This is my first President’s column … The first thing I want to do is express my thanks to past President, Mozine Lowe. Mozine led the LGA for the past two years, though some challenging times – ever positive, ever cheerful, and always effective. The whole Lake Gaston community owes her a hearty “Thank You!”

By way of introduction, I’ll tell you that I first visited Lake Gaston in 1965 while camping with my parents at Tom Tucker’s Campground in Henrico. We camped here every summer until 1973. In the summer of ‘73, we assembled a log cabin house kit on a lot in Fox Hollow, right across the lake from the campground. Visits to the lake became year round events when my parents retired to the Lake and spent the next 25 years enjoying a second childhood here.

As retirement approached for us, we knew we wanted to spend our retirement years on “The Lake.” With the help of Mike Gupton at South Shore Realty, we found our dream house on Rocky Branch Creek, in Warren County, near mile marker 15. We bought in 2008 and retired in 2011.

Over the years, I’ve witnessed many changes as both lake area and I have grown. When we bought here, I knew I really wanted to help keep the Lake Gaston area the special place it is, so I joined the Lake Gaston Association (LGA). The LGA has many ways a person can volunteer to keep this the great place it is. What I found was that not only is this a special place, it is filled with incredible people. Over the years, I discovered a network of helpful and talented folks. If you need to know something, chances are the expertise is right here!

One of the important things the LGA does is support a survey of the aquatic vegetation around the whole 350+ miles of our shoreline. This survey is done by volunteers – us – to help NC State University with the management of the plant life in our lake. Plants are an important part of the lake ecosystem, we have both good and bad, or invasive, plants. Many people don’t realize it but, our lake community is at the forefront of determining just how to combat these invasive plants. See elsewhere in this issue for info on how you can help with this effort. Doing the plant survey is fun and truly an example of many hands making light work.

Another thing we can do to keep this place great is to support our local businesses. At the end of every Bulletin, there is contact information for all our business members. The Lake Gaston Chamber of Commerce is another good source of info for local businesses. The summer months are the most important for many of these businesses. Patronize them and keep them open

Most importantly, please remember to keep safety in mind when on and around the lake. Operate boats and personal watercraft responsibly and with courtesy

Don Carson, President