The Glen Lake Association is committed to protecting, preserving, and caring for the Glen Lake/Crystal River Watershed. Located in the northwest of Michigan’s lower peninsula, this watershed is comprised of a crystal clear river, turquoise blue lakes, and lush green hillsides. The Association strives to maintain this extraordinary natural resource and to promote its careful stewardship among all those who live, work, and play in the Glen Lake area. 

inspiration point spring glen lakes

Our Mission

It’s All About The Water!

The Glen Lake Association is dedicated to preserving and protecting the water quality, natural resources, and quality of life in the Glen Lake/Crystal River Watershed through leadership, education, and collaboration.

Our vision

The Glen Lake Association aims to be the recognized leader in evidence-based strategies for protecting the Glen Lake/Crystal River Watershed while advancing environmental education, sustainable policies, and quality of life.

our values

Our values reflect what we stand for: openness, transparency, credibility, integrity, dedication, sacrifice, philanthropy and more. We believe in fact-based decisions, education, and building partnerships to achieve shared goals.


The Glen Lake Association was founded in 1945 by a group of property owners. Its original mission was to protect the amazingly pristine and delicate natural resource known as Glen Lake and its connecting environs.

In its early years, the Association’s primary focus was on addressing swimmers itch concerns. In 1954, it was tasked (by court order) with the responsibility of operating and maintaining the Crystal River dam in order to balance water levels between the Crystal River and Glen Lake.

In the 1980’s and 90’s, the Association expanded its focus into the areas of water safety and water quality. It began collaborating with area stakeholders, including the townships, the National Park Service, and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, in order to address water quality concerns more effectively.

While the Association remains dedicated to water quality, water safety, and water level work, it now embraces a more holistic commitment to watershed management and protection than ever before. This includes playing a key role in the development of a written watershed protection plan as well as educating the entire community about best management practices.

If we can keep the watershed healthy, we will in turn keep Glen Lake and its surrounding waterbodies clean, clear, and blue for generations to come!

our Strategic plan

Our 2020-2025 strategic plan was developed based upon input from Association members and other key stakeholders. It is structured around four key areas of focus:

  • Watershed Protection
  • Education and Communication
  • Quality of Life
  • Organizational Development

our By-Laws

The purpose of our by-laws is to govern the actions and decisions of our board of directors. The by-laws also outline voting policies and procedures for our membership.

Our staff

Rob Karner

watershed scientist

Rob has worked for the Glen Lake Association since 1977. His science-based initiatives have made the GLA a leader among Midwest lake associations. You’re most likely to find him taking water samples in the middle of a lake, leading a Discovery Boat tour, working with riparians on their greenbelt buffers, or explaining the life cycle of swimmer’s itch.

Tricia Denton

admin coordinator

Tricia has worked for the Association since 2018, when she started as a Guardian Ambassador promoting watershed protection to riparians. Tricia was a Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council 2019 Environmentalist of the Year and has served as Chair of the Leelanau County Watershed Collaborative Group “Leelanau Clean Water” since 2020.

Sallyanne Morris

Office Manager

A horticulturist by training, Sallyanne holds a B.S. from Michigan State University and has been key to the success of our Boat Wash program. She enjoys educating people about invasive species and the importance of taking care of the watershed. Sallyanne loves helping keep Glen Lake one of the cleanest and healthiest inland lakes in the country.

Joe Blondia

Assistant Scientist

Joe received his Biology degree from Grand Valley State University and completed post-graduate studies in Environmental Science at the University of Montana. He assists Rob with water quality monitoring, teaching on the Discovery Boat, and special projects. Joe also supervises the Glen Lake Association’s intern program. Joe also teaches science at the Leelanau School.

Laura Wiesen

Assistant Scientist

Laura has been a member of the Water Quality committee since 2010. In her current role, she collects water quality data and performs analysis, creates videos for the Association, and teaches on the Discovery Boat. An alumna of Northwestern University, Laura loves the clarity of our water and especially how every depth in Big and Little Glen has a different color.


boat wash Manager

Victoria learned of the GLA through her participation in the Freshwater Studies program at NMC, removing invasive yellow iris along Glen Lake. She joined the GLA in 2022 to manage the boat wash. Having spent much of her life on inland lakes, Victoria knows first hand how important it is to protect the water. She enjoys maintaining her upland and shoreline gardens at home on Bass Lake.


Our board of directors

Meet our dedicated board members who provide direction and oversight to the Glen Lake Association. The Board is comprised of watershed riparians and meets 10 times annually.


The Glen Lake Association has 14 working committees which contribute invaluable time, energy and resources to our organization. These committees are comprised of  Association employees, volunteers, members, and directors.

volunteer stock image


  •  Communications
  •  Development
  •  Finance & Investment
  •  Fisheries, Wildlife, Recreation, & Water Safety
  •  Guardian
  •  History
  •  Invasive Species
  •  Long Range Planning & Government Relations
  •  Membership & Records
  •  Nominating
  •  Technology
  •  Water Level
  •  Water Quality

If you are interested in serving on a committee, please contact the Glen Lake Association!

Our logo

Each drop of water is precious and how we protect the water is largely in our hands

Our logo includes elements of the sun, earth, sky, and water—all of which impact the health of the watershed. It also includes a reminder of the responsibility to protect the future of water quality which we all hold in our hands.

new Glen Lake Association logo

The orange sun is where it all begins, as it makes life on earth possible. The brown color represents the earth—a reminder that what happens on land also affects the water; if we pollute the soil, we pollute the ground water and this ultimately pollutes the lakes. The light blue color represents the sky—another important part of the water cycle, as rain and snow collect what is in the air and deposit it into the water. Finally, the turquoise base of our logo represents the beautiful water of Glen Lake. It is shaped like a hand with its fingers forming water drops. The sloping palm and grasses represent the ever-changing dunes and vegetation.