Lake Notes

Spring 2020
Photo by Dennis Gallo, 2020 Photo Contest Winner

Letter from the President

These are unprecedented times for everyone.  Waking up every day having to remind yourself what is going on in the world and how the little things have all changed.  The pandemic that surrounds us today and for the near foreseeable future will be something we are likely to remember for a long time; and for those of you with kids, perhaps their first glimpse at a national and global threat that truly hits home, impacting their daily interactions with others.  Things like this make us realize the realities of the world and how interconnected we are.  For those of you who braved this year’s ILMA conference in Champaign, I want to thank you for helping turn what could have been a disappointing venture into a lasting experience for many of the conference attendees.  We were a bit lucky that the timing of the conference was in early March.  Another week and it would likely have been a complete cancellation.  I would like to extend my greatest thanks to former ILMA President Karen Clementi for handing over an excellent game plan to deal with the conference as it was continuously evolving with speaker cancellations and attendance concerns.  All said we were not far off our typical conference numbers.  Karen has also left me a talented Board of Directors to work with for the next year.

As we strive to push through this pandemic and onto bigger and better things, we should reconsider the earlier topic of connectivity.  Our lakes, streams, and watershed interactions are all connected and relatable.  We are continuing to try and expose our membership to a wide array of opportunities to better understand and be better stewards of their waterous environments, whether it’s on lakefront property they own, their favorite fishing holes, their back yards or just the watershed landscape in general.  Our educational missions are balanced in beginner level topics to assist the ever-growing crop of new waterfront landowners and in more advanced subject matter such as nutrient management and sediment reuse for seasoned members wanting to take a deeper dive into lake management. 

I am excited to be President of ILMA.  I have served on the board for nearly ten years now, so I suppose it was time.  I am hoping to take on new initiatives at ILMA, ones that will help support our mission goals as well as provide greater exposure for the organization.  Please feel free to reach out to me or any member of the Board of Directors with any questions you may have.  How can ILMA be of service to you?  What are the emerging topics of interest (other than dredging)?  How can we communicate more effectively?  How can we reach more people with our message? 

While we are at home, hopefully isolated near our wet environments, give pause to the questions above and what it might be that drives you to continue to get and stay involved with your organizations and what this group can do to continue to inspire you or even elevate your “game” to want to do more for this environment.  Never hesitate to reach out to me or anyone else at ILMA.  Take care and stay out of harm’s way.

Best Regards,

Brian Valleskey, CFM, CLP
ILMA President
Senior Scientist
Geosyntec Consultants
(224) 634-0562
Note from the Editor

Welcome to our first e-version of Lake Notes!  We are so pleased to be able to share ILMA news with our membership online! 

This issue focuses on resources that will allow you to continue learn while we are sequestered.  The University of Illinois Extensive has provided us some great information on their free Everyday Environment Education series.  These webinars will give us some tools to make changes in how we manage our properties for the benefit of our lakes. And don't forget...ILMA has a blog!  If you haven't visited our website in a while, please check out the blog as well as other resources available to you.

Here is wishing you a great season on your lake!


Lisa Woolford
ILMA Board of Directors and Education Chair 
35th Annual Conference Highlights
by Leonard Dane

The Illinois Lakes Management Association hosted our 35th Annual Conference March 12-13, 2020 at the iHotel and Conference Center in Champaign, IL. It was once again a great few days of camaraderie and learning

The conference kicked off with concurrent sessions discussing lake management, pollution prevention and dredging. Breaks held among the exhibitors gave attendees a chance to discuss lake management options with the vendors. A big thank you to all of the Conference vendors and sponsors for their support which helps keep this conference affordable for all to attend.
Clockwise (from top left):  Brian Valleskey, Incoming President;  Pontiac Unit 90 School District Student Presentation; Joe Bartletti presenting the Dick Hilton Watershed Award to Kip Stevenson (right); Keynote Speaker Doug Blodgett, The Nature Conservancy.
We were inspired by the students from Pontiac Unit 90 School District explaining various environmental projects they are working on. Four scholarships were also presented – The Steve Kolsto $1,000 scholarship and the $500 Robert Esser Student Achievement Scholarship went to Alex Catalano.  Integrated Lakes Management continued their tradition of presenting a $1,000 scholarship for college research projects, this year divided into two $500 scholarships awarded to Abigail Health and Jackson Wassik attending Illinois State University.

