Letter to the Editor

January 13th, 2017

Today as I was backing my new car out of my driveway to bring my son to school, I turned to look over my shoulder.  He promptly informed me that I no longer needed to do that because we have a backup camera.  I snarkly replied “old habits die hard!”  He asked me what I meant.  I said “when you are used to doing something one way, it can be difficult to change direction and try something new.”

Over the past four years I have met many of you to discuss the continued problems facing Lake Champlain, I have attended numerous conferences, spoken at selectboard meetings, organized meetings, events, and tours, walked the fields with our farmers, and put practices on the ground.  We have partnered, presented to our legislators, joined hands and shouted “ALL IN!”

The complexity of issues, relationships, and systems has been a large part of my work during my tenure with the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of this adaptable, grassroots organization.

The fact of the matter is that, we do all need to be in to address water quality in our state, We can no longer just profess our desire to be stewards of our watersheds, we need to actually become the stewards and change our old habits.  Of course, as we all know, this is easier said than done.

What I have learned from all of you, however, is that when we work together, strive for knowledge, compassion, and kindness, and have the courage to take personal responsibility – we can make progress!

I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to serve this community, our Lake, our environment and our watershed(s).  I want to thank ALL of you all for sharing your expertise, your passion for Lake Champlain, and your confidence in my abilities to lead this extremely special organization.



Denise Smith

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