August 21 – September 30, 2020Vol. 22, No. 11

Camp Tracy Adopts A Shoreline

Camp Tracy campers learn to identify and help protect the lakes from aquatic plant invaders with 7 Lakes Alliance. The second girl is using an aquascope to peer into the water.

by Laura Rose Day

Camp Tracy, located on McGrath Pond in Oakland, recently adopted about a mile of shoreline, adding to a growing number of landowners in the Belgrade Lakes who have committed to surveying their shorelines for invasive aquatic plants. Adopt-A-Shoreline is a citizen science initiative where 7 Lakes Alliance works with and trains volunteers from the community to survey their shorelines twice each summer, identify invasive aquatic plants, and share their findings with 7 Lakes Alliance.

At Camp Tracy, 7 Lakes Alliance staff shared several outdoor and environmental education lessons about the health of the Belgrade Lakes with campers of all ages. Topics included watersheds and erosion, Atlantic salmon migration, orienteering, and invasive aquatic plants among others.

After learning about invasive aquatic plants, around 30 campers ranging in ages from 9 through 14 paddled kayaks and canoes along their "adopted" shoreline with 7 Lakes Alliance staff. They used aquascopes and plant identification cards to survey over a mile of shoreline for invasive aquatic plants. Happily, no invasive plants were found!

"The campers were awesome and had a blast searching for invasive plants, learning about their lake, and being good lake stewards. We're grateful to Camp Tracy and all of the campers for helping protect the lake!" said Cody Pajic, 7 Lakes Alliance's Adopt-A-Shoreline Coordinator.

Through Adopt-A-Shoreline, future campers will have the opportunity to study and survey for aquatic invaders each summer, learning how to identify variable milfoil and also helping protect the lakes. These young campers will help protect the lake from invaders for years to come!

To learn more about Adopt-A-Shoreline and other ways to stop and prevent invasive plant infestations, visit at 7lakesalliance.org/milfoil or email Cody.