September 2022 Monthly Update

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BDLIA Annual Meeting

The Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association (BDLIA) Annual Meeting was held at the Randolph Community Library on Saturday, August 27.

BDLIA Board of Director’s (BOD’s) President Karen Huber started out the meeting welcoming everyone and informing the 41 attendees of BDLIA’s updated mission statement and vision statement.  Karen also introduced BDLIA’s four major pillars (1-Projects & Grants, 2-Community Engagement, 3-Essential Activities, 4-Fundraising & Volunteer Engagement).

Projects and Grants is where all partners--BDLIA, Beaver Dam Lake District (BDLD), Lake Development Corporation (LDC), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), etc.--come together within the Lake Management Committee to improve water quality, fishery, and wildlife habitat.  Currently there are four current projects (Pillar 1) - Rakes Bay Planning Grant (BDLIA), Puckagee Springs Restoration (BDLIA), Walleye Stocking (WDNR), and Fishery Study (BDLD).  Vice President and Lake Management Committee Chair Bill Foley updated the group on these projects.  He provided an overview of the water sampling, restoration of shoreline and habitat, upland runoff, and the walleye in/carp out project.

For Pillar 2-Community Engagement, BOD member and Activities & Events Committee Chair Alan Mannel informed the attendees about the main events BDLIA holds annually - Great Beaver Paddle Fest, Fish n’ Fun, and pontoon rides and the Cardboard Boat Regatta at the Best Dam Fest.

Pillar 3-Essential Activities include administrative, equipment and maintenance, and lake maintenance.  BOD Secretary/Treasurer and Finance Committee and Building & Property Committee Chair Isaac Pentinmaki provided the administrative-financials annual budget report and talked about BDLIA’s equipment (shed, pontoon, small & large jon boats, ATV) and the equipment’s preventive maintenance.  He also discussed buoys, aeration, boat landing signage, and launch fee collections.

Karen also introduced Pillar 4-Fundraising, Volunteers, and Member Engagement.  It was a good year for fundraising, and we started a fund at the Beaver Dam Area Community Foundation.

Outgoing BOD member and Volunteer Management Committee Chair Susan Blachowiak Baloun talked about volunteer engagement.  BDLIA is a volunteer led group, and there are many volunteer opportunities.  Susan will continue to share information on the BDLIA Facebook page as she has done in the past.

BOD Member and Membership Committee Chair Mike Piotrowski explained the need for members to provide their email addresses.  Communications with our membership is done mainly through emails.  There is usually a monthly update and additional email announcements when necessary.  Membership payments and donations can be made online.  The website is updated as time allows.  Online registrations are also now possible with our Association Management Software. 

By-law changes to support our updated strategy were presented and approved.       

Nominations and elections were held for the five BOD positions available.  Susan Blachowiak Baloun decided not to run for re-election.  Her service on the BOD was greatly appreciated, and we are pleased she will continue to be an active member and volunteer!  Karen Huber, Pete Hupf, and Mike Piotrowski agreed to serve on the BOD for another two years.  Jennifer Duke was nominated and approved with the other three current BOD members.  

Karen presented “From Glaciers to Glacial Habitat” and continued the discussion after the annual meeting at the junction of County Highway CC and the Canadian Pacific Railway.  This is the final piece of the Rakes Bay Planning Grant.

It is great to see the interest in Beaver Dam Lake and the Association!  Let us know if you have any questions.

September Song

by Carolyn Aita

The late summer garden is a landscape in transition, full of endings and beginnings.  The every-color high summer garden has given way to yellow-orange, imitating the sun from rise to high noon to set.  The Susans and their friends1 are abundant, punctuated by occasional spikes of bright red cardinal flowers that are finishing for the season to the hummers’ regrets (A).  In contrast, gentle pink-lavender blooms of native purple cones, Joe Pye weed, Japanese anemones, and mistflowers give us a rest from the sunny eye candy (B).  The harsher purple blooms of autumn’s hardy asters are still a few weeks away.

Pollinators abound in our late summer garden.  Bumble bees that will become next year’s queens, called gynes, forage in anticipation of soon leaving their birth nest to hibernate alone.  Unlike queen and worker honeybees that can live for several years, only the gynes in a bumble bee colony winter-over.  Gynes are easy to spot in the late summer garden because of their large size.  Just look at this lovely red-belted gal (Bombus rufocinctus) on Joe Pye weed (C).  It’s the first year that we’ve seen this uncommon bumble bee in our garden.  We know that she is a gyne because she is so much larger than the workers and males, or drones, of this species.  She is likely to have already mated and her partner has died (Nasty factoid: to be delicate, drone anatomy is destroyed during the mating process.)  Widowed and pregnant, she carries all that is needed to start next year’s colony within her fluffy self when she emerges in the spring.

Many other species of native bees forage in our late summer garden.  Metallic green sweat bees (D) love our false sunflowers and other open daisy-like blossoms whose nectar and pollen are accessible to the bees’ short tongues.  Work out in the garden, get up a sweat, and one of these metallic creatures might alight on your arm for a lick of salt.  No cause for alarm, they are gentle; the boys can’t sting and the girls usually won’t unless threatened.  So let her do her thing, don’t swat, gently brush her off if you must, and away she will go, happy with the gift you have given her.

Hover (AKA flower or syrphid) flies and blow flies are common pollinators in our late summer garden.  We encourage hover flies because their young eat aphids.  Blow flies appear without any encouragement.  (I’d rather not think about the dining habits of young blow flies, RE: necrophilia)  We’ve noticed that blow flies love fennel.  They forage in fennel blossoms (E), and when I’m out in the garden at dawn with that first cup of coffee, I often see them sleeping upside down on fennel stems.

An American goldfinch (F) sits atop a stand of orange coneflowers munching its seeds that have ripened in the late summer sun.  A close look reveals that subtle changes in his mating plumage of high summer have begun.  He is molting.  Over the next few weeks his bright feathers will be replaced by a drab winter plumage.  Consider this lovely bird to be a metaphor for changes in our landscape with the approaching new season:  our garden’s September song. 


Photos by Mike and Carolyn Aita

1 Black-eyed, sweet black-eyed, and brown-eyed Susan.  Cutleaf, yellow, and orange coneflower, False, western, and woodland sunflower.  These nine species bring the colors of the sun to our garden.

BDLIA Mission Statement

We strive to engage the community in recreational activities; generate long-term

restoration projects working with like-minded, but diverse partners; and educate

the community on improving the quality of Beaver Dam Lake.

BDLIA Vision Statement

We envision a clean, restored, resilient Beaver Dam Lake with

gorgeous sunsets, recreational activities, and abundant wildlife for future generations.

Donate to BDLIA

Email us at or call us at (920) 356-1200. 

More information can be found on our website at

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