Ledges Progress Outline, July 24, 2001

To:   Matt Cole, PG&E National Energy Group
Joseph Szarejko, Wilmington Chief of Police
Sonia Alexander, Wilmington Town Manager
Fred Squiwirt, Chairman, Wilmington Selectboard
Bob Morton, President, Naturist Action Committee
Eric Schutauf, esq., President, American Association of Nude Recreation
Morley Schloss, NAC Northeastern states board representative
cc: Wilmington Selectboard
From:   Phil Markham, FOTL organizer
FriendsOfLedges at hotmail.com

Introduction:

This outline is the result of much research and discussion with experts in park management, clothing free recreation management, police administration experts, lawyers, community members, ledges users, and behavioral experts. Much has been derived from personal observations at the Ledges over the past 20 years. Much has been learned in just the past few weeks in a fact finding mission that must precede any successful resolution of problems. The purpose of this document is to share this information as well as to demonstrate that many of the problems that others may be attempting to solve either have been solved or are on the way to successful resolutions. This also identifies steps that can be taken in a future of cooperation. Should additional any information be required, please contact me.

I) North end of beach, imposition on camp owners

  1. Accomplishments to date
  1. Developed cooperative relationship with Frosts and other camp owners
  2. Determined the basis of the boundary problem
    1. No signs
    2. No visual presence of camps
    3. Visual difference of perception due to sunlight and glare
    4. Assumed tolerance of camp owners
    5. Former boundaries were not reasonable, thus did not achieve voluntary user cooperation
    6. Former boundaries were made without input or sense of ownership with users from the north end of the beach
    7. New users and the less than frequent user group of 5000 who visit the Ledges only a few times per season are not aware of the boundary issue.
  3. Implemented the following solutions
    1. A temporary boundary that was agreed as reasonable and non-offensive to the camp owners was established
    2. A core group of users on the North end also found this boundary to be reasonable
    3. Temporary signs were established
    4. Camp owners will create an appearance of presence with various decoy items such as a flag if allowed
    5. Camp owners will create increased presence by using the cove area
    6. Camp owners will encourage use of the cove area by other clothed users of the lake who are not offended by nudity as a means of increasing this buffer zone
    7. Users will encourage both clothed use of the buffer zone and increased nude use of the nude border area by regular users as a means of deterring rude or offensive behavior
  4. Results that I observed late on Sunday when I returned to this section were beyond expectation and very positive
    1. 99.9% voluntary compliance with the only exception being an individual hidden by a rock
    2. A small mixed mixed group people who preferred the highly desirable beach area of the cove over nudity started to fill in the new buffer zone
    3. Two mixed gender couples, each containing a highly trained and experienced behavioral specialist, have volunteered to spend time at the north end to observe, plan, and to deter any behavioral problems that they may influence
    4. A group of leaders at the north end had taken on the role of "gatekeepers" to politely request compliance with the new signs and to replace the temporary signs as required
  5. Needed improvements
    1. Temporary signs will require constant replenishment
    2. Official looking signs would alleviate confusion among users
    3. There may or may not be an adjustment to the new boundary in order to satisfy either side
    4. A constant informational campaign may be needed to maintain the status quo

