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The Green Lake Association (GLA) recently recognized three local lake leaders as part of its Watershed Hero Awards program. The program, which started in 2019, resumed in 2021 after a brief pause last year.

The Watershed Hero Awards program aims to recognize community leaders dedicated to protecting Big Green Lake. The GLA awards lake champions in three different categories: an individual, an organization and a farmer.

During the 2021 Shine A Light Celebration, held Aug. 7, the GLA announced this year’s awardees as Mary Jane Bumby, the Green Lake Sanitary District and Pollack-Vu Dairy.

Watershed Hero Awardee, Individual: Mary Jane Bumby

Mary Jane Bumby is one of Wisconsin’s longest-serving citizen scientists. In 1971, she completed her master’s degree by replicating an aquatic plant study in Green Lake, and recently funded the 100-year anniversary repeat of the original 1921 study.

At 90 years old, Bumby continues to be a lake-champion, regularly measuring various water quality parameters and communicating her findings with the GLA. When asked what inspires her to care for Green Lake, she stated without hesitation, “Green Lake is my life; it’s my home.”

Watershed Hero Organization: Green Lake Sanitary District

The Green Lake Sanitary District (GLSD) is greatly invested in Green Lake’s water quality as an organization. Time and again, it proves it is willing to roll up its sleeves and step up to meet the needs of our beloved lake.

GLSD manages the weed harvester, stocks lake trout, conducts water quality sampling, and invests in soil health programs and best-management practices — all for Big Green Lake.

“The Green Lake Sanitary District is a model in the state of Wisconsin on how sanitary districts can step up to protect water resources,” GLA Executive Director Stephanie Prellwitz said during the Shine a Light video premier.

Watershed Hero, Farmer: Chris Pollack

Chris Pollack is a fourth-generation farm owner located in Ripon within the Green Lake watershed. Chris and his wife, Kelly, along with his parents, Larry and Deb, are owners of Pollack-Vu Dairy, LLC.

Pollack-Vu Dairy, LLC is also a demonstration farm in the watershed as part of the Upper Fox-Wolf Demonstration Farm Network. Chris is an amazing leader in the community with a dedicated focus on practices that will benefit Green Lake. From low disturbance manure injection to grazing, cover crops and interseeding cover crops, he continues to demonstrate his willingness to try innovative agricultural practices, and learn and share his success with other farmers.

The GLA would like to extend a huge thank you to these three watershed heroes, and everyone who works on behalf of caring for the lake at the heart of the community.

If anyone would like to submit a nomination to be considered for the 2022 watershed hero awards, email the GLA at info@greenlakeassociation.org.

Jennifer Fjelsted is the communication and project manager for the Green Lake Association, a local not-for-profit that works to improve water quality for Green Lake.

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