By: Mike Tumbarello

Taking Care of the Lake: An Opportunity to Help the Watershed!

With a name like Deep Creek Times, we are certainly cognizant of, and intrinsically tied to, the presence, health and impact of Deep Creek Lake on our mountain community and to our online enterprise.  Over the two-plus decades of its existence, Deep Creek Times has witnessed, and to some degree, impacted the lake, its reputation and the public’s appreciation of all it has to offer.

When Bob Hoffman of Deep Creek Watershed Foundation board of directors shared a story of a recent donation to the Foundation, I thought it was noteworthy and important to share for a number of reasons.  First, the Foundation holds an important position in helping preserve and enhance the quality and benefits of Deep Creek Lake to individuals and the community as a whole.  Second, I liked the story and thought it was definitely worth sharing, as it could be the start of something really powerful.

Bob recently approached Mickey and Phyllis Nye, good friends of Bob and his wife Julia, about making a donation to the Foundation.  Mickey and Phyllis own a second home on the lake that they sometimes rent out to visitors.  The couple graciously gave a generous donation to the Foundation but then went further and decided to donate a percentage of their rental income on an ongoing basis, thereby creating an annuity of sorts for the Foundation.  They also matched the portion of rental proceeds they donated.

Not only is this a wonderful gesture, but it is also one that could logically be replicated by other owners of rental properties of all types, particularly those known as transient vacation rental units, or TVRUs.  Frankly, some TVRUs across the nation have gotten a “bad rap” for some reasons, including increased traffic, noise, etc., all of which as a member of an HOA board, I am familiar with. Nonetheless, these rentals provide a service to out-of-towners and homeowners, as well as aid the economic vitality of the community.

I think this quote from Mickey Nye also helps elucidate the reason for the donation and the win-win nature of this type of donor relationship: “Phyllis and I are very pleased and proud to be the first family to donate a percentage of their income from our Transient Vacation Rental Unit on Deep Creek Lake to support the fine work of the Deep Creek Watershed Foundation.  We realize the lake and surrounding watershed are beautiful gifts that need to be preserved and protected for posterity (italics added).  We hope many others will follow our lead and donate in this fashion to support the important work of the Foundation and become benefactors.”

Deep Creek Watershed Foundation to Benefit Deep Creek Lake, MD

Bob Hoffmann, Mickey and Phyllis Nye

I agree with Mr. Nye and truly hope others will follow their lead and donate to the Foundation. This could be big! For those readers not familiar with the Deep Creek Watershed Foundation, they are a 501 (c) 3 organization that focuses on the implementation of the Deep Creek Watershed Management Plan by satisfying its goals as well as supporting other projects that contribute to the health and cleanliness of the watershed and Deep Creek Lake.

One of the Foundation’s current initiatives is its Water Quality Meter Campaign, which would help monitor and keep the 95-year-old lake’s water quality at a high level.  Their goal is to purchase at least five meters at a total cost of approximately $100,000. These meters are currently being used in the Chesapeake Bay, Lake Tahoe and the Great Lakes and would go a long way to helping the Maryland Department of Natural Resources monitor our water quality by collecting data on temperature, acidity, chlorophyll, oxygen, etc.

The Foundation is an all-volunteer organization, so donations largely go to projects they initiate with public and private partners.  The bottom Line: The Foundation is made up of good people, doing important work, for an important cause, and they need our help. I encourage all readers to visit the Foundation’s website at  You can also reach Bob Hoffman at with questions about the Foundation, it’s works or how to donate.

Please check out the website and strongly consider a one-time or ongoing donation to this very important and worthwhile cause.

Mike Tumbarello

October 1, 2020