Annual report highlight: Protecting local lakesJuly 1, 2022
Every summer since 1949, Bill Alsover’s family relocated from their East Grand Rapids home to a cottage on Pickerel Lake. The old cottage was beautiful “only in our hearts,” said Bill, but all the neighbors had children of similar ages who swam, fished, and explored together.
“It was idyllic,” he said. “It was a humble dwelling, but we loved it here.”
The house is different today but the pull of the lake remains strong. Bill—now a Community Foundation trustee—moved to the area full-time over a decade ago and his children and grandchildren are frequent visitors. However, as Bill spent even more time on the lake, he began to notice changes in it and in neighboring Kimball Lake. There were more weeds and the water seemed less clear. One of the problems, a neighbor told him, was that “people use the lake now, they don’t really love it.”
“I have learned a lot about lakes and how sensitive and fragile they are,” said Bill. “They’re not going to fix themselves.”
In addition to encouraging lake health studies and working with the Pickerel Kimball Lake Improvement Board, Bill decided to create a fund at the Community Foundation to support projects that can improve the lakes and watershed.
“It’s been ideal to work with the Community Foundation. It gave the fund credibility,” he said. “We want people to know the fund is here and it’s another way to contribute to the health of the lakes.”