Paying for the milfoil program

Last year (2006) the Lake Fairlee Association’s milfoil program cost just about $100,000. Of this, $52,000 came from the State of Vermont[1], $11,000 was contributed by the three surrounding towns, and $37,000 was donated to the milfoil effort by a disappointingly small number of our members and friends.

There is another budget figure, one which includes goods and services donated by members and supporters. The State of Vermont allows us to count these “in-kind” donations as part of the “local match” for our Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Project grant. Last year we were able to document dover 1000 hours of volunteer help, valued at over $17,000, including administrative, education, scuba, and hand pulling. Also we counted over $4000 worth of donated services, including use of property for lake access, boats, trailers, and office space.

This year (2007) the State is able to contribute only $35,000[2], which is $16,000 less than last year, a reduction by over 30%. To be able to continue the milfoil program at the same level we will have to raise the difference ourselves, plus a little more to account for the increased price of gasoline and other consumables. This warrants further analysis of how our fundraising works.

Last year the Lake Fairlee Association received $910 in membership dues from approximately 80 members. It raised an additional $37,300 in support of its milfoil eradication program from a slightly smaller number of donors. To be able to continue our work this year at the same level as last year we will have to raise nearly half again as much.

The Association is managed by a small group of dedicated volunteers, who receive no pay. Boardmembers meet monthly through the year. (okay, we lose a few in the winter) We have plenty of room to improve. One of our first goals is better communication with members of our community. We hope to engage a greater number of supporters, volunteers, and donors. If you have any suggestions, or want to help in any way, please email



[1] Each year we apply for a Grant-in-aid from the Department of Environmental Conservation of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

[2] They said that the legislature allocated the same amount this year as last, but that there were many more qualified applicants who received a share of the funds.