Geist Reservoir has been enjoyed by Indiana residents since 1943. While Geist has been a place for families to make memories over the years, the 78-year-old reservoir needs ecological attention and homeowner support to survive.

To properly care for and maintain Geist Reservoir, Geist Reservoir Conservancy District wants to give the lake the attention it deserves to benefit current and future community members. Establishing a reservoir conservancy district will allow property owners to ensure the reservoir is managed to preserve property values, restore damaged ecosystems, and maintain the lake for recreational use. 

One of factors that has led to the reservoir’s decline is invasive vegetation. Eurasian milfoil has gained a foothold in the water. Just like any other invasive species, the aquatic weed plagues the native plant and animal life and contributes to the degradation of an entire ecosystem.

Once formed, the Geist Reservoir Conservancy District proposes a multi-pronged approach. 

  1. Restore: Restore the integrity of the lake’s waters through catch basins, stream bank remediation, and reduce the pollutants and phosphorus that feed algae and aquatic weeds.
  2. Preserve: Preserve the lake for continued recreational use through ongoing maintenance dredging that will maintain shorelines, prevent further erosion, and improve depths which help control aquatic plant growth.
  3. Protect: Protect the natural habitat by treating the invasive aquatic plants that are disrupting and destroying the lake’s ecosystem. 
Geist Resevoir during the 4th of July
Photo Credit: Jason Colone

Funding

For a reservoir conservancy district to be effective in carrying out vital programs, it must attain a meaningful level of funding. Funding sources will primarily include assessments of property located in the district and user fees. To maintain the lake in a sound physical condition, it is estimated that a budget of approximately $2 million per year is needed.

To place homeowners on equal footing, the district is proposing assessments based on home values. Once the reservoir conservancy district is formed, the district’s board of directors will determine the exact percentage. 

Similarly, proposed annual boat fees will help ensure that those who use the lake will contribute more to the funds that will keep the lake safe for recreational activity. For residents in the district, they’ll pay as little as 35 cents a day. 

The Process

Signing a petition is the first step in creating the Geist Reservoir Conservancy District and the start of a process to create a structure through which the homeowners around Geist can speak with one voice. It will create an equitable and sustainable revenue stream to allow for the restoration, preservation, and protection of the reservoir.

The process has no official timeline, but reasonable estimates indicate it will take between 16 and 30 months from the time the signed petition is filed with the Court.

How to Help

  • Sign the Petition: We’d like to get as many signatures as possible. If you would like to sign it, let us know by emailing info@geistconservancy.com
  • Donate: Until the reservoir conservancy district is formed, we are still reliant upon donations from our generous community to maintain the lake. You can donate here, and any help with helping to raise funds would be very much appreciated.
  • Pitch In: From volunteering to sponsorships, there’s a lot of work ahead, and we can only be successful as a united community. 

We are a vibrant lake community. And with your support, we can enact long-term, sustainable solutions for the benefit of current and future community members. Not only do we want to keep the water safe for future enjoyment, but we also want to keep it as beautiful as the communities and neighborhoods that surround it.