Randy Stowe, lakemanager@gmail.com

  1. In August 2015, the Nippersink Watershed Association (NWA) applied for water quality improvement grants for $ 1.7 million in projects.  All of these projects are located upstream of, or in, Wonder Lake.  The NWA has been notified that these grants have been approved, with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) granting almost $848,000 in Section 319 funds.  This IEPA amount represents almost 25% of the Section 319 funds IEPA awarded state-wide in this grant cycle.  I will be meeting with those folks receiving grants, once I get more information from IEPA.
  2. The Wonder Lake Sportsman’s Club conducted three (3) workdays to remove invasive brush from Strom Island. The shade cast by this brush was preventing soil stabilizing vegetation from growing, leading to erosion.  Be sure to thank the following folks for their 112 hours of effort:

Mark Nichols

Tony Musel

Dennis Gallo

John Naatz

Jerry Graff

Ken Shaleen

Mike Pickrum

Sara Pickrum

Jerry Luciano

Brian Verdin

Brian Barnfield

Jason Conrad

Bob Schell


  1. The MPOA will continue to work with the Sportsman’s Club on re-establishing native grasses and wildflowers on Strom Island to help prevent erosion as well as providing improved wildlife habitat.  As clearing the invasive brush will make the island more accessible to lake users, the MPOA will be working on signage and information to encourage people to avoid trampling newly established vegetation, and to clean up any litter they find.
  2. The Wonder Lake Sportsman’s Club will be holding its annual lake clean-up this  Sunday, April 17th.  Meet at the Hickory Falls 1 & 2 beach area at 9:00 am, as always, volunteers welcome.
  3. The Nippersink Watershed Association is planning a stream clean-up of Nippersink Creek, downstream of the Wonder Lake Dam.  The proposed work day is Saturday, May 7, 2016. (Rain date May 8th) Volunteers will be welcome.  Meet at the Wonder Lake Dam – East side at 10:30 am.
  4. The Illinois Lake Management Association conference was held in Springfield at the end of February.  Dick and I received numerous questions / compliments regarding the Wonder Lake dredging project.  Many Illinois lake groups are looking at Wonder Lake as being a success story.
  5. The MPOA dredging contractor is still mobilizing for the start of the 2016 dredging work. They plan to start at Lookout Point towards the end of this month.  Updated info will be posted to the MPOA website when an actual start date is known.
  6. Update:  MCDH will NOT be making a presentation
  7. We have invited the McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) to make a presentation at the May 11th, 2016 MPOA Director’s meeting on swimming beaches, and the associated responsibilities of the beach operator for swimming beaches.  Each MPOA subdivision operating a swimming beach should have their beach commissioner attend this presentation, which will be conducted at the beginning of the MPOA meeting at 7:00 p.m.  Final confirmation of MCDH attendance will be sent out prior to that meeting.
  1. In July, 2015, Wonder Lake experienced a pavement sealer spill, which require a Fire Department response, and a subsequent environmental clean-up, which cost the Village $ 15,000.  The Village has recouped a portion of this cost from the insurance company of the person who caused the spill, and is still pursuing the balance. Most pavement sealants used in our area are “Coal-Tar” based, a compound that has been determined to carcinogenic, as discussed on the following pages.  Coal-Tar sealant is most often used by commercial applicators, as it is less expensive. A number of studies also question whether pavement sealant actually extends the lifespan of treated pavement. An alternative “Asphalt-Based” version of pavement sealer is available, which is considered to be much safer than coal-tar based sealant.  So if sealing your driveway is on your spring to-do list, please consider using an Asphalt-Based sealer.