Geist Reservoir from the sky
Geist Reservoir Aerial photo (photo by Geist Conservancy)

Efforts Continue to Establish Geist Conservancy District

Geist Conservancy, driven by a deep commitment, is dedicated to safeguarding the ecological needs of Geist Reservoir for the years to come.

“About 20 years ago a group of volunteers started the Geist Coalition,” says Joni Forestal, program director for Geist Conservancy. “The group was started to help take care of Geist’s needs. No one really knew who to call if there were issues such as logs in the water or missing buoys. In the last five years this coalition has taken steps to establish Geist Conservancy District, to have one governing body making decisions on how to care for its treatment and to keep the reservoir alive and well for years to come.”

One of the most prominent issues facing the reservoir is the growth of an invasive form of algae called Eurasian milfoil. As it grows, it spreads across the water, forming a thick blanket on the surface. This growth completely blocks out sunlight and kills the native aquatic plants that fish and other underwater species rely on for food and shelter.

“A reservoir like ours has a life expectancy of just over 100 years,” Forestal warns. “Currently no one is taking care of it. If we don’t act, the reservoir will gradually become too shallow and eventually cease to exist. The water will be overrun with invasive species such as algae and milfoil. Geist Conservancy is making efforts to treat the water, but it’s not as effective as it could be. Your support is crucial in this race against time.”

The Geist Conservancy District, if approved, will play a crucial role in the future of Geist Reservoir. Each waterfront property will be assessed based on its value to determine the contribution for water treatment. To pass, the state statute requires 30% of signatures from waterfront homeowners and 50% of the assessed value. This is a significant step towards the preservation of the reservoir.

Geist Conservancy’s Summer Kickoff open house in May was a platform to educate waterfront property owners and rally support for the Reservoir Conservancy District Petition. The event also marked the start of weekly algae treatments. Forestal stresses one of the key advantages for homeowners is the significant cost reduction. Currently the volunteer contribution for treatment is $1,200. If the district is approved, the cost would be a little over $400 per waterfront homeowner.

“Geist is our home, where we create lasting memories,” Forestal says. “We all have a responsibility to protect it and ensure its preservation for future generations. Let’s not wait for Geist to suffer the same fate as St. Mary’s Lake in Ohio. We can either stand by and watch Geist deteriorate, or we can unite and preserve it.”

Forestal says a second key takeaway is that if the Geist Conservancy District is passed, there will be an elected board, so those individuals worrying about the decisions being made can have a voice in who they elect on the board.

Comments 1

  1. Phil says:

    There is a reason this hasn’t come to be in the 20 years since it was dreamt up—the people don’t want it. They don’t want it because it is a scam.

    Citizens Water, who treat water from Geist for drinking water and profit off of the resource, should be taking care of the lake.

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