Manchaug Pond Foundation
We are the voice of Manchaug Pond:
Coming together in advocacy, education, and action to preserve and enhance Manchaug Pond and its watershed … shoreline and watershed residents and property owners, campers and fishermen, recreational boaters, members, donors, and friends from towns stretching from right here on the lake in Douglas and Sutton to across the country from New England to Florida and as far west as California.
As the Manchaug Pond Foundation, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit conservation public charity, we are dedicated to the preservation and correct use of this 380-acre Manchaug Pond located in the towns of Sutton and Douglas and its 4,288 acre watershed stretching from Oxford, Sutton and Douglas. For over 50 years, the members of the Manchaug Pond Foundation and its predecessor, Manchaug Pond Association continue to serve a leadership role as stewards of the lake and watershed, advocates and educators for its proper use and preservation as part of the Blackstone River system.
These conservation efforts were started in 1967 when some 35 member families owning property bordering the lake formed its parent organization, the Manchaug Pond Association. They came together in an effort over the conservation of land, saving it from further development. Today, 100 member families and countless users and friends meet the needs presented in the 21st century. The Manchaug Pond Foundation’s actions address a variety of issues and concerns, ranging from operation of the dam and preservation of the waterlevel to safe boating and public access, to water quality and invasive species and to watershed conservation.
Our Causes & Recent Accomplishments
Dam & Water Level Preservation
Ongoing ~ PARTNERSHIPS: Working with the Town of Sutton as to the water level and dam needs to ensure public access and safety, flood control, invasive weed and species control, recreation and aesthetics, and healthy fisheries and ecosystems.
2018 ~ WATERLEVEL RULE CURVE: Secured an Order of Conditions from the Sutton Conservation Commission which sets the optimum water level rule curve.
2012 ~ DAM OWNERSHIP: Successfully identified, negotiated, and secured an owner for the Manchaug Pond Dam ensuring the future preservation of Manchaug Pond, a public great pond of the Commonwealth. In August 2012, ownership of the dam was transferred to the Town of Sutton from Interface Global with a $350,000 donation to be held in a dam maintenance fund for future needs.
2010 ~ FLOW RIGHTS: Received the flowage rights to Manchaug Pond in Douglas and Sutton from Interface Global with the deed now held by Manchaug Pond Foundation.
Safe Boating & Public Access
Ongoing ~ VESSEL SAFETY CHECKS: Annual event held at the State Boat Ramp in cooperation with the Worcester County Sail & Power Squadron. A certified examiner and Foundation volunteers provide one-on-one inspection of boats and education of boaters as to equipment needs, rules and regulations, as well as boating and navigating tips.
Ongoing ~ ADVOCATE FOR PATROLS: With the Town of Sutton and the MA Environmental Police, advocate for the education of the many lake visitors through regular patrols of the boat ramp and on lake.
1990 ~ TOWN MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC RAMP: Petitioning the Sutton Board of Selectman, secured town management of the state-owned public access ramp.
NEW! ~ STREAM TEAM and TESTING LAB: Our coordinators have received training and experience in stream sampling, algae/cyanobacteria identification, and testing methods. Primary and secondary sampling sites identified by CEI engineer.
Ongoing ~ IN-LAKE TESTING AND MONITORING: In 2015, renewed and expanded decades-long on-lake water quality testing program which includes testing for water clarity, phosphorus and nitrates.
Ongoing ~ WATERSHED TESTING AND MONITORING As part of the Blackstone River Coalition Watershed-Wide Volunteer Water Quality Testing with over a decade of date, we provide volunteers to test at the lake inlet, outlet and up in the watershed.
Ongoing~ WEED WATCHERS AQUATIC PLANT SURVEY TEAM: The MPF has trained volunteers who annually survey Manchaug Pond in a 47 point grid identifying all submerged aquatic plants (indigenous, native, exotic), monitoring existing plant varieties, tracking size of weed bed growth, watchful for new invasive species, and following up in kayaks and snorkel! For introduced invasive species, early detection, identification and eradication is the goal!
Initial formal training received by DCR Lakes and Ponds Program’s Tom Flannery and Jim Straub and staff from Lycott Environmental.
Ongoing ~ WATERSHED-WIDE CLEANUP EVENTS & SURVEYS: Every spring and fall, a cleanup event is held led by the Board of Directors with members and friends from the greater community cleaning the roadsides, state ramp and shoreline of litter and sources of further contamination.
2019-20 ~ Watershed Survey and Management Plan Development: Final report is in process.
