Lake Keepers move ahead to protect city's treasure

By Dennis Box, The Courier-Herald

Members of the Lake Bonney Conservation Association have been busy filing legal documents, gathering information and holding meetings, intent on determining how to best protect and manage their lake.

The Association, which also goes by the name Lake Keepers, is filing the necessary paperwork with the state to be recognized as a nonprofit corporation.

A group of neighbors and concerned citizens formed the Lake Bonney Conservation Association during the last three months in an effort to preserve and improve the water quality of Lake Bonney.

The incident that brought the group together was the repaving project around Lake Bonney. The oil runoff from repaving highlighted the problem of storm water flowing unfiltered into the lake.

Sharilyn Anderson said representatives of the association met recently with BiJay Adams, lake protection manager of the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District. Liberty Lake is located east of Spokane, near the Idaho border.

Adams spoke to a group of 19 at the Public Safety Building on various techniques for monitoring the health of Lake Bonney. "He suggested we consider buying a Minisonde, which will monitor the water, tell the temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH level," Anderson said. "It's a wonderful tool any city of any size should own."

Association members also met with Isabel Ragland, a board member of the Washington Lake Protection Association and who works for the Pierce County Conservation District.

"She suggested a local agreement with Bonney Lake and the Pierce County Conservation District," Anderson said. "I presented that to the (Bonney Lake) City Council and I hope they will explore that."

The Pierce County Conservation District is an organization that helps landowners and cities protect and conserve its resources.

Ragland gave the group tips for monitoring the health of the lake, including purchasing a Secchi disc which measures the clarity of the water.

The association has drawn up an initial plan of attack to preserve the quality of Lake Bonney.

"The first line of defense to get the water cleaner is to deal with the problem of storm water runoff," Anderson said. "That will involve filtering and putting in swales to filter water through natural vegetation. Education for everyone on how to be a good steward is another component."

Anderson met with City Engineer John Woodcock and presented information the group has gathered. She also brought the information to the Jan. 13 city council meeting.

"I know the mayor and the city council are behind these efforts to do the right thing," Anderson said.

The first official meeting of the Lake Bonney Conservation Association will be at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Bonney Lake Library.

"We're inviting all members of the community to join us to discuss where we are at and what we intend for the future," Dana McCauley said. McCauley is one of the founders of the association, along with Sue Elsey and Sharon Steele.

Another meeting is planned for March 2, to consider board elections.

For more information on the Lake Bonney Conservation Association, contact McCauley at 253-863-6190.

Dennis Box can be reached at

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