Greetings again this year from the beautiful lakes of Cassadaga! As for most communities, 2020 posed many challenges to managing the health of both our waters and those enjoying our lakes. Though life in general was not normal, everyday I was thankful for having the open air and beauty of the Cassadaga Lakes to bring a touch of nature’s joy and solitude to my day. And with the obvious increase in walkers, bikers, swimmers, boaters, skiers, etc., I hope you too were able to use nature as a way to raise your spirits and lighten your hearts.
Due to Covid, this year was not a year for new projects but rather a year to appreciate and take advantage of what the Lakes Association and the community worked so hard to accomplish over the last several years. The widened shoulders of Dale Drive provided a safe and very popular exercise path. The water quality at the beach tested very well, showing that the Park Avenue drainage project is doing its job at slowing and cleaning runoff from Rt.60. After 2 years of planning and development, the Cassadaga Lakes Nature Park is now officially a park and the 3rd highest visited Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy park with the sign-in box only up since September! With imagination, determination and a lot of team work we were able to hold and sponsor our typical community events, including the snow sculpture contest at Winter Fest, the Youth Fishing Derby via selfies!, the community barn dance via ZOOM, and the 4th of July flares with an added Night-Light boat parade. Even the Ducky Derby ducks were movie stars in their documentary on what it takes those little fellas to get ready for their ‘virtual’ race. The Labor Day ‘always socially distanced’ boat parade culminated at the floating stage performance by 2nd Street Sunset, sponsored by the CLA. We even got in our Paddles on the Lake – no after paddle bonfire at the beach but a nice outing all the same. A BIG thank all to those who participated by making these events possible and safe during these trying times.
Besides the fun stuff, the serious business of maintaining lake quality also went well this year. We thank the CLA directors for all they give of themselves to ensure that our Lakes are fully enjoyed and remain healthy. The weed harvesting crew took on the ever-challenging task of controlling weed growth by following chemical free best practices to protect vital fish beds. Our DEC launch stewards worked with boaters to ensure invasive species were not brought into our waters. The County's sheriff water patrol provided education and compliance with water safety regulations. The two experimental dam controls, along with extensive research into lake leveling options, will inform educated lake level management. An October DEC launch boat accident required it to close until it is rebuilt. The CLA worked closely with the DEC staff for 2 weeks to ensure that over 30 boats still on the water be safely removed. The re-build will start as soon as the DEC can work in the Spring.
We are glad to announce that the CLA Directory will be back this year. Please keep an eye out for it to make sure you get a copy! A big thank you goes out to our sponsoring businesses. And we cannot express enough how important our members are to continued success of the CLA. We look forward to having you as a member again this year! The membership form is on the last page of this communication. Please share with friends!
Though we are still facing the need to do our part to minimize the spread of COVID in 2021 we are anxious to promote events that can be fun and safe for all that attend. The calendar of events follows but please check the CLA website while making your plans in case there are schedule changes (http://cassadagalakesassociation.com).
YOURS FOR THE LAKES,
Nancy Wickmark, President