Why Support the Lake Waramaug Task Force
The exclusive mission of the Lake Waramaug Task Force is to maintain the water quality of the lake. Fifty years ago, prior to the formation of the Task Force, the lake was effectively dead. Today, with the benefit of steadfast support from private donations the lake is again alive and beautiful.
But this is no time for complacency. Persistent invasive species, development, erosion, a warming climate, and toxic runoff present ever-increasing challenges. The expense to the Task Force of meeting these challenges has risen faster than contributions. In 2015 and in 2016, our total income fell short of covering expenses. And we see expenses growing still more in 2017.
The cost to our community of not meeting these challenges is disturbingly easy to discern. Bantam Lake and Woodbridge Lake were closed to swimmers by the State at various times last summer. Both were plagued with dangerous, toxic Cyanobacteria. Invasive plants choked areas on Candlewood. Even East Hampton's storied Georgica Pond, a magnet for the country's creative and financial elite, was declared dying as a result of excessive development and nutrient loading.
The cost of the LWTF’s three primary lake programs (In-lake Systems, Invasive Plant Control, and Watershed Programs) has increased dramatically, and now exceeds $230,00/year. In 2017 we anticipate the need to spend more to control erosion on Sucker Brook, and to increase diver time to remove invasive plants. We'd also like to grow two new, successful programs started in 2016: The Zooplankton Farm, and our complimentary Water Quality Planning Assistance Program, for landowners planning construction and landscaping projects near the lake. All together, we anticipate the need to budget approximately $280,000 just to cover operating expenses. This does not include any capital expenses or new programs that may be beneficial to our mission of preserving water quality.
We need your support to continue to keep Lake Waramaug clean, clear and swimmable.
How to Support LWTF
We accept online donations, via PayPal. Online donations are limited to $2,000 so if you plan to give more, kindly send a check to this address:
Lake Waramaug Task Force
50 Cemetery Road
Warren, Connecticut 06754
For more information email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lake Waramaug Task Force is a qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations are fully tax deductible.
NOTE: The Lake Waramaug Task Force is committed to absolute transparency. Any question by any contributor will be answered. Feedback, advice, or suggestions are welcomed. Individuals interested in getting more involved are encouraged to contact us.
Legacy Gifts to LWTF
Each year the Lake Waramaug Task Force receives many generous cash gifts that support our ongoing operating costs. However, we would be remiss if we also did not ask you to consider some other possibilities:
- Your Will. Please consider a gift to the Task Force in your will or living trust. It can be a specific bequest of cash, stock or other property, or your gift could be a percentage of your remaining estate after specific bequests have been made.
- Charitable Remainder Trust. You may also transfer assets to a Charitable Remainder Trust and receive income from the Trust, as well as a charitable deduction for a portion of the assets transferred. The annual income distributed by the Trust must be at least 5 percent of the value of the Trust assets. The Task Force will receive the remaining Trust property upon your death.
- Charitable Lead Trust. Again, you'll receive a charitable deduction for a portion of the assets transferred to a Charitable Lead Trust. The Task Force receives a fixed amount of annual income from the Trust for a specific period of time, after which the remaining Trust property is distributed to your other designated beneficiaries.
- IRA or Pension Plan. You may name the Task Force as a beneficiary (or percentage beneficiary) in your IRA, profit-sharing plan or pension plan. Your plan administrator can provide you with the appropriate form.
- Life Insurance. You may name the Task Force as a beneficiary (or percentage beneficiary) in a life insurance policy. This is one technique in which a relatively modest contribution (the policy premium) can result in a substantial charitable gift.
- Conservation Easements. If your property is within the Lake Waramaug watershed, the Task Force would be pleased to hold a conservation easement on this property to limit its future development. A conservation easement can also be granted in your will.
- Real Estate with Retained Life Estate. Real estate in any location may be conveyed to the Task Force as a charitable gift, with a life estate reserved by you for your lifetime use.
Note: Please see your attorney or financial advisor for professional assistance. We are a duly qualified 501 (c) (3) organization and should be shown in any legal document as: Lake Waramaug Task Force, Inc.
Among the most generous, effective and lasting gifts that can be made to the Lake Waramaug community and its environmental health are gifts of land and conservation easements. There are still undeveloped parcels of land on the lake and many more in the immediate vicinity and in locations throughout the watershed that may be critical to water quality due to their proximity to feeder streams.
Land within the watershed, when developed without a carefully researched environmental plan, can be seriously detrimental to lake water. This is due to the sheer volume of pollutants and nutrients introduced into the ground and also to the increased percentage of impervious surfaces (roofs, driveways, etc.) which can funnel unfiltered water more directly into the lake.
You may wish to give a parcel of land outright to the Task Force. Or you may wish to retain ownership of your land and grant a conservation easement to the Task Force, effectively charging the Task Force with enforcing that easement and making sure the land is preserved as undeveloped land in perpetuity. Or, as some of your neighbors have done, you may wish to donate a parcel of land to a local land trust, then grant a conservation easement on that land to the Task Force.
Local land trust organizations you may contact include the Warren Land Trust, Kent Land Trust, Steep Rock Association in Washington and Weantinoge Heritage, a regional land trust based in New Milford. A sample conservation easement, which can be customized to meet your specific concerns, can be provided to you upon request.
In brief, the fair market value of your donation is a tax deduction you may take. Normally the maximum is 30% of adjusted gross income, but this has been increased to 50% for gifts of conservation easements. If the tax benefits from a gift are not fully realized in the first year, the balance may "roll over" allowing normally another five years of tax deductions. This "roll over" period also has been increased to a total of 16 years for gifts of conservation easements.
Needless to say, prospective donors should consult their attorneys and financial advisors. Information from the Task Force may be obtained by writing or calling: