As we move towards a new year, think about this: a little over five years ago while some campers were sitting around the campfire at a Kerr Lake park, the birth of a positive idea took place. That was the birth of Kerr Lake Park Watch. Admittedly, very few people took the organization serious at that point with only six members. Several other organizations scoffed at the totally new concept of getting lake and park users to join a protection, promotion and improvement group, especially since there were no dues and no boring meetings, just strong communications, led by our skilled and generous public affairs firm, RF Timberlake & Company, Inc.
If you want just a smidgen of an idea how much support and interests have grown for Kerr Lake Park Watch, just take a look at this week’s Facebook page update. A FB weekly reach of 50,000 should impress even our critics.
Trying to build a constituency out of people who come to the parks around Kerr Lake and then leave to go back home to their regular lives has been tremendously challenging, but the founders have seen their efforts from six members grow to over 400 plus without any expenditures or real efforts to attract members. That means that sometimes success can be obtained by plain hard and smart works.
Kerr Lake Park Watch is primarily responsible for getting action in the treatment of Hydrilla and in getting the US Army Corps of Engineers to acknowledge that it has a responsibility, as the owner of the lake, to be involved with Hydrilla solutions. Kerr Lake Park Watch was the first organization to get environmental agencies to give an answer regarding the public’s recreational contact with the lake’s water after the introduction of coal ash into the lake. Kerr Lake Park Watch was instrumental in getting a proper concessionaire into one of the lake’s important service venues. Kerr Lake Park Watch has been instrumental in getting campsite and facility improvements made.
Kerr Lake Park Watch has shown that its membership cares and has helped and will participate in volunteer efforts to help staff clean up parks and make improvements, like fostering Work Days in some of the parks. Kerr Lake Park Watch has repeatedly stated and supported that the most important people in the parks are the rangers, the maintenance and support people, who are in constant contact with the camping and park using public; and there have been some inroads in fostering relationships with all levels of relative government including parks staff in administrative and especially with the legislative branches.
When asked, Kerr Lake Park Watch has helped to promote events at Kerr Lake facilities, often times generating press releases and media advisories on behalf of organizations, at no charge to them.
We have much more to work towards and many more needs and goals, but as we approach 2016, we think we ought to blow a horn for the new year and finally step up and proudly blow the horn for Kerr Lake Park Watch, a 100% volunteer organization formed from a dream.