Environmental Council, Beach Lodge 5212008

LMEF/LMEC Its History & Its Volunteers

LMEF/LMEC was founded under the original name of The Lake Management Committee in February of 1981 by action taken at a Culver Plan Commission meeting.   Its first committee chairman was John Babcock, who’s words (as reprinted in part) from the original “First Year Report” issued April, 1982 follow:

Maxinkuckee is an Indian word for Sparkling Water.”  Yet because of the abusive and neglectful ways in which Maxinkuckee has been treated, it is on the edge of becoming a dying lake.  Once it slips past that edge, the process is virtually out of control without radical and extremely expensive efforts.

Prudent and specific means must be developed to ensure that future generations who “come to the lake” can enjoy a clear, beautiful, and non-congested natural resource.  The aging and dying process of our lake has been accelerating over the past 5 years.  Unless we act now with sincerity and determination, our children will soon know a lake that is quite different from the one today.  Weeds and pollution will about…..    Others have waited too long to get seriously involved in preserving the beauty and cleanliness of their greatest natural resource.  We cannot afford to hesitate longer.

We must act now to create a commission, a task force, if you will, with permanent status for management of Lake Maxinkuckee….”

The Lake Management Committee started with an effort to choose the initial committee members so that the broadest representation and participation would be possible.  Those individuals who served with Mr. Babcock that first year were:  Mr. David Gaskill*, Mr. Richard Gunder, Dr. Camille Parker, Mr. Alden Whitney, and Mr. Fred Wurster.  Helping those on the committee in those early days were: Mr. B.B. Culver, Jr., (1982) Academy Board Chairman, Mr. Jim Henderson*, (1982) Academy Board President,  Mr. Ralph Manuel, (1982) Academy Superintendent, Mr. Fred Adams, (1982) State Exchange Bank president, Ms. Ardeth Burkhart, Mr. Tom Sams*, Mr. Bill Welsh, Mr. Jim Rocap, and Mr. Nelson Becker* plus many others.  *Still associated with the Lake Maxinkuckee community today.

After the meeting took place where Mr. Babcock presented his findings, the Lake Management Committee was fully adopted by the community.

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Today, this all volunteer group exists in two distinct parts:  First is The Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Fund, Inc.  (LMEF) – an eight member Board of Directors who oversee the fund raising efforts, manages those funds, and gives final approval to the environmental efforts on an annual basis.  These members serve staggered terms of three years each and meet at least four times per year.  They are:

Litt Clark, President   –   Merritt Becker, Vice President   –   Dave Haist, Treasurer    

Allen Chesser, Council Chair   –  Marabeth Levett, Immediate Past President    

Jerry Semler   –   Kevin Berger   –   Jim Sturman   –    Chris Kline

The second group is the ten member Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council (LMEC) whose members decide the annual environmental efforts presented to the board, and carry out those projects when approved.  This group is the one that represents the community as a whole, they are on the front lines of the protection efforts focused on Lake Maxinkuckee.  Following are their names and their affiliation to the community and the council:

 Allen Chesser, Council Chair, Ag. representative   –   Dan Osborn, Ag. representative    

Bill Rhodes, Town representative   –   Ruth Tamminga, Town/Tree Commission representative  

   -  Dave Blalock, Culver Academies representative

Dan Baughman, Culver Academies emeritus/At-Large representative  

Gary Shaffer, Lake Community representative   –   Dr. John Bernero, Lake Property Owner representative  

   Dusty Henricks, Lake Property Owner representative  -   Kyle Sefchek,  At-Large representative

These volunteers do not serve any term, but by majority agreement.  They meet monthly, the third Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the LMEC office located at 116 N. Main Street, Culver.  All of the volunteer positions with both groups are very sought-after within the community.

Past officers can also serve as Advisors to the Board.  The people currently serving in that capacity are:

Tom Story  -  Mary Anna Swennumson   –   Carol Zeglis

Kathy Clark serves as the current Executive Director, hired by the LMEF to serve as their secretary and to help facilitate, and participate in, the work of the LMEC.  This position has only been occupied by three people from 1982 to 2017.  The first LMEC executive director was Karen Dehne and the second was Tina Hissong who stepped down in 2007.