By: Kyle Richter
It feels like only yesterday that I sat down to pen a message to kick off our 10th anniversary year, and now, somehow, I find myself writing its bookend, attempting to capture the highlights of a momentous 2022. Time truly flies when you’re working for New Jersey’s largest lake!
Since 2012, the Foundation has been dedicated to protecting the environment and enhancing the experience on Lake Hopatcong, for this and future generations. Each year, we have worked hard to advance this goal through programs and initiatives in the areas of advocacy, environment, education, and community.
Year ten was special, though, in many ways. Our program season began with the return of in-person field trips for 1,300 students after a two-year hiatus. That’s 1,300 students who learned about the power of their actions and how they can help protect our freshwater resources through hands-on activities throughout Hopatcong State Park, the Musconetcong River, and aboard Floating Classroom. Educating our children at a young age about the importance of protecting our shared environment is the best thing we can do to protect it into the future, and our field trip program is designed to do just that. And the State of New Jersey agrees! Last week, we were recognized with the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award in Environmental Education. We were one of only eight winners from across the state. What a great way to kick off and end the season!
In July, we celebrated how far the Foundation has come with a special gala honoring our founding board members - Béla Szigethy, Jessica K. Murphy, Thomas Flinn, and Marty Kane - without whom, there would be no Lake Hopatcong Foundation. It was a memorable event and our biggest to date, bringing in critical funds to support all the work that we do.
As winter rolled around, we were thrilled to get the news that our previous success in securing a $10M appropriation for public lakes in the state’s budget resulted in $1.75 million awarded to water quality improvement projects in and around Lake Hopatcong! We look forward to seeing projects like rain gardens, permeable pavement, and biochar installations around the lake and will help the Lake Hopatcong Commission, Morris County Parks Commission, and Borough of Mount Arlington in any way can. We congratulate all of them on having these projects funded!
These are just a few highlights from our commemorative year, and I hope you will check out more of what was accomplished in our 2022 year in review.
And there is still so much more to do! We invite you to be part of it all in 2023 by becoming a member of the Foundation and encouraging others to join; by signing up for one of our volunteer opportunities; or by joining us at an upcoming community program or event. Together, we will continue to foster a vibrant and healthy Lake Hopatcong for this and future generations.
Onward to the next 10 years!
December 23, 2022