Since 2007, the CLF has been working for you and with you to protect our lake

What is the CLF?

Our Mission

In 2007, the Chateaugay Lake Foundation (CLF) was established as a charitable nonprofit organization to support efforts to protect the environmental quality of the Lake and its surroundings. The Chateaugay Lake Foundation works in partnership with the Chateaugay Lakes Association and others who are concerned about the Lake to develop a broad-based, coordinated, and sustained response to the Eurasian milfoil problem and similar threats that might emerge.

Our Finances

As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the Chateaugay Lake Foundation files an annual information return with the IRS and also files annually with the New York State Charities Bureau. The Foundation’s tax status can be confirmed using the “exempt organization search” feature on the IRS website: Organizational documents and information returns can be viewed using the “Registry Search” feature of the New York State Charities Bureau on their website:
Our employer identification number 26-0769453.

Foundation Funding

Sources of Funds

Of the more than $800,000 raised through the end of 2022, over two-thirds has come from private donors, including many shore owners and their families. Nonprofit organizations representing the lake community, notably the Chateaugay Lakes Association as well as the former Chateaugay Lakes Arts Association, have also provided major support. In addition, the Milfoil Control Project has received contributions from the surrounding towns of Bellmont, Ellenburg and Dannemora. In 2008, the Foundation received a start-up grant from New York State that helped with milfoil control at the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) public boat launch. Fundraising events, such as a summer raffle and annual dinner, have become an increasingly important source of support.

Uses of Funds

The majority of funds raised by the Chateaugay Lake Foundation go directly toward milfoil control—90 percent since the project began. This is a very high level of program efficiency according to agencies such as the Better Business Bureau and Charity Navigator. This funding has allowed treatment by hand-harvesting of 100 of the 227 acres that are most heavily infested, where milfoil coverage is 25 percent or more. Results are promising. Milfoil density is down significantly in the treated areas, but control needs to be maintained and expanded to the rest of the infested shoreline.

Support our Work

You can be part of this critical work! Our funds come from donations from those who believe Chateaugay Lake is worth protecting and who care enough to participate in its preservation. Help us in our fight to control Eurasian milfoil and keep other invasives out of Chateaugay waters. There are a number of ways to make a donation. If you are a business , contact us to learn about our Business Sponsor program.

Our Board

Under our bylaws, the CLF Board consists of between five and eleven members. At present, the Board consists of members representing all areas of the lake. If you would like to be considered for a position on the Board, please send an email to

Mary Johnson


Growing up in the North Country, Mary spent summers with her family at their camp on Lake Ozonia near Potsdam. Those summers instilled a life-long love of Adirondack lakes. After many years away for education and career, she returned to take a job with PARC when Plattsburgh Air Force Base closed. She met husband Jim Johnson and in 2003 they bought their place on Sunset Road on the Upper Lake. They were drawn by the beauty of the lake, as well as a desire to be close to family on the Lower Lake. Now retired, Mary and Jim enjoy summer and fall at Chateaugay Lake.

Mary received a BA from Syracuse University and an MA in Urban Policy from the University of Maryland. She worked in the field of community and regional economic development to help organizations plan, fund and implement strategies and projects. She became aware of the threats posed by aquatic invasive species after observing Eurasian water milfoil washing up on the Chateaugay Lake shoreline. In 2007, she joined with others from the lake community to establish the Chateaugay Lake Foundation to focus on protecting the lake from milfoil and other environmental threats.

David Kemp

Vice President

David Kemp was born in Malone, New York. He grew up spending his free time skiing, hiking, camping, and canoeing in the Adirondack Park. He worked summers in high school and college at Camp Bedford Scout Camp and at Meacham Lake as a lifeguard. After graduating from Franklin Academy, Dave attended the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York earning a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Environmental Biology. Following college, he was commissioned into the U.S. Navy as a Naval Officer.

During his 30-year career, David was stationed around the world as a Surface Warfare Officer and Human Resources Officer. He earned an M.S. in Management from the Naval Postgraduate School and an M.S. in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, where his studies focused on the impact of the environment on National Security. Knowing they wanted to return to the Adirondacks, David and his wife purchased a four-season camp at the transition of the Narrows into Lower Chateaugay Lake in 2006. After his retirement from the Navy in 2021, David and his wife are splitting their time between their camp and their apartment in Virginia. David joined the CLF Board in 2021.       

