This year’s Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance Youth Conservation Corps crew is off to an amazing start, having completed 14 out of 20 scheduled projects for lake front homeowners including the installation of 85 technical proceedures called Best Management Practices (BMPs) as of July 30. As a result of their hard work, the crew has prevented an estimated 55 tons of soil carrying 46 pounds of phosphorus, from entering lakes in Acton, Maine and Wakefield, New Hampshire. Phosphorus pollution is measured in parts per billion which indicates that this is a very significant accomplishment.
For the past three years local businesses have been solicited to sponsor the YCC and AWWA is proud to publicize these businesses and ask local residents to patronize them. These are the businesses who have pitched in for theYCC Crew of Summer 2012:
- Benefactor: Great East Docks and Raise-A-Dock.
- Patron: Crowell’s Towing and Repair, Dayton Sand and Gravel, and Real Estate 2000.
- Donor: Assets Realty, Dunn Deal, Hayes Real Estate, Lakes Region Septic Service, Profile Bank, Randall’s Landscaping Supplies, Seven Lakes Provisions, and Seven Lakes Real Estate.
- Additional funds were provided by Key Day Construction, Sharper Image Salon and many individuals.
As a result of the work of AWWA, local youth are offered meaningful employment during their summer vacation, which gives them valuable work experience and sometimes influences their career choices as they graduate from high school and head to college. Assistant Crew Leader Jordan Shepherd has recently been accepted into the Environmental Sciences Department at New Hampshire Technical Institute, and Sam Wilson, with AWWA since its inception in 2006, has graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Environmental Sciences.
The crew is under the direction of Program Manager, Dustin Johnson, and veteran crew leaders Anthony Stanton and Sam Wilson who have been with the YCC for 6 years. Sam characterizes this Summer’s crew as being “Real hard working, dedicated, and cruising through the schedule.” Returning Assistant Crew Leader Jordan Shepherd is joined by newcomers Samantha Wooster, Ryan Nichols, Brandon Stanton and Jimmy Polsinetti. Samantha said that her work on lake fronts has taught her that “…one rubber razor can make a big difference…” in water quality. Jimmy agrees and said he’s “…learned that simple things can save the water.” Ryan has had a fun summer and feels “It’s all important.” The hardest part of their work he states is “Pushing wheelbarrows uphill,” to which Brandon added, “And carrying buckets full of rocks!” The consensus of all is that they are having a fun-packed learning experience.
This program was started in 2006 by a group of Great East Lake homeowners who were concerned about maintaining the high quality of water in their lake. They learned that storm water erosion is the primary polluter of our region’s recreational and drinking waters and decided to organize with other lake groups to address this issue in the lakes of the Acton-Wakefield area. The AWWA lakes include the headwaters for the Salmon Falls River and feeders to the Saco River. The Acton-Shapleigh YCC covers the lakes flowing to the Mousam River.
AWWA has received four two-year Watershed Assistance Grants from the NH Department of Environmental Services with Clean Water Act Section 319 funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 2012, AWWA, in collaboration with the York County Soil and Water Conservation District and local Road Associations on Great East Lake and Wilson Lake (Eagle, Hawk and Langley Shores Roads) has obtained a 319 Clean Waters Grant from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. TheYCC is especially targeting sites on these lakes and homeowners are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to obtain a Technical Assistance Plan and become Project Hosts. Call Dustin Johnson at 603-473-2500 to learn more.
Community members are invited to join a tour of some of the projects completed by the YCCthis summer. On Friday, August 17 at 9:00 AM, AWWA will hold its Annual Meeting at the Wakefield Opera House in Town Hall. A short business meeting will be followed by the tour which will include visits to the sites and offer an opportunity to meet the crew and hear, in their own words, how they constructed the BMPs and how their work benefits every homeowner in the towns of Wakefield and Acton.