It was the seventh annual meeting of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation (LHF), but the first since the Lake Hopatcong Train Station became its permanent home. On Friday, May 3, there were few empty chairs, the benches were occupied, and people stood near the kitchenette. Many attendees had toured the former train station prior to the meeting.

The restored Lake Hopatcong Train Station in Landing. (Photo: Ulla Vinkman)

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“We’ve only just begun,” said LHF president Jessica Murphy. She commented on how appropriate it was to hold the meeting in the historic building during May, which is Historic Preservation Month. Pointing out photos of the 2015 meeting she had posted on a wall, she observed that the station was a very different place then.

Jessica Murphy, president of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, reviewing photos from the 2015 annual meeting that took place in the train station while renovations were still in process. (Photo: Ulla Vinkman)

Murphy thanked her staff, especially Donna Macalle-Holly, who acquired renovation grants for the station from Morris County, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office, and the 1772 Foundation. She also thanked the many volunteers who worked on that project as well as on the foundation’s other initiatives, primarily the block party scheduled for Saturday, May 11.

The recap of 2018 activities featured good and bad news.

Murphy cited the LHF contribution to the new Jefferson Township fireboat, courtesy patrols on busy weekends, trail maintenance, and the Study Hull floating classroom as examples of the successes of 2018. While the number of water chestnuts pulled from the lake is down because of the vigilance of the water scouts, the lake-wide cleanup was disappointing in the high volume of trash removed. “We were hoping for a pathetic haul this year, because we did it five years ago,” Murphy said.

Jefferson Townships new fire boat, Defender 2. (Photo: Ulla Vinkman)
Passengers lining up for a ride on the Lake Hopatcong Foundation’s Floating Classroom. (Photo: Ulla Vinkman)

The foundation also collected its share of accolades in 2018, including an award from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions for Study Hull. The Jefferson Township Chamber of Commerce had lauded the group as nonprofit of the year and the Morris County Chamber of Commerce had presented an award for innovating programming earlier in the day.

The Lake Hopatcong Foundation received the Non-Profit of the Year award, sponsored by PostNet. (Photo: Kevin L. Pattky, Jr./The Jefferson Chronicle)

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