Watershed founders to walk shoreline, discuss conservancy


John Jablonski and Rebecca Nystrom, co-founders of the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, will co-present the Bird, Tree & Garden Club’s “Lake Walk” tonight. Submitted photo.

Beverly Hazen | Staff Writer

Many people on the grounds may have heard of the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, but few have had an opportunity to learn about its programs firsthand from its founders. A presentation at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the covered porch at Heinz Beach Fitness Center on South Lake Drive at the corner of South Avenue will offer that opportunity.

Co-founders John Jablonski and Rebecca Nystrom will present “Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy’s History and Future” for the Bird, Tree & Garden Club’s “Lake Walk” educational event.

CWC was incorporated in 1990 and celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.

“We both were here from the beginning,” Jablonski said, “so both of us will share the presentation.”

They plan on combining a walk along the lake with the informative session.

“We will probably start on the porch with an introduction and background and then talk as we go,” he said.

They will bring display boards showing some of their accomplishments and some of what they are working on now.

“People can look at these at the outset, and we will answer questions as they come up,” he said.

Nystrom is a past president of CWC and current board member. She has a master’s degree from SUNY Fredonia and is an associate professor of biology at Jamestown Community College. She did her master’s thesis on the plants of Chautauqua Lake.

Jablonski has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is the current executive director of CWC.

“We do want to let people know only 10 percent of the lakefront is  undeveloped,” Jablonski said. “Preserving the last remaining shoreline is critical for the ecology of the lake and the water quality.”

These BTG ”Lake Walk” presentations are in partnership with the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy. Various “Walk” leaders who are active members of the organization present the weekly programs. Everyone is welcome to come, enjoy the walk and ask questions.