August 7 – 13, 2021Vol. 23, No. 9

Youth Conservation Corps Fundraising Challenge Exceeds Goal

The Belgrade Lakes Association and the 7 Lakes Alliance together have raised over $25,000 through the Alan Charles Matching Challenge for the 7 Lakes Alliance Youth Conservation Corps (YCC). The total far exceeds the challenge goal of $15,000.

As a result, the YCC will receive an additional $15,000 in combined funding from the Charles family, the Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation, and John and Flor Atkinson, for a total of $40,000. These funds will support the YCC's efforts to prevent erosion to keep dirt and the algae-feeding phosphorus it carries out of the lakes.

Soil erosion is a leading cause of excessive and potentially toxic algal blooms that turn lakes green. When water runs off land from lakeside lawns and upstream lands, it washes dirt and, with it, polluting phosphorus into the lakes. Phosphorus is a key cause of algal blooms that turn lakes green. In 2020, the Great Pond Watershed Management Plan identified erosion control as among the highest priorities for restoring and protecting water quality. The YCC works with landowners to install best management practices to help prevent erosion.

The Charles family expressed gratitude for the overwhelming generosity of people who share Alan Charles' passion for the lakes region. "Together, we are all investing in a strong Youth Conservation Corps both to protect the lakes today and to foster the lake stewards of the future." Alan loved the Belgrade Lakes and was a long-time BLA volunteer.

"What an awesome show of support for the YCC's work to protect the lake for everyone!" said 7 Lakes' YCC Crew Leader Tyler Pellerin. "Like the landowners we work with, every contributor to this challenge is benefitting people and wildlife by keeping the lakes from turning green."

To learn how to help protect lakes from phosphorous pollution, including YCC projects, lake-friendly practices, LakeSmart, or other erosion control assistance, contact the 7 Lakes Alliance at (207) 495‑6039.