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.

Our History



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.

Annual Meeting promotes safe boating

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~ TOWN MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC RAMP: In 1990 petitioning the Sutton Board of Selectman, secured local town management of the state-owned public access ramp. Today, annually and more as needed, meet with Town Management, Highway Superintendent and Chief of Police advocating for weekend attendant,  closure with "full" parking lot, police patrols at ramp and on-lake, and for upgrades to address water quality.

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.

Ongoing ~ BOATING COURSE: Promote Mass Environmental Police Boating Safety Course and other safe boating rules and regulations.




Water Quality

NEW! ~2021-24 ~ EPA/DEP  S. 319 NPS POLLUTION GRANT AWARD: Secured a THIRD s.319 Non-Point Source Pollution Grant Award of $265,190 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)  to implement a combination of structural roadside BMPs in Douglas and Sutton and at the public boat ramp and to conduct educational and technical outreach to Hobby Farms to improve water quality within the watershed. With a match of time from volunteers and Sutton Highway Department staff, the total grant project tops $442,846.

NEW! ~ WATERSHED STREAM TEAM and TESTING LAB: With primary and secondary sampling sites identified by CEI engineer during our 2020 Watershed Survey, 10 streams are sampled and tested for coliform and e. coli bacteria beginning in 2023. Depending on flow, streams may also be tested for phosphorus, nitrates, dissolved oxygen,  and more in alliance with the Blackstone River Coalition effort.

Ongoing ~ WCMC ALGAE/CYANOBACTERIA MONITORING & TESTING: In 2021,  joined the Worcester Cyanobacteria Monitoring Collaborative, with Manchaug Pond being one of approximately 25 lakes sampled twice a month monitoring for algae and harmful cyanobacteria.

Ongoing ~ ON-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.

As part of the Blackstone River Coalition Watershed-Wide Volunteer Water Quality Testing with over a decade of data, we assist in providing volunteers to test at the lake inlet, outlet and flow from Pond#2 (Hotel Pond) 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 threats to water quality.


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.

Watershed Conservation/Protection

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 educational opportunities through the public scenic overlook viewing area and working horse stable.

2023 ~ USDA NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE RCPP GRANT: Secured $26,695 in funding for the elimination of invasive species on the watershed conservation property.

2022 ~ MassDCR STEWARDSHIP GRANT: Secured $1,612.00 funding for a Forest Stewardship Plan for the conservation land. With the protection of our water resources as the primary goal, this will include a survey of the property identifying valuable features for protection, recommendations for enhancment and needs to address, location of property boundries, and special habitat areas which identified .

2015  ~   PRIVATE FOUNDATION GRANT: Secured $2,000 in funding for the purchase of landscape maintenance equipment for use in the upkeep of our conservation property.

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 approximately 1,000 ft of forested shoreline, two ponds, springs and streams, wetlands, endangered species priority habitat 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.

Our Methods

Advocacy, Alliances, & Partnerships

Community Building

Science & Research,

Fundraising, Grants & Special Donations

Volunteer Action

Our Board of Directors

Currently, 13 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 during the months of January, March, May, June, July, Aug, Sept., Nov. and as needed
  • Officers are elected by the Board of Directors: President,  Vice President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, Membership Secretary, and Communication Secretary


Our Financials

The most recent year-end financial information is presented to the members at the Annual Meeting.  A  budget for the upcoming year is approved at this time.

Our financials, IRS Form 990 and as a Public Charity, are available at and/or with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Currently serving a two year term ~ Officers 2023-2025 and Directors 2022-24:


Phyllis Charpentier, President

Rae Johnson, Vice President

Myrna Giberson, Treasurer

Laura Burgess, Recording Secretary

David Schwenke, Membership Secretary

(NEW! Open!), Communication Secretary


Area 1: Paul Eklund

Area 2: William Cosenza

Marty Jo Henry

Area 3: Phyllis Charpentier

Myrna Giberson

Area 4: (vacant)

Area 5: David Schmidt

Area 6: Laura Burgess

Rae Johnson

Pamela Nydam

Area 7: Joan McCowan

Linda Nunes

Brett Swenson

At Large:  David Schwenke

Mailing address:

Manchaug Pond Foundation

P.O.Box 154 Manchaug, MA 01526-0154

Web address:

Committees & Teams:


  • Nominating Committee
  • Public Access & Safe Boating
    • Boat Ramp
    • Buoy/Channel Marker Crew
    • Vessel Safety Check Event
  • Dam & Waterlevel
  • Events & Fundraising
  • Social Media & Newsletter


  • Public Events
    • April Spring & October Fall Cleanups
    • June Vessel Safety Check
  • Lighting of the Shoreline ~ Eves of 4th of July & Labor Day
  • October~The Dam Race 5K Run, 3K Health Walk
  • King's Family Campground Raffle benefiting Manchaug Pond Foundation
  • For the Members
    • June Social/Volunteer Open House
    • August Annual Business Meeting


  • Water Quality Monitoring & Testing
    • Field Teams
      • Aquatic Plant Survey
      • Blackstone River Coalition
      • On-lake
      • Stream
      • Worcester Cyanobacteria Monitoring Collaborative
    • Lab

    • Conservation of the Lake and Watershed
    • Property Deeds Held
      • Lake Flow-Rights Douglas & Sutton
      • Beaton Farm & Overlook
        • 75 acres of watershed in Sutton
        • 25 acres of watershed in Douglas
        • Core & Critical Landscapes
        • Endangered Species Priority Habitat
    • Phases III s. 319 NonPoint Source Pollution Grant Implementation
    • USDA/NRCS Grant Funding Invasive Control and Forest Habitat Enhancement on Conservation Land
    • Diver-Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH) Program for Invasive Submerged Plants


    Manchaug Pond Foundation Affiliations

    Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions

    Manchaug Pond Foundation Organization

    North American Lake Management Society
    Worcester Cyanobacteria Monitoring Collaborative