Home
New Members Sign Up
Member Annual Renewal

News Flashes about our Lake and our Community:

Thank you all for your attendance and support at our 2024 AGM!  Click to view our AGM Slide Presentation

Please note that we are still looking for volunteers, both for Board positions and our Fundraising Committee for our fight against Eurasian Milfoil. Please contact us at communications@lakemazinaw.ca 

 

 

Blue Lakes Certificate

Back to News
2024 Spring Newsletter

MPOA NEWS

Bon Echo Reflections

Dear {{firstName}},

May 15, 2024  
 

President’s Message

By Amy Fraser

Welcome to the 2024/2025 season! This year is already underway with a flurry of activity by the Board of Directors who have continued their efforts on the identification and management of Eurasian Milfoil, an invasive weed species that has taken root in our lake (pun intended).

The Board has started applying for funding to help with the management of the invasive species. You can help in this important work by renewing or signing up for MPOA membership. If you do so by July 1st, you'll have a chance to win an Ontario Parks pass or a Smart's Marina Gift Card! Please read all about it in our membership section below. 

A substantial amount of information was gathered during the funding application process, and here are some facts about our wonderful lake that we thought would be fun to share, as not everyone may be aware..

Lake Mazinaw is the headwater for the 200 km Mississippi River watershed flowing all the way to its confluence at the Ottawa River near Fitzroy Harbour. It is also the seventh-deepest lake in Ontario with a maximum depth of (476 ft), and as a result is home to several species of interest to various scientific communities. The lake's name comes from Mazinaabikinigan-zaaga'igan, meaning "painted-image lake" in Algonkian. In 1982, a section of the iconic cliff was designated a National Historic Site of Canada as it is the largest Indigenous pictograph site on the southern Canadian Shield, and the only major pictograph site in southern Ontario (260 pictographs).

The Lake attracts approximately 500,000 thousand visitors per year, making it a significant economic engine for the area. The iconic Bon Echo Provincial Park, several ancillary campgrounds, boat launches, adventure businesses, and over 376 private properties contribute to its regional draw.

The MPOA Board has been working tirelessly pursuant to our mandate to “promote the preservation and protection of natural and scenic beauty, fish, wildlife and water quality of the area”. Read on below for a summary of the progress in the past year since the last MPOA newsletter was issued Spring 2023; and what’s up next in the coming year.


Annual General Meeting (AGM)

By Amy Fraser

Once again the 2024 AGM (Annual General Meeting) will be a hybrid format supporting both in-person and virtual attendance. The meeting is scheduled for the morning of Saturday, July 6, 2023. Further details will be shared shortly.


Lake Steward Update

By Hilary Vaillancourt

1.0 Blue Lakes Designation

We are pleased to announce that Mazinaw is now officially a Certified Blue Lakes designated lake! As you might recall from our 2023 Spring Newsletter (posted to our website) and/or the last AGM, the Mazinaw Blue Lakes Committee was formed Fall 2022 as a part of the Blue Lakes Program requirements. The Committee is tasked with Lake Stewardship duties in 8 key focus areas:  

Dream Board

The program runs in one-year cycles. Maintaining our designation requires continuous enrollment and participation in the program.

To remain enrolled, the MPOA and the Mazinaw Blue Lakes Committee will continue tackling the goals set out in each focus area, with much of our efforts on combating Eurasian Milfoil, a highly invasive water species found in the Lake. And detailed in S.2.0 below.

2.0 Eurasian Milfoil

Eurasian milfoil

2.1 Eurasian Milfoil Issue Statement

By way of a refresher, Eurasian Milfoil ('EM') is a water based, highly invasive species, spreading at an alarming rate on Lake Mazinaw. It's infestation will have devastating social, recreational, ecological and economic impacts on the Lake. The issue statement, as it stands today, includes but is not limited to the following:

  • REDUCED PROPERTY VALUES - EM reduces property values by 20% and associated losses in property taxes which reduces local government revenue, justifying the need for funding to prevent and control the EM infestations
     
  • REGIONAL ECONOMIC SPINOFFS: Lake Mazinaw draws approx 500,000 visitors per year, resulting in significant economic spinoff for the local and regional area (ie 70% or more of local business sales is from Lake Mazinaw’s traffic, according to interviews with local businesses). Visitors and seasonal residents spend a minimum of $50-$150 per visit, equating to $25M-$75M in regional economic spinoffs. Ensuring positive Lake health is vital for continued economic vitality of local businesses.
     
  • NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE OF CANADA (NHSC): Mazinaw's NHSC (the pictographs) is accessible only by water which is becoming blocked by the EM invasive species. Therefore, its critical that EM is managed so that access to the NHSC is maintained not only for the benefit of the general public but more importantly, for indigenous peoples who have deeply spiritual and sacred ties to the Lake.
     
  • IMPACT ON BON ECHO PROVINCIAL PARK: BonEcho Provincial Park is co-located with the above noted NHSC on Lake Mazinaw. The Park is attended by approx 250,000 regional visitors per year. EM invasive species threatens the Park’s water recreation and navigation due to the dense mats of EM interfering with the park’s water based activities such as canoeing, paddleboarding, kayaking and swimming, including the 50 year old swim lesson program.
     
  • HIGH GROWTH RATE: the EM growth rate is extremely aggressive. Local visual observations indicate a doubling growth rate since 2019. Mazinaw's current infestation is 15 hectares, or 5% of the habitable area (water that is 20 ft or less), as verified by our orthomosaic and visual mapping completed last year.  However, said 5% coverage will increase to 65% in only 8 years, based on the experience of other Ontario Lakes. The more EM there is, the more costly it is to treat.
     
  • MOSQUITO AND ALGAE BLOOMS: Dense floating EM vegetation becomes prime breeding habitat for mosquitoes. And sudden nutrient release caused by late-season die-back of extensive plant beds fosters algae blooms.
     
  • LOST BIODIVERSITY and ECOSYSTEM DAMAGES: EM causes native vegetation suffocation and blocks sunlight from reaching other aquatic species; fish spawning grounds become overcrowded and inaccessible, and biodiversity is lost.
     
  • REDUCED DISSOLVED OXYGEN AND PHOSPHORUS: Stagnant oxygen-depleted conditions are often found in association with dense beds of EM. The annual decomposition of aquatic weeds leads to higher phosphorus. In turn phosphorus feeds the weeds the following year. This vicious cycle diminishes the health of the lake, in particular the lowering of dissolved oxygen. This environmental indicator cycle has a negative impact on cold water species such as Lake Trout. By managing EM, we can better manage the phosphorus levels which in turn will slow the aging of the lake from Oligotrophic status to Mesotrophic.

2.2 Eurasian Milfoil Mapping Results

The MPOA Board embarked on an orthomosaic surveying and mapping exercise to understand and quantify all locations of Eurasian Milfoil on the Lake. In summary, our findings conclude that, as of the date of the survey (Q4 2023), there is approximately 15 hectares of Eurasian Milfoil interspersed throughout the Lake. This area represents 5% of the habitable area (shoreline of 20 feet or less). However, based on the experiences of other Lakes, we can expect 65% coverage in only 8 years. The two largest colonies are located at Brown's Camp and in front of the BonEcho Park beach.

map

Click here to download the map depicting the locations from our website.

There are yellow markers in place to delineate the areas. We ask all forms of traffic to stay clear of the yellow markers.

