The time on the lake after Labor Day is bittersweet. For those lucky enough to linger longer at the lake, the air is pure; the fall foliage is increasingly intense; and the sunsets are spectacular. But as one looks across the lake, the docks and swim floats are pulled up, boats are taken out, and the easy chairs and water toys disappear into winter storage. For many of us, leaving at the end of the summer creates a sense of separation.
But technology can keep you connected to Keoka. Melissa Tarbell joined the KLA board in July. She actively curates a social media presence for lake lovers. You may be treated to images of summer sailboats, loons and eagles, or flaming skies at dusk. You may also see winter scenes -- a fascinating perspective for people who do not have an opportunity to visit Keoka when it is frozen over and the trees are laden with snow.
On Facebook, go to the Keoka Lake Association page. On Instagram sign up to follow Keoka.Lake.Association. And if you have photos you are willing to share, please send them directly to Melissa or send them to her through the Keoka Lake Association Instagram account.
Finally, watch your postal mailbox this spring for an invitation to KLA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. The event was postponed due to COVID and is rescheduled for Saturday, July 9, 2022, at 3 pm in Waterford. Fingers crossed that we will finally be able to gather in person again. If so, we will celebrate 50 years of KLA and reveal the results of our successful KLA50 capital campaign for milfoil protection. Be sure to complete and return the RSVP card.
We hope to see you and your family at the Celebration.
It is an amazing thing when individuals (citizens), upon witnessing a significant problem with uncertain and varied causation, step forward and join together to address that problem by forming a new organization dedicated to confronting the issues. This is exactly what the founders of the Keoka Lake Association (KLA) did fifty years ago, in 1971. The KLA founders included:
Mrs. William Strong
For history of Keoka Lake click here.
2020s (117 members)
2010s (98 members)
2000s (83 members)
In honor of the 50th anniversary of KLA, the KLA50 capital campaign was established to provide an adequate reserve fund for immediate eradication efforts in the event that milfoil or any other water quality threat was identified. While celebration events were postponed a year due to COVID-19, the KLA Board continued to meet virtually and prevention and detection programs continued.
KLA implemented education programs including "Operation Report It Now!" KLA started a Facebook page. The LakeSmart program was implemented at over 20% of Keoka properties. The boat ramp was replaced and re-graded. KLA received its official non-profit designation
KLA expanded and improved the Town Beach boat ramp. KLA worked with county, town, and federal resources to identify and fix key storm water runoff "hot spots." Navigation and hazard buoys were put in place. The dam gate was replaced with a modern mechanism. The Courtesy Boat Inspection program and plant surveys were initiated. KLA established a website.
1990s (74 members)
1980s (48 members)
1970s (30 members)
Dam ownership and control was clarified. The fish population changed as largemouth bass and perch were introduced. The sailing regatta and dock-to-dock progressive cocktails became summertime events. KLA merchandise was in high demand. Water quality was still a high concern and we began to hear about the dangers of milfoil.
A gate was added to the dam. A loon raft was launched. KLA built a relationship with LEA and they took over water testing. Storm water runoff was causing algae growth. Waterford adopted shore land zoning regulations to reduce lake pollution.
The dam condition was precarious, so that was the first order of business for KLA. Work was completed by winter. KLA then invested in water testing equipment and training. They found high levels of blue-green algae and high fecal coli bacteria. With a focus on education, KLA began improving water quality.