Looking back on 2023

When I look back at 2023, it was a year of change and of re-connection. Coming out of COVID restrictions, our calendar was once again full, bringing families, residents and cottagers together for 16 well attended events (15 of which were in person) throughout all four seasons. We supported 4 water quality monitoring programs and added a sale of native shrubs and trees to improve biodiversity along our shorelines and “re-wild” our properties. 

Thanks to our volunteers and our partners, we brought you useful information about heat pumps, wildfire prevention, water quality, geology, wildlife (turtles, bats & Eastern Bluebirds this year), mushrooms, plants and the night sky. We continued our “Floating Markets” and “Paint Along” series, highlighting the incredible artistic talent in our region, taught kids (and parents) the key points of photography and celebrated cottage baking at our delicious Baker’s Contest. We picked up garbage along the roadways (twice!), supported friendly competition at our “Nine and Dine” golf outing, rafted down the Kennisis River, boated in our “Parade of Lights” on all three lakes and hiked the trails in both fall & winter. Plus collected the most Rock Bass ever at our annual kids fishing derby! It was an incredibly fun and energizing year in the Halls & Hawk Lakes area. I am so grateful to have our dedicated volunteers and hardworking board who work tirelessly to achieve such an impactful season.

What else do we accomplish? Our volunteers and board members lead & coordinate all of our communications. This newsletter, the website, photography, calendar, Facebook group – they all are delivered by volunteers. We have volunteers who help find prizes for our competitive events, who keep our financial books in order and who weigh and measure each of the fish brought into our fishing derby. We appreciate each and every one of our volunteers for these and other events and activities!

This year, we also congratulated and thanked Peter Dadzis and Mo Jansons, retiring after 10 years of service to the HHLPOA as President and Vice-President, respectively. Their leadership and vision have been key in building community and “preserving and enhancing” the environment in our region.

To our members and donors for their support, which ensures we can deliver a wide range of high quality programs and activities – thank you! I look forward to seeing all of you on the water, the trails and at our events in 2024!

Shelley Fellows, HHLPOA President

Lead photo credit: Ben Harley (HHLPOA Photo laureate), taken of Damman-Charlton float, Hawk Lakes Parade of Lights boat winner, August 2023