On behalf of all stakeholders at Leonard Lake, we ask you to share in our commitment to improve, protect and preserve the lake environment by renewing your membership or becoming a new member of the Leonard Lake Stakeholders Association.
With a new associate membership option, we also hope to increase the involvement and interest of non-property owner youth and other seasonal or year-round residents on the lake, in important issues such as lake health and stewardship going forward.
Three to four years ago, our basic water testing program coupled with stakeholder and volunteer observations indicated that Leonard Lake was showing signs of deterioration and an intensive investigative approach was needed to better assess water quality.
Membership fees over the years have generally covered lake association expenses (including basic water testing), however, additional funds above membership income were needed to move forward with this initiative. In 2017, through the generous donations of a small number of stakeholders, LLSA contracted with three expert bodies to help us, firstly, to analysis past Leonard Lake data, secondly, to determine our capacity for growth on the lake, and thirdly, to guide an extensive sampling and testing regime on Leonard Lake and to analyse and document the findings.
The results, shared with all stakeholders, indicated a decline in Leonard Lake water quality. In 2018 blue green algae and toxins were confirmed by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks resulting in the issuance of a public health notice from Simcoe Health, still in effect.
Recommendations coming out of the findings included a necessary expansion of our water quality program over the long term that would increase the frequency and type of testing as well as the number of test sites. This enhanced water quality testing program will not only help to build an ongoing base of knowledge regarding the changing health of our lake, but will also act as an early warning system regarding water quality for LL stakeholders and LLSA going forward. Funding beyond membership income is necessary to undertake this program in partnership with the Muskoka Watershed Council.
Over the past 2½ years, LLSA with the support of the majority of Leonard Lake property owners has challenged the severing of a large piece of land on the north shore of the lake. Due to the vulnerability of water quality, the confirmation that Leonard Lake is now beyond development capacity, plus the potential impact of that scale of development on both water and the land, the association will continue to challenge this land severance going forward. This legal action is expensive and cannot be financed through membership dues.
With your help, the Association aims to focus its efforts on protecting and enhancing water quality and defending against lot severance - what cottagers and residents of Leonard Lake said are most important to them. We cannot accomplish these goals without membership support.
I would be pleased to speak directly to Leonard Lake property owners regarding any of the above.