Honeoye Valley Association

HVA History

November, 2013


Over the years, concerned citizens have formed organizations to improve the environment of the lake and surrounding lands. Some of those groups are the Honeoye Lake Watershed Association (1950-66), Genesee Valley Trappers (late 1950s to present), Honeoye Fish and Game Club (1947- present), Honeoye Lake Cottagers Association (1966-67), and the Honeoye Environmental Action League (1970-88). These organizations often focused on specific areas of interest such as: weeds in the lake, bacterial contamination, hunting, fishing, flooding, etc.


Two organizations, currently working to maintain and improve the water quality are the Honeoye Valley Association (HVA) and the Honeoye Lake Watershed Task Force (HLWTF).


In the mid-80s Bob Belmont, Richmond town supervisor, asked Dr. Bruce Gilman, FLCC, to perform a study on measures that could be taken to improve lake water quality. This recommendation led to the formation of the HVA in1985. It has acted as an advocate for the responsible use of the natural resources of the Honeoye Lake area. It has been active in lake level control, boating safety, water quality testing, aquatic vegetation control, stream clean-up, and public education.


On the initiative of the HVA, the HLWTF was formed in 1998 and brings together watershed stakeholders to prevent further degradation of the lake and to improve water quality throughout the watershed. The HLWTF is comprised of a voting member from each of the towns in the watershed, appointed by their Town Boards and one voting member from the HVA. In addition, HLWTF includes technical support from professional staffs from the Finger Lakes Community College, Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District, Ontario County Planning Department, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and others, who from time to time offer their professional advice. HLWTF advocates management of water quality through voluntary cooperation, testing, special projects and education, and by obtaining grants to work on specific projects.


The HVA supports a number of on-going programs: roadside cleanup, lake water quality testing, aquatic vegetation survey, library information desk, newsletter, and co-sponsor of ‘Speaking of Nature Lecture Series” with Finger Lakes Community College


Some of the highlights gleaned by review of Grapevine newsletters are:


1985- HVA formed

1986- Started newsletter

1986- Held dinner dance

1986- Weed harvesting program started with a single harvester

1988- Started homeowner drinking water quality testing program

1990- Started pontoon boat parade

1991- Started Lake Watch Program

1991- Created HVA Information Center in Honeoye Library

1991- Identified value of benthic barriers for weed control

1991- Installed boat safety sign at State Boat Launch

1991- Geo Decisions conducted aerial survey to identify failing septic systems- not a major problem

1991- Started officering a boat safety course

1991- Identified the threat of zebra mussels- not detected in Honeoye until 1998

1991- New boating law for Honeoye Lake proposed –adopted in 1996

1991- Participated in high school “Adopt a Stream Program”

1992- Offered Environmental Scholarship for Honeoye graduate

1992- Formed Honeoye Lake Level Task Force with the Town of Richmond

1992- Identified the threat of Eurasian milfoil

1992- Formed Aquatic Vegetation Committee to look at control options

1992- Cleaned out the weir

1992- Larsen Engineering hired to evaluate weir to reduce flooding

1993- HVA adopts section of Rt. 20A for cleanup

1993- HVA obtains DEC permit to allow a small scale experiment with herbicide- decided to not pursue

1993- HVA distributed a questionnaire

1994- HVA initiates valley-wide roadside cleanup program

1995- Biological control of weeds investigated with assistance from Cornell – decided not to pursue

1995- Improvement in State Boat Launch made based on HVA input

1995- Installed marker buoys at Sandy Bottom Park

1995- Honeoye Lake Science Committee formed – Idea of Watershed Management Plan conceived

1996- Canadice & Richmond institute program for adopting town roads

1996- Towns adopt new boating law controlling speed and noise level

1996- HVA gets involved in public water district for East Lake Road

1996- Honeoye Lake accepted in DEC/FOLA CSLAP program for regular lake water testing for 5 years

1997- FEMA grant to reconstruct weir was denied

1997- An attendant at State Boat launch initiated

1997- Initial meetings held that led to formation of Honeoye Lake Watershed Task Force

1998- New weir designed- financed with half Federal funds with remainder by Canadice & Richmond

1998- HLWTF awarded grant to publish “Honeoye Lake Book”

1998- First HVA website

1999- Weir reconstruction completed

2001- HVA Photography club formed

2001- Started sponsoring FLCC ECO-Camp students

2002- HVA & HLWTF develop a proposed Docking and Mooring Law- has not been adopted

2002- Water Quality Committee formed in response to severe algae bloom

2003- Started 3 years of monthly tributary sampling

2003- Started regular testing of Honeoye Lake water

2004- Investigation of walleye population and support of FLCC “Walleye Weekend”

2004- HVA purchased & installed a lake level monitor

2005- A second used harvester was purchased and put into service

2006- Alum application by towns of Richmond & Canadice- completed in 2007

2007- Educational Program on lakeside Best Management Practices (BMP)

2007- HLWTF developed a Macrophyte Management Plan

2007- Started Shoreline Landscaping Competition Program

2008- Initiated Streambank Survey looking for erosion problems as part of a HLWTF Erosion Grant

2009- Planted shoreline garden at Sandy Bottom Park

2010- Promoted LED Lake Friendly Flares

2010- Issued HVA position paper in opposition to Towns recommendation to suspend harvesting in 2011

2011- Results of questionnaire showed overwhelming support of harvesting program

2012- Completed HLWTF Erosion Grant with recommendations for erosion control

2012- A new larger harvester was put into service replacing the two existing older harvesters

2013- Distributed Honeoye Lake Informational Packet to all lakefront residents

2015 - launched new HVA website and membership system including email blasts top members

2015 - Distributed a Honeoye Lake Owners Guide patterned after a Lake George Lake Guide

2015 - Supported the first spring and fall Yard Waste Program with Richmond and Canadice

2015 - Conducted the first Lake Symposium for all residents

2015 - Resumed sponsorship of the labor Day food drive for the Honeoye Food Pantry

2015 - Launched an HVA facebook page

In addition, the Honeoye Lake Watershed Task Force has a history page that gives an excellent summary of events for the lake and watershed; it can be viewed at:  https://www.honeoyelakewatershed.org/history

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