In mid 2015 I was offered the opportunity to serve as a board member for the Lake James Environmental Association. I was happy to accept as the goals of the organization mesh well with my interests. We all have an obligation to preserve the bounty and beauty of the places we call home.
I grew up in southern Ohio playing in creeks and catching tadpoles and frogs. My dad taught all four of his daughters to fish at an early age. I have always wanted to be outside!
I moved to Atlanta after college and began my work as a speech pathologist. My real interest in the environment began in 1990 when we purchased a cabin on Lake Burton in the north Georgia mountains. It is the first of seven lakes in the Tallulah River watershed. During those sixteen years I learned much about soil erosion, invasive plant life, water quality, seawalls, and light pollution. Lake Burton is managed by Georgia Power and straddles two very rural counties. A good working relationship with both counties and Georgia Power was important for sustaining the quality of life on that lake. There are many similarities to Lake James and the challenges we in this watershed area will face in the coming growing years. I continue to have strong interest in water quality as I swim in the lake all summer. Light pollution is another issue I would like to see addressed. Keeping outside lighting to a minimum is crucial for successful bird migration in the spring and fall. Monitoring growth plans for all the areas surrounding the lake and rivers is vital to keeping a healthy watershed. I would enjoy serving as a cove keeper and helping with Kids in the Creek programs.
After an extensive search of lakes and coastlines, my husband, Steve Hurd, and I retired to this beautiful spot in North Carolina in May 2013. It felt like home from the beginning…..the beauty of the area and the friendliness of the people. Lake James reminds me of Lake Burton twenty years ago. We are poised for the same kind of growth and the same issues that accompany new development. Working together we can keep the area beautiful, maintain the watershed, and preserve the clean environment for the next generation.
My husband and I are members of the Carolina Bird Club and have enjoyed three migration outings with the group. I volunteer as an English language teacher to a group of immigrants through Burke Literacy – a most enjoyable experience. I also paddle with the Lake James Dragonboat team. We live here full time when not traveling to visit extensive family spread all over the country!