The association’s Annual General meeting is held on the last Wednesday of July. Typically, thirty-five to forty members are in attendance to hear reports from the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer on activities and programmes. The Reeve of the Township of Hudson attends and reports on activities within the township and answers questions from the membership, and a local OPP Officer is invited to discuss any law-enforcement or traffic problems in the lakes area. In addition, a guest speaker, usually someone with some specific cottage-related expertise, is invited to speak. Over the past few years, the subjects have included: migratory bird banding at Pike Lake; upgrading septic systems; the Lake Partner Programme of the MOE; and the use of local vegetation to help preserve shorelines. Brochures and other printed material from the MNR, MOE and the Temiskaming Health Unit are provided to the membership. At this AGM, representatives from each of the four lakes, on a rotating basis, are elected as directors of the association.
» The HLA, as a member of the MOE’s Lake Partner Programme, coordinates the taking of water quality and clarity samples on a regular monthly basis by volunteers on all four lakes. The results of this sampling are reported to the membership in the association’s newsletter and at the AGM. Membership surveys have identified good water quality as being one of the most important factors in the quality of life on the lakes, and the variations in water quality are closely tracked to ensure that problem areas can be quickly identified and corrected. Information regarding septic system construction and upgrades is regularly included in the association’s newsletters and at the AGM.
» Lobbying of and liaison with government agencies and local government is an important part of the mandate of the HLA. In recent years, HLA representatives have attended township council meetings to express concern about potential problems with encroachment of gravel pits and logging etc., and have also met with MNR officials and our local MPP to discuss timber cutting plans that could impact on skyline reserves and on the environmental health of the lakes.
» In 2007, a public meeting was called by the Township to discuss a request to change zoning bylaws to permit a gravel pit adjacent to the lakes. This prompted the Association to urge members to attend, and consequently more than 100 lakes residents attended to oppose the changes, which have not been enacted.
» A member of the HLA executive attends all council meetings to ensure that good communications exist between council and the HLA. The reeve of the township is invited to (and always attends) the AGM, and members of council are invited to HLAsponsored events such as workshops and the annual regatta. A representative from Township Council is a member of the Lakes Plan Committee. » The Hudson Lakes cottage area effectively starts on the main Twin Lakes Road at the intersection of roads “A”, “B” and “C”. The HLA has erected an information sign and area map at this intersection, and has assisted in cleaning up the mail-box area and has funds set aside for landscaping and beautification of this area once re-paving of the road is completed.
» Fund raising activities include yard sales, raffles, and the occasional calls for donations for special projects such as the “ABC’ intersection landscaping.
» Two to three newsletters are published each year which are mailed to all residents of the lakes, irrespective of whether or not they are paid-up members of the association, as well as members of Township Council, MNR officials, and local politicians. This allows all residents to be kept up-to-date on issues of concern and allows the directors to pass on information from the Federation of Ontario Cottagers Associations (FOCA) and other agencies. In each newsletter we include a human-interest story such as a member’s birding interest, or wildlife sightings in the cottage area. The newsletter is edited, published, and issued by volunteers.
» The HLA is currently working with a volunteer web designer to build a web site that can be used to showcase our newsletter, and other activities.
» The annual Twin Lakes Regatta is a popular event that has been held since the 1920's in various forms. Although not officially a HLA event, the Regatta, which includes a barbeque, is organized and run by a large number of HLA volunteers and is advertised in the HLA newsletters. This all-day event is a big hit with the children and is regularly attended by over 100 people. Everyone attending wins one of the prizes donated by local merchants and businesses.
» The HLA sponsors swimming lessons for children, although in recent years has had problems finding qualified swim instructors to conduct the courses. As many as 20-25 children have been involved in past years.