Volunteer Projects & Events
A great way to help & meet your lakeside neighbors is to get involved with volunteer projects that take place primarily throughout the summer. It's easy to sign up. Just contact us by dropping us an email from this website (see Contact page) and let us know what you're interested in participating in. See you on the lake!
Annual Branch Pond Loon Count
Please join us for the Annual Loon Count on Branch Pond! In coordination with the
National Audubon Society, we organize a full canvas of the lake to conduct our loon count. We could use some extra eyes covering a few areas of the lake. If interested in joining, please contact Pat Edsall at: email@example.com
Invasive Plant Patrol (IPP)
The Branch Lake Association with the help of the Lake Stewards of Maine (LSM) sponsors an Invasive Plant Patrol. Each summer our Rangers look at the plant life throughout the lake to ensure no invasive species have made their way into our waters. While Branch Lake has an aggressive boat inspection program, it only takes one overlooked hitchhiker to forever change the ecology of the lake. The IPP Rangers provide a second line of defense. Say hi to the rangers when you see them kayaking with an aqua scope along the lake shore in late summer.
The IPP Coordinator is David Edsall, firstname.lastname@example.org. We always need volunteers to maintain 100% coverage of the lake each summer.
What's at Stake, by David Edsall
A picture is worth a thousand words. Please watch the 8 minute video "The Hunt for invasive plants."
If this does not convince you of the importance of the BPA IPP project nothing will. This is the main purpose of the Branch Lake Association. I lived on one of those infected lakes (Saratoga) Property values drop because the recreation is destroyed. We could not swim sail or motor from our dock with 6 feet of water! Property values dropped 25% compared to Invasive Aquatic Plant (IAP) free lakes. This was long before the 2007 housing bust.
There are three aspects of water quality monitoring. One is the chemical/sediment/ph/clarity type measures. fortunately since this is a town water supply John Wedin monitors this. He is happy to take you out on the lake and help him do these measurements periodically. His number at the town office is 207-659-3326. Our lake water quality is very good with clarity as measured by the Secchi disc at 34 feet in 2015!
The second aspect of water quality is the surrounding watershed that feeds the lake. This affects algae blooms and other pesticide effects. Again the town and state helps. But you can help also Check out LAKE SMART http://mainelakessociety.org/2938-2/ This improves water quality by changing the landscaping of your shoreline to a more natural state. Lawns and exposed dirt ruin our lakes etc. If you close your ramp the town may help with money for your landscape project. Contact Laura Wilson email@example.com if you are interested in getting your Lake Smart project funded. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS IMPORTANT ARTICLE...
Non Point Source Pollution (NPSP) is the biggest threat to the lake! Click on the button to read about how you can help protect the lake from this threat. In the photo note the sediment plume pushing out into the lake.
BLAI will help connect you to a surveyor who can go over your property with you to see if any action can or should be taken to protect the lake from NPSP. Work with your local road association to maintain your road in a lake-friendly manner. BLAI also participates in periodic watershed surveys to identify threats to lake water quality and then works with the city and residents to help rectify issues.
Lake residents and visitors gather for regattas on Sunday during the summer months. These are informally organized and you can follow them on the facebook page, Branchpondsailing.
One of the functions performed by the Branch Lake Association provides is to monitor the lake for ice-in and ice-out. This data is sent to the Lake Stewards of Maine to record in their database.