponds that were given out at this meeting. Members may contact Michelle if they would like to borrow any of these publications.

Future LNA projects include exploring the possibility of public boat access so that people who do not live on the lake will be able to enjoy paddling and sailing on its tranquil waters. The Association also expects to obtain a loan of testing equipment so that the quality of the water can be regularly monitored for oxygen levels, phosphates, nitrates and turbidity. Henry David Thoreau wrote that a lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. Our Lake Nipmuc is the Mendon landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. The members of the Lake Nipmuc Association are dedicated to keeping it that way.

The Lake Nipmuc Association, Mendon

This page was last updated on 01/04/09.