Lyn Crighton, executive director of The Watershed Foundation, current and nearly lifelong resident of Lake Tippecanoe, has been named as the Lake Tippecanoe Property Owners Association 2023 Distinguished Lake Citizen of the Year.
Crighton was surprised with the honor during the lake association’s annual meeting at the Tippecanoe Lake Country Club. Crighton sat quietly in the audience during the award’s presentation, unaware that she would receive it. Ron Chambers gave an overview of the award winner’s life and career, dropping clues as to the winner’s identity. Soon, Crighton began to realize Chambers was speaking about her.
“There are few folks more deserving than this year’s honoree,” said Ron Chambers, a past recipient of the award and a member of the committee responsible for choosing the honorees each year. “This year’s recipient is a true professional who has been recognized statewide for environmental excellence, innovation, marketing, technical merit and being an excellent communicator.”
Crighton’s love of the lakes was already growing when, at age 4, she began hydro sliding behind the boat on Lake Tippecanoe and at age 10 she was slalom skiing. By age 15, she was lifeguarding and teaching swimming lessons. Clearly, Crighton has lake water in her veins!
From there, Crighton’s journey took her to Indiana University where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and, later, a Master’s Degree in Water Resources/Environmental Science.
During her career, Crighton has worked as a lake manager in Lake Oswego, Oregon, for the US Geological Survey at the Indiana Dunes, at Indiana University and Purdue University, and as the Hoosier Riverwatch Coordinator for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Today, as the executive director of The Watershed Foundation, she continues to advocate for the health of water not only in Lake Tippecanoe, but the entire watershed.
“I love all of our lakes. Generations of families, like mine, have come to these waters for rejuvenation, comfort, sporting and more,” Crighton said. “It is my sincere hope that by caring for our water in a dedicated, focused way, we can ensure that future generations will continue to treasure our lakes as we do.”
Ron Chambers credits passion and leadership as being responsible for more than 275 completed projects in the Upper Watershed, with a measured 25% reduction in phosphorus and nutrient loading and the elimination of over a billion pounds of weeds and algae per year.
“I’m truly humbled and honored to have been recognized by the Lake Tippecanoe Property Owners Association with this thoughtful award,” Crighton said. “The long-term health and quality of this most precious resource — our water — has been central focus of my life and career, and for others to see and celebrate that really means a lot to me.”
To be eligible for the Distinguished Lake Citizen of the Year Award, a candidate must be nominated by a member of the Lake Tippecanoe Property Owners Association; they must reside full or part-time on the lake for the last 5 years, be a member of the Association, and have made a positive impact on the quality of life in our lake environment.
Each year, the award’s recipient is given a $500 grant from LTPO to be directed to their favorite 501c3 non-profit organization.
The selection committee is made up of past recipients, including Dan Drook, Jeff Thornburgh and Ron Chambers.