Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

Eagle Lake Improvement Association

Kansasville, WI

Mission

The purpose of the Eagle Lake Improvement Association is to:
• Take collaborative actions to improve Eagle Lake and its watershed;
• Educate residents to be good stewards of the lake;
• Encourage enjoyment of the lake; and
• Build a sense of community around Eagle Lake

Ruling Year

2017

President

Brian Younger

Secretary

Judy Amundsen

Main Address

PO Box 655

Kansasville, WI 53139 USA

Formerly Known As

Eagle Lake Property Owners Improvement Association

Keywords

Education, Information, Community, Cooperation

EIN

82-1263529

 Number

0261084452

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Our mission statement is comprised of four pillars, and while each is important, the primary focus of the Eagle Lake Improvement Association (ELIA) is to improve the health of Eagle Lake and its watershed. Eagle Lake is a wonderful 520-acre lake in southeastern Wisconsin. All members of the ELIA reside along the shoreline or within a mile of the lake. Eagle Lake receives its water as runoff from the surrounding watershed, and like many bodies of water around the country, excessive phosphorus is an issue. This can degrade water quality, facilitate the growth of undesirable weeds and invasive species, and compromise the natural resource. ELIA strives to mobilize the Eagle Lake community to restore the lake to its beautiful, natural state. This requires a partnership with the township, the DNR, the lake management district, and the energized membership of ELIA to volunteer and financially support our efforts.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Clean Boats Clean Waters

Watershed Task Force

Welcome New Neighbor

Zinnen Shoreline Restoration Project

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Total number of organization members

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Our ability to carry out our mission is bounded only by the level of voluntary involvement and financial donations from our membership. We seek to broaden this level of support each year.

Total number of new organization members

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Related program

Welcome New Neighbor

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

We recognize that our lake community is a very dynamic and diverse population, and our ability to sustain an active membership depends upon our efforts to engage new residents in our service area.

Average number of dollars received per donor

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Related program

Welcome New Neighbor

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Our membership is based upon voluntary donations from residents within one mile of Eagle Lake. We ask only $15 per household for annual dues, but are fortunate that many are able to give a bit more.

Number of people on the organization's email list

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Communication with membership had largely been addressed through a direct mail quarterly newsletter. In 2017, the use of email expanded our message and we will soon add social media and a website.

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Our efforts are driven entirely through an active and energized membership, willing to volunteer and support us financially. To that end, and through the expansion of our communication efforts--including a new website--we strive to increase membership from year to year.

Specific to the area of water quality, our primary goal, the Watershed Task Force has set the following objectives:
a. Reduce the in-lake phosphorus levels to .06 mg/liter, from current levels over .12 mg/liter
b. Prevent introduction of any new invasive species, such as starry stonewort and zebra mussels
c. Create a culture of awareness and responsibility for healthy lakes in our community
d. Improve water clarity to the point where a Secchi disk is visible at 6 feet in midsummer

Ultimately, we strive to encourage the full enjoyment of our lake by residents as well as the public. By welcoming new neighbors, providing educational materials, and sponsoring community events--such as the annual fireworks and Eagle Lake Regatta--we hope that our organization is viewed as a valuable lake partner.

Our involvement in the Watershed Task Force is a major component in our strategy for improving water quality of Eagle Lake. Specifically:
a. We are working with farmers and landowners in the watershed to improve farming practices and reduce sediment and phosphorus run-off
b. We are removing phosphorus-laden sediment from the banks and bottoms of the inlet streams
c. We are exploring removal of in-lake sediment that has accumulated over the years
d. We strive to educate the Eagle Lake community using methods which promote a healthy lake

Our educational initiatives are addressed in many ways, including:
a. Continued coordination of the Clean Boats Clean Water program for boat inspections
b. Distribution of our newly designed Welcome New Neighbor manual to all new residents
c. Launch of a new website is planned for Q2 of 2018
d. Maintenance of InfoBox receptacles at each of the four public boat launches
e. Distribution of our quarterly Ripples newsletter, through email as well as regular mail
f. Generating occasional email announcements to area residents through our membership database

There is a full recognition that we cannot tackle these issues alone. The aspect of collaboration is a primary pillar of our mission. ELIA has more than 200 members, 13 members on the board, and a structure that is organized to address the problems. We collaborate with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), the Town of Dover, the Eagle Lake Management District, and the Racine County Land Conservation Division to formulate plans and projects, secure funding, and implement the plans and projects. Our membership recognizes the value of our organization, and generously supports us financially and through volunteerism.

On the issues of water quality, the result of our efforts will be evident through continued use of USGS water assessments. The baseline has been established through use of these testing methods in 2016 and 2017. The impact of shoreline and watershed improvements will hopefully be clearly represented in phosphorus level and water clarity measurements. In addition, the intended decrease in undesirable weed growth will become evident during weed harvesting operations which are coordinated by the Eagle Lake Management District. Reducing the need to harvest weeds, and preventing new AIS from appearing, will serve as our measure of success.

For the ELIA organization, we hope to see continuation of the recent year-to-year increases in membership and donation totals. Our ability to continue, and hopefully expand our programs is driven largely by volunteers and the financial support of our membership.

For improved water quality, our efforts were greatly expanded in 2017 through the reformation of the Watershed Task Force. Through this coalition, the watershed management plan was updated, and now covers the period 2017 through 2026. During prior years, we have worked with area farmers to stem the tide of incoming phosphorus and sediment. It has now stabilized and is not getting worse. Now our attention will shift to making it better. In recent studies, the subject of legacy phosphorus has been researched and is likely a contributing factor in the health of our lake. Of the two primary inlets, our current project will focus on restoration of the smaller (Oak Crest) inlet to its natural state. In 2018, efforts to finalize project tasks and secure funding will be actively pursued. Upon completion, and assuming positive results, similar work on the larger inlet will be pursued.

Efforts to encourage enjoyment of the lake, as well as building a sense of community, were well received in 2017. Two inaugural events were held, the first a gathering of kayak racers and cardboard boat makers in the Eagle Lake Regatta and Social. And for new residents who had moved into the area during the past year, the ELIA board members held a social “meet and greet" as part of our Welcome New Neighbor program. Both were successful, and will now join the Fireworks Display and the Don Hermes Boat Tie-up on our annual community events calendar.

Communication within our service area has been primarily addressed through publication of a quarterly newsletter, the Ripples. This is distributed to more than 500 properties, with electronic copies sent to more than 300 email addresses in our database. For 2018, this effort will greatly improve by launching our new website. It is expected that the website will become our communication hub for members, area residents, our lake partners, and the public.

External Reviews

Financials

Eagle Lake Improvement Association

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

No

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

No

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

No

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

No

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

No