Back to schoolwork for the MLA too!

Back to School/Work – for the MLA too!

Labour Day typically marks the unofficial end of summer. The days are shorter, the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is over, and worst or best of all (depending on whether you are a parent or child), is that summer break is over, school begins and activity on the lakes settles down materially.

That is assuming that we accept that summer ever truly appeared in Muskoka this year.

I write this article from the deck of my cottage on what can only be described as a bizarre Labour Day. The sun shone strong and proud until noon, retreated to allow a strong rain shower that lasted just long enough to wet the outdoor furniture, only to play hide-and-seek for the rest of the day, tempting us to cancel our annual Labour Day cruise to Port Carling. We went and while rains circled all around us and the sky remained a threatening gray, we returned safe and dry. That has been the story of our Muskoka summer.

However unpredictable this summer has been, the MLA stayed committed to our many community events. The long weekend in May brought our much appreciated seedling day. The day was cool, but staff and volunteers, encouraged by visitors, moved our welcome station from sun spot to sun spot, just to stay warm, and members and the public were able to purchase seedlings that will ultimately enhance and protect Muskoka waterfront properties.  In the meantime, more volunteers attended a water quality sampling review process upstairs at the Port Carling Community Centre, and despite the inclement weather, 100+ volunteers eagerly committed to  collect samples, run tests and deliver their results throughout the summer to ensure that our water remains our most valuable asset.

The August long weekend brought the annual Aquatic Regatta. As an avid swimmer who ventured in to the lake once only two or three times this year, (the water was just too cold!), I tilt my proverbial hat to all participants, although that particular weekend we enjoyed spectacular weather. That same weekend brought the annual MLA Sailing Regatta, unfortunately, with minimal wind for good sailboat racing. How ironic! For all of the days that the wind blew and the waters raged throughout the summer, at our regatta, Mother Nature thought it might be funny to allow a beautiful sunny, still and perhaps warmest day of the summer to prevail. Not a great day for the sailors, but, they came and enjoyed, despite imperfect conditions.

The kids are back to school this week, and the MLA is going back too. We have a new president and three new members on the board, to complement our strong team of returning Directors and committee volunteers. Existing philosophies will be maintained, while the committees explore new ideas and directions to be established for our fall and winter work. Our mandate and core values remain the same; however, we look forward to new thoughts and contributions. That will be our homework during the fall of this school year. From deliberations and evaluations, we will establish this year’s direction as all five MLA operating committees will meet in the first 3 weeks of September to set the agenda for the next 9 months.

And we will also be following the municipal elections, providing you with our thoughts on which candidates best represent the MLA mission. We encourage our members to evaluate individual candidates in their municipalities as they align to their personal and community’s best interests. Look for our observations in future e-blasts and communiques, in time to vote.

And speaking of ‘Back to School’, this is our call to all graduating students for the 2015 year. Complete your applications for our $5,000 bursary, offered to one local area high school student who will graduate in 2015 from the Bracebridge Muskoka Lakes Secondary School, the Gravenhurst High School or the St. Dominique Catholic High School, and is entering a program that relates to the mission and objectives of the MLA.

Look for your introduction to our new president and directors in our upcoming newsletter (ShoreLines), visit our website at or call or office at 705-765-5723``705-765-5723.

Marilyn Vogel, Communications Manager

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