QLIA Annual Picnic — Celebrating our Mission and our Neighbors

Saturday, August 24, 2019 will long be remembered by many QLIA members and guests as a highlight on their 2019 social calendar. Thanks to the boundless energy and skillful attention to detail of QLIA Secretary and Social Events Coordinator, Jane Precht, we all enjoyed one of the finest picnic socials in QLIA history.

We could not have asked for a nicer day in the North Woods — mostly sunny, lower 70s, light breeze, and virtually no bugs! Nor could we have asked for a better setting than the beautiful grounds of Boulder Lodge on Ghost Lake, where “the green, dark forest was too silent to be real” (lyrical quote from Gordon Lightfoot’s Canadian Railroad Trilogy). Once again, QLIA members Terry and Michelle Conroy served as our gracious hosts, providing the ideal venue for relaxing, catching up with neighbors, and learning a thing or two about QLIA projects.

Boulder Lodge Co-Owner Michelle Conroy sells raffle tickets to raise funds for our partner in conservation — the Quiet Lakes Tourism Association. In the background, QLIA President Dave Neuswanger buys tickets for QLIA’s 50/50 raffle while his post-retirement supervisor, Sandy Neuswanger (teal-blue T-shirt), explains Eco-Harvester operations to curious onlookers.
The event attracted as many as 75 people at any one time, most of them QLIA members.
A few invited guests joined us in order to get a first-hand look at the Eco-Harvester aquatic plant puller purchased by QLIA last winter and placed on display by the “Green Point Gang” — a group of friends and neighbors who live on or near Green Point on Lost Land Lake that has demonstrated extraordinary initiative in making maximum use of the Eco-Harvester.
Event Coordinator Jane Precht and her husband, Tom, made this excellent poster to explain the purpose, results, and cost of Eco-Harvester operations.
Select members of the “Green Point Gang” who have been instrumental in operating the Eco-Harvester, demonstrating its features, and welcoming everyone to the picnic to support QLIA projects. QLIA Treasurer LouAnn Phelps (second from left) supervised the cash flow as her husband, Eco-Harvester Lead Operator Kim Phelps, displays his raffle tickets.
Kim Phelps found the ideal trailer for hauling and dumping invasive Hybrid Eurasian Water Milfoil at the old landfill site on Trappe Road. QLIA now has all the equipment needed to effectively control this invasive aquatic plant.
QLIA Vice-President Norm Bratteig outfitted the Eco-Harvester upon delivery, provided free off-season storage, and pioneered our HEWM removal efforts while training Kim Phelps to serve as Lead Operator. Norm also grills a mean burger!
As usual, lack of food was NOT a problem! Many members brought wonderful side dishes to accompany Norm’s brats and burgers, making for an outdoor smorgasbord second to none!
Throughout the afternoon, “Off The Hook” provided live entertainment in the form of 70s-era folk-rock and country-rock music. QLIA Water Quality Program Leader Bryan Neuswanger is on bass guitar, and QLIA President (a.k.a. Bryan’s Dad) Dave Neuswanger is on acoustic guitar and vocals. Dave and Bryan often can be heard performing at Boulder Lodge on Saturday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. (no cover charge).

Safe to say that a good time was had by all. The 50/50 raffle was beyond successful. QLIA’s official share of the proceeds was $290, but that was increased when the winner — a guest from Round Lake — donated $90 of her winnings back to our Eco-Harvester operations fund before donating the remaining $200 to HER lake association to fight invasive Curly-leaf pondweed there. What a gracious way to ensure a win-win outcome for all!

And here is the lady we have to thank for making this such a memorable event — our new QLIA Secretary (since July 2019) and Social Events Coordinator, Jane Precht. When you see Jane, please THANK her for an afternoon we can all remember!