2.3 Eurasian Milfoil Management Plan

The goal of the Eurasian Milfoil Management Plan is to minimize the spread and maintain control over this devastating invasive species; and help prevent it from further entering the downstream lakes and wetland areas that Mazinaw Lake feeds into throughout the Mississippi Valley Watershed, via the following action plan:

Spring/Summer 2023 (completed)

  • Developed the draft Eurasian Milfoil Action Plan and an implementation model, communicated in the MPOA newsletter, the AGM and beyond
  • Researched treatment options
  • Participated in FOCA Isample programs
  • Spoke before Council re EM issues and requested support
  • Advanced orthomosaic mapping to confirm all locations and quantify areas of EM
  • Arranged 3 diver assisted EM removal days to better understand how much EM could be removed by diver hand pulling methods
  • Applied for $200K grant at the end of July 2023 (not successful)
  • Investigated fundraising by donation options via the township
  • Installed new land signs re Notice of Invasive species and water markers
  • Executed significant communication efforts by emails, flyers, social media, land and water signs etc
  • Updated the website with key information

Fall 2023/Winter 2024

  • Finalized mapping
  • Applied to or researched several Grants
  • Obtained the Blue Lakes Designation
  • Advanced ongoing investigation of improved makers to delineate milfoil
  • Formation of Grant and Fundraising Committee (underway)
  • Monitoring of emerging EM research
  • Preparation of the Spring Newsletter re Milfoil

Spring/Summer 2024

  • Obtained quote for best treatment option on the market
  • Received Board approval to form a Grant and Fundraising Committee
  • Re-install markers
  • Continuation of the above noted on-going actions to manage EM

We are always looking for volunteers so please reach out if interested mazlakesteward@gmail.com or communications@lakemazinaw.com. Special thanks to all of the volunteers who contributed last year. We look forward to continuing the hard work to date!

Hilary Vaillancourt
Lake Steward, MPOA; Founder and Chair of the Mazinaw Blue Lakes Committee
mazlakesteward@gmail.com


Membership Update

By Samantha Shannon

***JOIN BY JULY 1ST FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A PARKS ONTARIO ANNUAL PASS OR ONE OF SIX $20 GIFT CERTIFICATES FOR SMART'S MARINA! ***

After a very successful 2022 membership year with the publication of the lake directory driving high membership numbers, 2023 saw a drop in membership for a total of 138. This is 36% of the 382 properties in the lake directory - a drop from the previous year's 58%. Membership dues allow the MPOA to put resources towards the health of our lake, as well as boost quality of life & community for us all - a very worthwhile cause!

Hopefully 2024 will see a resurgence of cottagers joining or renewing their membership, especially as we have some exciting news for those who do: all members with dues paid by July 1st will be entered to win a Parks Ontario annual pass graciously donated to us by Bon Echo Provincial Park! This enables the lucky winner to visit not just Bon Echo, but all Ontario Parks for the entire year. You will also have a chance to win one of six $20 Gift Certificates from Smart's Marina. 

The majority of dues are paid by e-transfer as this is our preferred method, but some payments are made by cash (and a few by cheque), usually handed in at Smart's Marina. For an e-transfer, please send it to treasurer@lakemazinaw.ca with the cottage address and member's name in the notes section.

The cost of membership remains $20. Again, please make sure to join by the July 1st due date for the opportunity to win a Parks Ontario pass or Smart's Marina Gift Certificate. We look forward to a wonderful 2024 season with you!

 


 

North Frontenac Strategic Plan Update

In the Fall of 2023, through consultation with residents and key stakeholders,  the Township of North Frontenac worked toward the development of a Strategic Plan providing a roadmap of the key focus areas over the next four years. The North Frontenac Lake Association Alliance appointed key representatives for cottage owners to participate in the planning and development sessions. Important topics such as septic tank inspections were top of the priority list. More recently, the Township announced the formation of an Environmental Task Force to further their mandate. Additional details on the Strategic Plan can be found here.


Bon Echo Provincial Park Update

By Clark Richards, Superintendent

 

At Bon Echo Provincial Park we believe life is better the minute we go outside on an adventure, big or small. We learn about ourselves, each other, the environment, and cultural history every time we get out, especially on Mazinaw Lake. An experience here allows us to discover and enjoy, and compels us to value and protect these rich natural and cultural resources forever. More than anything, we’re convinced that if we inspire more people to get outside, the world will be a better place. As we welcome the 2024 summer season on Mazinaw Lake, we are pleased to share some messaging and updates at Bon Echo Provincial Park that will help us all connect with this special water way and protected area.

