The Lake Hopatcong Foundation has released the following list of accomplishments during 2018 that were made possible by the support of members, donors, and volunteers.
- Partnered with the Lake Hopatcong Commission to organize a lake-wide cleanup in conjunction with the 60-inch drawdown, during which 442 volunteers logged more than 1,200 hours collecting debris from more than 50 access points around the lake. The collection included 4,000 drink containers, 300 plastic bags, 175 toys, 150 articles of clothing, and more than 800 tires.
- Hand-pulled 55 invasive water chestnut plants with the assistance of 26 volunteer water scouts, helping to protect the Lake Hopatcong ecosystem.
- Educated 305 recreational lake users about the importance of proper vessel maintenance to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species to Lake Hopatcong through the lake steward program. Of those interviewed, 70% expressed interest in learning more about aquatic invasive species prevention.
- Launched the Lake Hopatcong floating classroom to enhance the field trip program and provide educational opportunities to the public.
- Provided a hands-on, STEM-based field trip program to 776 area students. It highlights the relationships between human actions and their effect on the environment in order to cultivate environmentally responsible behavior.
- Introduced public education opportunities aboard the Lake Hopatcong floating classroom, providing an interactive experience to 159 members of the public to learn about freshwater ecology and how to help protect lakes.
- Awarded $2,000 in scholarships to two local high school seniors to further their education in fields related to lake environments. Investment in education is important for the future of Lake Hopatcong and other valuable freshwater resources.
- Received the Environmental Achievement Award for the floating classroom from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions “for outstanding accomplishment in local environmental protection.”
Community and Historic Preservation
- Completed the first stage of the Lake Hopatcong Train Station rehabilitation project, allowing Lake Hopatcong Foundation staff to move into new office space.
- Brought more than 2,000 visitors to Hopatcong State Park for the 2018 Lake Hopatcong Block Party, which featured 189 businesses and organizations from the lake area. The event involved 191 volunteers.
- Distributed B-SAFE dock number signs to an additional 51 property owners, bringing total lakefront coverage to 37%. The signs help emergency personnel efficiently respond by land or water.
- Conducted 16 days of courtesy patrols on busy summer weekends to spread the word about the “Lake Hopatcong for All” voluntary guidelines crafted to help maintain a safe, healthy, and respectful lake environment.
- Funded additional hours of weekend/evening police patrols on the lake, providing protection at times when there would otherwise be no coverage.
- Maintained more than 11 miles of the Lake Hopatcong Trail with the assistance of 18 volunteer trail maintainers. When completed, the trail will traverse approximately 40 miles through four towns, eventually encircling the lake.
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation invites participation from anyone interested in its various projects. For more information, visit https://lakehopatcongfoundation.org.