The Eppley Institute has worked with numerous partners over the years: county park districts, municipalities, public health departments, federal agencies, state government divisions, and nonprofit organizations. We’ve worked internationally, in all manner of US states, and right here in Indiana. One of the best things about working at Eppley is the variety of settings and organizations we work with.
Currently we are working with a new partner right here in our own backyard: the Lake Lemon Conservancy District (LLCD). This project represents a first for Eppley—we have not worked with a conservancy district before, and we’re really excited about it. The 500+ residents in the Lake Lemon Conservancy District support the management of the lake through a property tax assessment.
The LLCD has a lake manager and a lake biologist who work to keep the lake and shoreline healthy while maintaining the lake as a recreational resource for the community.
There are a lot of tools available to natural resource managers. Some are quite simple: designating access areas to prevent soil erosion, for example. Others require more time and money, such as dredging or lake drawdown. These tools are needed to keep the lake in a usable state—free of weeds and sediment that impede the enjoyment and the health of the system. The manager and Board of Directors at Lake Lemon want to survey the freeholders within the Conservancy District to gauge their opinions on a variety of management options and the associated costs and benefits.
Eppley is creating an electronic questionnaire to collect this information and help the LLCD make important decisions about their lake and their community.
We have worked with local organizations before—we’re currently assisting the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department with their master plan, and last year we facilitated strategic planning with the Monroe County Health Department. The Lake Lemon project is another example of Eppley’s interest in and attention to our roots here in Indiana. We love to travel to distant places and work with faraway partners, but projects close to home remain close to our hearts as well.