Fran McIntyre

Corresponding Secretary

Fran first came to Chateaugay in 1950, as a camper at Jeanne d’Arc. She eventually became a counselor, teaching canoeing and fencing, and lo and behold, married Joe McIntyre, the Founder/Director’s son. They eventually took over ownership of the Camp.

Joe grew up on the Lake, and first noticed a weed he had never seen before in the late 1960’s. He sent a specimen to Cornell for identification and two biologists came to investigate. After a boat tour of the Lake, they determined the weed to be Eurasian milfoil, an invasive species that would eventually interfere with boat traffic, fishing, and other water activities. Unfortunately, most shoreowners thought it was cyclical and would soon disappear. In 2007, Mary Johnson determined that something had to be done to protect the Lake. Fran agreed and joined her in becoming a founding member of the Chateaugay Lake Foundation. Fran has a home on the Narrows.

John Homburger


John and his wife Norma purchased their Chateaugay Lake property on the Lower Lake Outlet in 2013. The amenities of Chateaugay Lake drew them to the lake and community, reminding John of Blue Mountain Lake where he grew up. They enjoy the serenity of the lake and all it has to offer such as swimming, fishing, boating and an opportunity for his new avocation of caring for honeybees. They have two daughters, Sara and Kaela, each having two sons.

John retired in 2018 after 43 years serving in the capacities of Budget Control Officer, Vice President of Business Affairs, and Vice President of Administration and Finance for the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. He obtained a BS in Accounting from SUNY Plattsburgh after obtaining his AAS in Accounting from Canton ATC. John joined the CLF Board in 2021 and looks forward to being part of its work to protect the lake.

Mary Agnes Murphy

Recording Secretary

The love Mary’s family has for Chateaugay Lake spans generations. Her grandfather Cassius (Cash) Bellows , boat builder and craftsman, was the owner of the original Deer Spring Lodge on the upper lake. After Cash’s death, Mary continued to visit her family at the lake each summer until the lodge was sold in the early 1960s. In 1966, her mother purchased a small house at the corner of Blanch Road and 374 just to be near the lake and to row her restored Bellows boat by the hour. In 2001, Mary and her husband purchased the old Morgan’s Coop Store and began converting it into Deerspring Lodge to be enjoyed by family, friends, and guests.

Mary has a BA in Painting and Printmaking from UMass Amherst and an MFA in Graphic Design and Book Design from UMass North Dartmouth. She is an artist and was a teacher for grades Kindergarten through University level and was a Department of Education Specialist. Mary Agnes joined the CLF Board in 2016.

Ted Elsassar


Ted made his first appearance at the lake as a six week old! His mother was a native of Lyon Mountain and his father came to Lower Chateaugay Lake beginning in 1927, staying at the Bellows House and then the Banner House where his parents met. His parents purchased property on the east shore of the Lower Lake in 1946 and completely rehabilitated the old house. Ted inherited the family land in 1985. He and his wife Marian and their sons and their families continue to enjoy the lake in both summer and winter.

Ted holds a BA in microbiology from Rutgers University, a Master’s in biology from Hunter College and a PhD in human physiology from the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston. He worked for three years with the Food and Drug Administration studying drug-use interactions. He then worked for 35 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a lead scientist studying the effects of disease inflammation in growth and metabolism. He is now retired but coaches in the football program at Ave Maria University in Florida. Ted joined the CLF Board in 2018.

Hannah McNulty


Hannah and husband Scott started coming to Chateaugay Lake regularly to visit Scott’s family at the lake around ten years ago. A mix of the beauty of the lake and the company they enjoyed kept them coming back and had them squirreling away a “camp fund” to someday buy a place. After many rentals and near misses of finding “the one,” they purchased their home on the lake in the Narrows. They are thrilled to be on the lake and raising two little lake-loving kids on the water.

Hannah’s career is in marketing with an emphasis on commercial photography, video production and project management. Hannah has a BA in Visual Art and Design from Gordon College. She is also a Master Gardener through the Vermont Extension Program. Hannah brings a great eye for creative marketing, a get-things-done work ethic, and a spirit of teamwork and project planning to the work of the Foundation. Following the family’s relocation to the area in 2020, Hannah joined the Chateaugay Lake Foundation Board in 2021.

Contact us

A cleaner lake is possible! Contact us to learn more about our mission and work, or to become involved yourself.

Chateaugay Lake Foundation

PO Box 222
Lyon Mountain, NY 12952

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