Additional concurrent sessions included presentations on fish habitat, freshwater mussels, zebra mussel monitoring and a “Splash” panel discussion about homeowner association funding. After the afternoon break, Doug Blodgett of The Nature Conservancy, our Keynote Speaker, presented on their great work at Emiquon. Following dinner, the Annual Meeting portion of the conference included award presentations.  The ILMA Lake Guardian went to Mike Mounce of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources; the Frank Loftus award was given to Greg Denny of Diamond Lake, and the Dick Hilton Watershed Award went to Kip Stevenson of the Illinois State Water Survey.  Congratulations to these dedicated stewards!
Clockwise:  Tim Pasternak engaging participants in raffle fundraiser; Frank Loftus award recipient Greg Denny with daughter Sarah; Concurrent Session in progress;  Lisa Woolford presenting the ILM Scholarship to Abigail Heath (center) and Jackson Wassik (right).
The raffle, an ILMA Conference highlight, was once again enthusiastically moderated by Tim Pasternak. Thank you to everyone who donated items and purchased tickets. Congratulations to Holly Hudson of CMAP on winning the big prize - the kayak!  Congratulations to Dennis Gallo as well who won the photo contest with his picture of electrofishing below the Wonder Lake Dam.

We ended on Friday with presentations on aquatic plant management, algae control, nutrient management, cutting edge monitoring methods, and the rapid expansion of the Banded Killifish in the Great Lakes Region. Hats off to all the presenters, Conference Planning Committee, ILMA Board, iHotel staff and all who attended.
Clockwise:   Lake Guardian award recipient Mike Mounce (left) with Trent Thomas; Trent Thomas presenting the ILMA Steve Kolsto Scholarship and Robert Esser Scholarship to Alex Catalano (right).
We look forward to seeing you all next year March 10-13, 2021 in Gurnee where we will be partnering with the Illinois Chapter of the American Fisheries Society! 


Check Out the Presentations from the 35th Annual Conference 

View Here

Illinois Extension Offering "Everyday Environment" Webinar Series

By Erin Garrett, University of Illinois Extension Educator, Energy and Environmental Stewardship

Small changes in habits can have a positive impact on the environment. From lawn care, native plants, and managing home waste, to understanding animal behavior and atmospheric optics, there is never a shortage of new things to learn about your everyday environment.

The Everyday Environment online webinar series will help individuals understand and consider choices which will protect natural resources. The series, presented by University of Illinois Extension energy and environmental experts, are free and are held Thursdays from 1-2 p.m. Click on the webinar title to register for each session.

1 PM | April 23 | Planting for the Pollinators
How can you support pollinators in your yard? Learn what types of pollinators you can attract to your yard and discover the right native plants attract butterflies, native bees, moths, and more. Presenter: Erin Garrett.

1 PM | April 30 | Natural Lawn Care Part 1: Assessment
Assess the health and prepare for environmentally-friendly lawns. Participants will learn tools and techniques to better assess lawn so as they make an informed natural lawn care plan. Presenter: Abigail Garofalo.

1 PM | May 7 | Natural Lawn Care Part 2: Strategies
Learn strategies to understand your lawn, as well as learn tools to create a natural lawn care action plan. Presenter: Abigail Garofalo.

1 PM | May 14 | Managing Waste in the Home
Have you ever thought about how much trash your household generates? Learn about the management of municipal solid waste in the US, materials that can be recycled or composted, locating recycling and composting facilities near you, and strategies for decreasing household waste. Presenter: Ashley Belle.

1 PM | May 21 | Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy Biennial Report
How is water quality in Illinois? The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy guides the state's efforts to improve water quality at home and downstream by reducing nitrogen and phosphorus levels in our lakes, streams, and rivers. The strategy lays out a comprehensive suite of best management practices for reducing nutrient loads from wastewater treatment plants and urban and agricultural runoff. Learn how the strategy has progressed. Presenters: Eliana Brown, Kate Gardiner, Haley Haverback, Jennifer Woodyard.

1 PM | June 25 | All About Clouds
See various types of clouds, including unique clouds only seen in a few locations and what weather is expected with each variety. Presenter: Duane Friend

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in programming, contact your local registration office. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your needs.

The North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) is  offering "At Home Activities and Resources" to help keep us busy while we are hanging out at home.  Check out what they have to offer - just click on the button below!
At Home Activities
If you have school-aged children, they can enter the Lakes Appreciation Month poster contest and win money for themselves and their school! 
A Special Thanks to our 2020 Conference Sponsors
ILMA Board of Directors
President                                       Brian Vallesky                         
                                                       Geosyntec Consultants, Inc.     

Vice President                               Jeff Boeckler                         
                                                        Northwater Consulting                                       
Treasurer                                       Quentin Jordan                                            
                                                        Springfield City, Water, Light and Power                    
Membership Secretary                  Alana Bartolai             
                                                        Lake County Health Department
Recording Secretary                     Joe Bartletti                     
                                                         Lochmueller Group
Karen Clementi
Fox Metro Water Reclamation District   

Tim Holt
Aquatic Control

Ed Lochmayer 
Bangs Lake Advisory Commission

Mark Lynch 
Bangs Lake Advisory Commission

Mark Serio
Lake Thunderbird Association

Lisa Woolford 
Integrated Lakes Management

For General Inquiries: Administrative Assistant: Richard Hilton (800) 338-6909 Access Code 01
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