 

Indigenous Sacred Site: Mazinaw Rock

As many of you know, Mazinaw Rock holds profound cultural and ecological significance. It is home to a sensitive ecological community of rare and at-risk species, and the largest collection of Indigenous pictographs in Southeastern Ontario. Over 260 pictographs depict stories of rich culture and history. For Indigenous peoples, the Mazinaw Rock is a deeply spiritual and sacred place. The site was recognized as a national historic site in 1982.

 

In honour of all people, past, present, and future; please respect Mazinaw Rock and all that lives and grows here. You can help protect this sacred site by enjoying the landscape respectfully and responsibly; never touch a pictograph with your hands or another object, and never damage or remove any part of a natural object.

 

Healthy Parks, Healthy People

Across the Province on July 19, 2024 Ontario Parks is organizing Health Parks Healthy People day. The aim of this day is to promote and celebrate the link between a healthy environment and a healthy society. To celebrate at Bon Echo, join instructor Ro from WildRoga for an invigorating session of yoga on the beach for all experience levels. Day-use access and all programing is free. For details on this event and a variety of other special events and programs in 2024, please refer to the events page under Bon Echo at https://www.ontarioparks.com/park/bonecho/events.

 

Festival of the Arts

The Friends of Bon Echo Park will be hosting the Festival of Arts on July 19-20, 2024 at Main Beach. Attendees will enjoy a variety of regional Canadian nature, wildlife and countryside artwork with a BBQ lunch, and children’s activities. Those who are on Mazinaw Lake are welcome to access Main Beach by boat outside of the designated swimming area for free. The Friends of Bon Echo Park volunteers play an integral role in helping to protect the park’s natural and cultural resources, and facilitate exceptional visitor experiences. Please contact the Friends of Bon Echo Park to learn about exciting volunteer opportunities and new initiatives at https://www.bonechofriends.ca/

 

As we approach a new summer season, it is important we take a moment to recognize the tremendous leadership and member efforts of the Mazinaw Blue Lakes Committee as part of the Mazinaw Lake Property Owners Association. Receiving a Blue Lake designation is a significant environmental certification milestone and will establish key targets to help maintain the health of this special water system. We can all look forward to collaborating and observing the positive impacts for future generations on Mazinaw Lake.

Have an enjoyable summer season. We look forward to seeing you in the park.


 

Volunteer Corner

By Amy Fraser

The MPOA is always seeking volunteers. The Board of Directors will be seeking several new members at the AGM in July as well as filling roles on subcommittees in support of Board activities. Please reach out for additional information if you may be interested in the vacant Board roles, or in volunteering in general.   Email communications@lakemazinaw.ca to learn more about each role.

Board of Directors

By Amy Fraser

President....................................................Amy Fraser

Vice President ...........................................Vern Haggerty (pending vote at AGM)

Treasurer ...................................................Gillian Van Kempen

Secretary....................................................Vacant

Membership Director..................................Ian Philips (outgoing), Samantha Shannon (incoming)

Communications Director ...….........……...... Laura Lee

Webmaster ...…......…………………...…….............Lisa Johnson

Lake Steward.............................................Hilary Vaillancourt

FOCA Representative ................................Vacant

NFLAA Representative ..............................Amy Fraser

Your input to the board and membership in the MPOA is valuable.  Should you have any issues that you feel the MPOA should address, please communicate these to communications@lakemazinaw.ca.

Stay safe and enjoy the coming of spring.

Sincerely,

Amy Fraser
President, MPOA

P.S. Don't forget to renew your membership by July 1st and attend our AGM July 6th! 

Please visit our Website and Facebook Page for more information about our lake.

MPOA logo

Please visit our local sponsors:

Best Buy

Quinte Docks

Greenshield

 

Smarts Marina

 

Hunters Creek

kota grills

custom cover ups

Diana Walker Royal Lepage

Roń Nowell Construction

Bon Echo's Edge

Exit Real Estate

Pest Control

Lisa Johnson Mazinaw Paintings
Red Bridge