The Lake of the Woods District Stewardship Association's LakeSmart team is back for its 11th year. 

LOWDSA has expanded and enhanced its LakeSmart program with its first time ever Environment Program Coordinator, Cassidy Mazur. New to the team this year are Quinn Miller and Seanna Cyncora. Returning are Brie McCardle and Abbi Friesen.

"Our LakeSmart team will be out on the water and in the community to talk about best ways to live and play green on the lake. We try to share information with our members and encourage them to make smart decisions," says Patrick Paulo, who took over the role of Executive Director from long-time leader Diane Schwartz-Williams. 

Paulo adds that there are a couple of exciting initiatives to further educate not only LOWDSA members, but the community. 

"We have our kids day camp running at the Kenora Recreation Centre. We speak on environmental education topics each week and we try to combine experiential learning and getting the kids outside doing activities with informed take-home messages like invasive species, healthy water and other LakeSmart topics," he said. 

The team will be offering programs for the kids on July 27, August 4 and August 19.

In addition to the kids day camp, the LakeSmart team has also implemented its Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program, which they are seeking volunteers. 

Wide scale distribution of zebra mussel settlement samplers will increase capacity for early detection of zebra mussels. Data generated may identify hotspots and point towards solutions for managing the spread to other lakes. This citizen science monitoring program, which can be as simple as checking a trap at the end of your dock every few weeks, will support government monitoring efforts by increasing the frequency of monitoring and the distribution of monitoring locations. It will also provide data for the association and its members on the Zebra Mussel situation on Lake of the Woods. -LOWDSA

"If you have multi-year access to a dock and you can host a device to hook up to your dock to help maintain zebra mussels, let us know," Paulo adds. 

To volunteer for the Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program, or to register your child for the LakeSmart day camp, contact LOWDSA at info.lakesmart@lowdsa.com.

Further information on the monitoring program can be found here!

The LakeSmart team is set up weekly at the Matiowski Farmers' Market providing information on how too maintain healthy lakes and shorelines.