II) Boundaries on South end, parking lot side of peninsula, public picnic area

  1. Problem identification, observations
    1. Lack of any signs
    2. Some users do not perceive the parking lot side of the peninsula as "reasonable" because the distance to the parking lot is one where it becomes very difficult to identify whether a subject is clothed or not.
    3. A small number of newcomers who assume that the lower parking lot is the clothing free area
    4. These areas have never been a major problem in terms of public imposition other than in a few isolated cases
    5. The problem of use of the south side of the peninsula is more one of imposition to security resources rather than one of imposition on others or legitimate offense because of the more than 300 foot distance to the parking area and lack of visual clarity of nudism
    6. There is a degree of user confusion because the creek is the boundary and the peninsula is beyond the creek
  2. Actions taken
    1. Temporary designation signs have been posted after the creek on the trail
    2. Temporary signs have been placed on the peninsula facing the parking lot
    3. A group of volunteers will patrol both areas and point out the proper boundaries to those not in compliance
    4. Those who favor the use of this area over nudity are being encouraged to use it to firm up this buffer zone
    5. We are encouraging those with boats to leave boats in this area
  3. Results
    1. To the best of my knowledge, security had to make no requests for people to use the proper area throughout the weekend
    2. Signs and user awareness created full cooperation of users and of gatekeepers along the shore of the peninsula
  4. Needs and recommendation
    1. Official looking signs.
    2. A means of directing people in the parking area to the clothing optional area.
    3. There may be a need to re-evaluate the use of the parking side of the peninsula at a future time for the following reasons:
      1. Security enforcement is a draw against resources used to resolve a victimless and non-imposing problem.
      2. Distant visual presence of unclothed people will help to send newcomers in the right direction
      3. A single point of designation at the creek reduces user confusion.
      4. The 300+ foot distance to the parking area serves as a non-imposing warning to those who may venture into the clothing free section and creates an improved buffer zone where the nude use becomes more obvious as those who might be surprised or offended approach the area.
      5. Public observation from this distance can serve to satisfy the curious as well as to remove the many misconceptions by others as to nude recreation. These misconceptions cause a burden to the users and government officials alike and only serve to add fuel to any spark of reality of a problem.
      6. A major objective of managed nude recreation is to consolidate this recreation to areas where it is non-offensive and while doing so, opening up more areas of recreation land for those who do not wish to observe naked people. In light of the reported increase of nude recreation about the lake and the fact that the entire Ledges area is crowded, more space needs designation as clothing optional. Nude recreation is on the increase all over America as people become more understanding and accepting of the lifestyle and we can not prevent this, but we can manage it in order that it not impose on others.

III) Behavior of users along the shoreline

  1. Problems observed (this problem involves a very small percentage of users and is quite a minor problem but inflated reports have fueled huge misperceptions)
    1. There are a very few who confuse nude recreation with a sexual situation.
    2. There are a very few who mistake the public access ownership of the area with private ownership
    3. There are a few who are not sensitive that an act of affection while clothed can be construed as offensive while nude
    4. There has been a past attitude of complacency and desire to not be imposing by some regular users that has allowed this small amount of behavior to exist
    5. There are many users who would like to utilize police intervention as a tool to resolve extreme cases but have feared that this interaction may create focus on the problems and that this action would close the Ledges
  2. Action taken
    1. Friends of Ledges informational campaign is promoting that this is an area considered public
    2. Users have been asked to be more observant of such behavior and to politely address any abuse of privilege
    3. Informal signs have been placed stating that lewd and lascivious behavior is a felony (some children noticed the signs and think that they say "welcome", in German for our European guests)
    4. Users have been very cooperative in deterring such behavior by walking around more in order to increase presence of responsible people
    5. A group of delegates who are well trained in behavioral problems and human relations are becoming active in dealing directly with these problems
    6. People have been made aware that the police will cooperate with this matter and cell phones are being brought as a means to communicate, although cell phones are not reliable along the lower shoreline
    7. Increased presence of Wilmington Police in the parking area as well as the State Police in the water have most likely been a deterrent to this behavior
  3. Results
    1. No overt sexual acts were observed during the busiest weekend of the season
    2. It is believed that the number of those who come for exhibitionist or sexual activities has been greatly reduced through this action and awareness campaign
  4. Plans and needs
    1. We plan to publish a fairly comprehensive Ledges Users Guide to be distributed to users and new comers addressing the issues of confusion
    2. We plan to maintain the system of creating presence as well as a system of "Ambassadorship" to reach out to newcomers
    3. Should there be any further evidence of this problem, police or security presence along the trail may be requested. This is generally not needed in managed and official clothing optional recreation areas. A public statement from the Chief of Police, to be distributed in our newsletter, as to how, what, and when to call the police might be helpful.

