Higgins Lake residents, Pat and Vicki Springstead, were recently awarded the Michigan Inland Lakes Riparian of the Year for 2014 by the Michigan Lake and Stream Associations. Pat Springstead is president of the Higgins Lake Property Owners Association, and Vicki Springstead is Chair of the Higgins Lake Foundation.
They were jointly honored at the Michigan Inland Lakes Convention held at Boyne Mountain Resort on May 2. Around 400 lake enthusiasts, elected officials, lake professionals, and researchers attended the three-day convention sponsored and coordinated by the 25 separate statewide organizations that make up the Michigan Inland Lakes Partnership.
According to Scott Brown, Executive Director of MLSA, the Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, a nonprofit organization, was created in 1961 to support lake and stream associations as viable entities capable of supporting conservation and stewardship activities. This year marked its 54th annual conference.
The Michigan Inland Lake Riparian of the Year Award was created in 2007 to recognize the accomplishments of individuals and/or lake associations in contributing to the conservation of their particular lake and/or contributions made to help preserve riparian rights in Michigan. “Pat Springstead has diligently worked with members of the state legislature in developing legislation to benefit our inland lakes,” said Brown.
State Representative Bruce Rendon added, “Pat and Vicki Springstead greatly deserve this recognition for the tremendous work they do for Higgins Lake and the surrounding community. Their dedication helps to make sure Higgins Lake remains one of the most pristine and best destinations in Michigan.”
The Higgins Lake Foundation and the Higgins Lake Property Owners Association are involved in testing the water quality of Higgins Lake as part of the MCLMP (MiCorps Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program), the nation’s largest (and oldest) volunteer based inland lake monitoring program sponsored in part by Michigan Lake and Stream Associations.
The HLF and HLPOA are also actively involved in other projects such as controlling evasive species, studying waste water treatment options, promoting marine safety, educating students and their teachers, and conducting historical tests of ground water and near shore nutrient loading. The groups often work cooperatively with governmental and environmental organizations for the benefit of Higgins Lake and its watershed.
Brad Jensen, Executive Director of Huron Pines stated, “Huron Pines works across northern Michigan with many people who help protect natural resources, but Pat and Vicki Springstead have consistently been two of the most active. They have helped launch such efforts as a shoreline greenbelt program, watershed management plan, control of invasive species, and active education efforts. Their involvement has made the lake and community a better place.”