2018, 2017, 2014, 2010, 2003, 1990 ~ AQUATIC VEGETATION SURVEYS: Formal and independent surveys conducted by Solitude/Aquatic Control Technologies/Lycott Environmental to provide professional, outside identification survey of Manchaug Pond and upstream at Aldrich Mill Pond with recommendations and options as needed.
2014-2016 ~ EPA/DEP S. 319 NPS POLLUTION GRANT AWARD: Secured a second Non-Point Source Pollution Grant Award of $208,525 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to make water quality improvements within the watershed. This project will result in construction and employment of low-impact structures and will implement stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce stormwater flows and associated nutrients, pathogens, and sediment from entering Manchaug Pond. An education component develops a resource toolbox for teachers, parents, and community outreach to children. To date, MPF members, teachers, homeschoolers, and environmental educators are working together to develop the toolbox.
2007-10 ~ EPA/DEP S. 319 NPS POLLUTION GRANT AWARD: Secured and completed our first Non-Point Source Pollution Improvement Grant Award of $219,370 from EPA and MassDEP. Seven locations of pollution were addressed with the implementation of stormwater BMPs at the public access boat ramp and along private and public roadsides in Douglas and Sutton. An educational component in cooperation with UMASS Amherst’s Mass Aggie Program brought proper horsekeeping and manure management techniques to the dozen horse farms in the area and others throughout the state. Additionally, educators from MassDEP provided alternative approaches to homeowners for lawn and landscape care.
2008 ~ METACOMET LAND TRUST LEADERSHIP AWARD: The Metacomet Land Trust Board of Directors formally recognized the Manchaug Pond Association for leadership shown in contributions protecting Manchaug Pond and its environment through the programs implemented with the securing of an S. 319 Non-point Source Pollution Grant as well as the time and effort contributed by the members in maintaining the health of this vital body of water.
2005 ~ MANCHAUG POND WATERSHED SURVEY FINAL REPORT: A team of volunteers and with environmental engineers from Comprehensive Environmental, Inc. (CEI), surveyed and evaluated potential non-point source pollution sources within the watershed and prioritize Best Management Practices (BMPs) for these sources directed towards protecting the pond and its tributaries from future degradation by pollution sources such as increased sediment, bacteria, and nutrient loading.
Ongoing ~ CONSERVATION: Assist property owners with watershed parcels in the preservation of their lands which contribute to the benefit and health of Manchaug Pond. Donations, grants, partnerships and special needs and priorities are explored and identified.
Ongoing ~ PRESERVATION: Secure donations for the conservation, repair, and improvement of the Beaton Farm property: 100 acres of pasture, forests and water resources contributing to the water quality of Manchaug Pond with a working horse stable and public scenic overlook viewing area.
2015 ~ PRIVATE FOUNDATION GRANT: Secured $2,000 in funding for the purchase of landscape maintenance equipment for use in the upkeep of our conservation properties.
2013 ~ MANCHAUG POND OVERLOOK/BEATON FARM ACQUISITION: 100 acres of prime watershed property saved from development as part of a Chapter 61 acquisition with the town of Sutton and purchase from the owner. The MPF successfully purchased the Beaton Farm property located in Sutton (75 acres) and Douglas (25 acres) preserving forests, fields and farm including 875 ft of forested shoreline, two ponds, springs and streams, wetlands and a vernal pool, as well as the home, barns and working horse stable and arena with a scenic roadside overlook to Manchaug Pond. This acquisition does much to protect the water sources in the western hillside abutting the lake.
Advocacy, Alliances, & Partnerships
Science & Research,
Fundraising, Grants & Special Donations
Our Board of Directors
Currently, 15 directors serve on the Board of Directors from areas around the lake in the towns of Douglas, Sutton and beyond:
- elected by the membership at the Annual Meeting in August.
- serve a 2 year term.
- meet bimonthly and as needed.
- Officers are elected by the Board of Directors: President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Clerk.
Currently serving 2020-22 term:
Our financials, IRS Form 990 and as a Public Charity, are available at Guidestar.org. and/or with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Officers & Directors:
Russell Spain President
Myrna Giberson Treasurer
Marty Jo Henry Clerk
Manchaug Pond Foundation
P.O.Box 154 Manchaug, MA 01526-0154
Committees & Teams:
- Events & Fundraising
- Safe Boating Team
- Social Media & Newsletter
- Water / Conservation
- Aquatic Plant Survey Team
- WQ Field Teams
- WQ Testing Lab
- Watershed Property Conservation
- 100 acres Preserved
- Protect In-flowing Water Resources
- Public Access
- Facility Upkeep
- Endangered Species Priority Habitat Conservation