IV) Cruising for male to male sex in the woods

  1. Problem observed, other discoveries
    1. This is a separate issue of lewd behavior and imposition, not one of nude recreation or use of the Ledges by gays and the cruising problem is equally shared by the proud community of Wilmington and naturists alike. This is a problem that plagues rest areas, parks, and public bathrooms all over Vermont and the United States and it has very little to do with nude recreation. An observation of the subjects in the Palmiter woods reveals that many of the subjects are clothed and many more have no sign of a suntan and are not at all similar to those who participate in nude recreation.
    2. Some of the cruisers or people who come for sex may blend into the mainstream crowd. Cruisers use the parking area and pass through the Ledges area and in the absence of other cruisers, will sometimes harass the traditional Ledges users. The vast majority of cruisers do not use the shoreline at all and are present for very short periods of time. Some enter from the Castle / Boyd hill area as this is an equal or shorter distance.
    3. The magnitude of the problem is more likely one of mis-perception than of reality and much of this is believed to be fueled by a single report to the police where the subjects fled when approached by hikers. Of the 3-400 people who visit the Ledges on any nice day, there are a very few, if any, who come for the reasons of sexual activity. If problems at the Ledges were as real as imagined, responsible people would not go there nor expose their families to such a place.
    4. The hotbed of activity is an off premises area 500 feet from the shoreline and in the Palmiter development on lot 21 or 22 and along a trail that has been used by the hiking public for many years. It is activity seen along this trail by hikers entering from Castle / Boyd Hill that has contributed to the stigma of nude recreation. Perhaps part of the problem is that traditional users just do not go there and since this is private property most never will.
    5. The majority of these men are not of the mainstream gay lifestyle, but are "in the closet" married men or people who are in the public eye who have the most to lose by being caught in action. They have a tremendous fear of being exposed by being prosecuted for lewd behavior. Because of this fear, research shows that this behavior is most practical to deter with increased public or police presence. With effective deterrence, cruisers will abandon nearly any town that creates a perception of police activity.
    6. These subjects are also aware of the danger of hate crime toward them that is increased with publicity and recent publicity may have been a deterrent.
    7. It is fear that causes these men to seek out non-public locations and private property. Most are well aware that they are on private property due to the survey marks from Mill Lane Development. Most are unaware that the development is 70% sold out and that they are now acting in a more risky and illegal manner.
    8. Cruisers are a somewhat organized and calculating group. In order to be prosecuted for lewdness, the element of "public" must exist and many are aware of this. Successful legal defense of this matter will attack the "public" element of the law. It is legal opinion that a posted area may not meet the "public" element that makes the behavior a prosecutable crime as the public is excluded from these areas. Cruisers are known to risk receiving a summons for trespassing in a posted area rather than risk felony prosecution in a non-posted area. In other words, posting is a tool used by cruisers to escape prosecution. Some confuse the private ownership of power company lands that allow public access with "private". Some also do not recognize that a trail used by the public, although on private lands, is considered public in regard to lewd behavior. Cruisers often post lookouts and will stop activity if discovered as a means to escape prosecution, but soon grow tired of interruption and risk and will abandon a busy area for a more secluded setting.
    9. Attempts at restricting nude recreation areas or real estate as a means of regulating lewd behavior most often results in an increase of lewd behavior. When this happens, the need for resources to reduce lewd behavior increases, resulting in a higher cost to the community. This has been the example of many beaches faced with similar situations.
    10. This problem is a slap in the face to the proud community of Wilmington. It is also one to the majority of gays who do not want their reputation smeared by association with such behavior. Responsible naturists are especially intolerant of this behavior because of pride, of being imposed upon, and because of the threat to use of the recreational area that the cruisers pose. Naturists promote a safe setting for family activity and no type of lewd activity is tolerated around children.
    11. If this action seems to have been tolerated by naturists, it is because most are unaware of the situation. Others have maintained a "live and let live" attitude as long as the behavior is taken into the woods. Naturists recognize that this is problem to be dealt with by the law and many fear these felons, thus resulting in no responsible presence in proximity to this lewd activity.
    12. During the cool season, and in absence of large groups of responsible people, the cruising problem increases and also migrates to the main areas. It is also during this off season that clothed local residents and hikers visit the area and may encounter this behavior.
  2. Actions taken
    1. Friends of the Ledges information campaign has separated any notion of an association of nude behavior and lewd behavior in literature and by posting signs stating the law.
    2. Information has been distributed showing that public access property owned by PG&E is considered public and is under full jurisdiction of the law.
    3. Wilmington and State police have been more present on the water and in the main parking area but not in the woods where the problem exists and where their presence would be most effective.
    4. Ledges users are increasing presence by walking around in small groups to areas that they don’t normally visit.
    5. A select group of users who are trained and experienced with human behavior are being used to increase presence in the more susceptible areas and to spread the word to the violators
    6. Ledges users are aware and eager to cooperate with police by reporting violators along the shoreline and on the power companies property.
    7. Ledges users have posted information to discourage cruising activity at the Ledges on message boards and in alerts at Cruisingforsex.com. They have discovered that cruisers had been posting the same information in the past few weeks.
  3. Results observed
    1. Much of the cruising crowd has abandoned the Wilmington area in the past few weeks and this was especially noticeable last weekend, which was the busiest weekend of the season thus far, with filled parking lots.
    2. Cruisers who have not abandoned the area remain mostly on the Palmiter property.
    3. There have been no incidences that we know of reported along the shoreline or on the power company’s property.
    4. Naturists are very active in spreading the word and in creating increased presence in the area.
    5. Many now better informed Friends of the Ledges have lost all tolerance for lewd behavior and violators are beginning to recognize this, as demonstrated by the recent exodus.
  4. Plans and needs
    1. Although Friends of the Ledges can be highly cooperative in identifying or testifying against subjects, we are not police and we need the help of the police to deal with enforcement of felonies. An occasional police presence in the Palmiter woods at the area which is the heart of the problem would add tremendously to the progress that has already been made. This area is fairly easy to access from Mill lane and an occasional foot patrol would have a profound effect in showing these felons that Wilmington is serious about this problem.
    2. Friends of Ledges will continue to educate people as to the public authority of the land.
    3. More official presence in terms of signs, etc. will contribute to elimination of this problem in the long run.
    4. This is by far, the most serious of issues at the Ledges and one that requires the highest level of deep understanding and mutual cooperation in order to resolve

