MLCI and COLA Merge!
The Maine Congress of Lake Associations (Maine COLA) and the Maine Lakes Conservancy Institute (MLCI) sealed their merger on October 16, 2010, when President, Jim Hart, counted final votes at the Special Meeting of the Membership. COLA members inaugurated an exciting new phase in Maine COLA’s organizational life by endorsing the merger by a landslide vote of 197 to 1.
Past MLCI Presidents Bill Ferdinand and Rex Turner and long-time Board Member Ed Barker are now members of Maine COLA’s Board of Directors, and MLCI’s former Education Director Tom Mullin and Lake Educator Phil Mulville have joined our staff.
Tom Mullin, COLA’s Education Director, is working closely with Lake Educator Phillip Mulville and members of the COLA Board of Directors, to update MLCI’s middle school curriculum and broaden choices for summer trips. COLA will be field-testing in-school programs for students in Grades 5 to 8 in local schools this winter and spring in collaboration with faculty and students from Colby College. We look forward to sharing the expanded lake science curriculum with a wider audience next year.
COLA is glad to welcome Melinda Ann to her new home port, now under construction in the Village of Belgrade Lakes at the Maine Lakes Resource Center. The flagship saw more action this summer than ever before. From Portage and Nickerson Lakes to Sebago and Grand Lake Stream, Melinda Ann and Captain Phil Mulville carried the exhilaration of hands-on learning about the world beneath the surface to summer camps, sporting lodges, and lake associations across the breadth and width of Maine.
COLA’s reach is longer and our education programming is stronger now. We are excited to bring intriguing experiential programs to the many lake groups who want to connect with year round residents to advance stewardship in their watersheds. The benefits of the merger go both ways, since Maine COLA can promote the lake learning programs to a broader audience.