Happy Stick Season from the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain! I’m settling in as your new Executive Director, and as we enter a season of rest and renewal, I can’t help but reflect on what’s on the horizon for Friends and our communities here in northern Vermont. I’ve spent the past couple of months reaching out to partners, board members, and community members to learn more about our work on caring for the waterways and the land that connects with Lake Champlain. What I see is a collaborative effort made up of folks who prioritize relationships while bringing current science and new thinking to bend the curve on fostering a healthier Lake Champlain. I see folks who recognize that our work is a slow build to success, with every relationship, every project, and every event being a crucial part of building a caring community ready to take action for the lake and the land surrounding it.
I also see that funding is available for this work – and I mean work here. The real on-the-ground, shovel-ready work of repairing the impacts on the land that will restore streams and floodplains and slow or even stop sediments and nutrients from making it into Lake Champlain. This is where FNLC and I will be inviting you into our work. We will leverage what we’ve learned from our shoreline assessments, outreach events, and our relationships with municipalities to identify new on-the-ground projects in your communities that are ready for care and attention. And of course, we’ll continue to celebrate all that Lake Champlain and its rivers and tributaries have to offer us by providing you all with events to connect with this beautiful landscape and learn more about how to care for it. Here in our end-of-year message to you, I invite you to reflect on the year we’ve had and then look forward at the year ahead and consider what role you’ll play in our success for 2024. Thank you all for your continued support of the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain! I look forward to meeting you in 2024!
~Bridget Butler, FNLC Executive Director