V) Nudity issues in other areas of the Lake

  1. We are aware that some believe that nude recreation is spreading to other portions of the lake.
    1. The most qualified person to assess this situation is Dick Joyce, who tours the lake on a daily basis. He has said that there is some increase of nude recreation around the lake, and most is quite discreet use by boaters in the many small bays. His main concern is that he may occasionally embarrass his guests by cutting the turn too short at a sharp turn on the opposite side of the lake.
    2. Many locals skinny dip and will not go to the Ledges because of false notions about the place and the stigma involved.
    3. Some is by those who seek a more private setting for nude recreation.
    4. Nude recreation is on the increase throughout America as Americans emulate a commonly accepted European practice. Although this trend cannot be prevented, proper management of nude recreation and designating proper and acceptable places for nude activity tends to consolidate this activity
  2. Friends of the Ledges can work with the community to influence some of this wider spread use of the lake by:
    1. Providing a more official sanctioning of the Ledges area as a proper area for nude use
    2. Working to protect available space and to assure that a good portion of this space allows for privacy without lawlessness
    3. Working to eliminate problems or perceptions that may keep other nude recreationers from visiting the Ledges area
    4. Providing more room for boat beaching or mooring at the Ledges. There is little room for boats at the Ledges but many have been encouraged to beach their boats at the currently clothed sandy beach area on the parking lot side of the peninsula and to walk the short distance to the Ledges as a means to keep nude recreation off the lake. Other than the need of marker buoys to keep boats off the nearby shoal and a few rocks along this sandy section of beach, this is a very good landing area for boats.
    5. Friends of Ledges is working on improving the public image of users and this may help to break the stigma that prevents local residents from using the Ledges area.

VI) Problems with plan to create No trespassing zone

  1. Friends of the Ledges is aware of a no trespassing zone that may be created by the power company in conjunction with the Wilmington Police that may include posting of a section of shoreline that includes about half of the legitimate traditional nude use area. Although it was stated at the town meeting that our input would be sought from Friends of the Ledges in order to determine problems and develop cooperative solutions, this has happened only on a very limited basis although we have made ourselves available at very short notice.
  2. It is not the position of Friends of the Ledges to protest the taking of territory, but instead, one of trying to resolve issues in a manner where all benefit the most and lose the least. It would be very tempting to take an approach as simple as drawing a specific line and allowing problems outside of that line to belong to someone else. This approach would be highly unrealistic and would most likely compound problems for users, power company, and the community alike. We are not in a position to oppose this action and will do our best to cooperate with any local law or ordinance, but also can not endorse the planned activity for the following reasons:
    1. This action will overtax the police, efforts of the power company, and the financial resources of the community. An attempt to enforce trespassing regulations in such a vast and inaccessible area would be very expensive and would eventually fail. Similar plans have been enacted at other areas in the country and have placed enough burden on the taxpayers that the ultimate result was total closure of the recreation areas. The result after the closure was loss of responsible citizens and tourists and an increase in vandalism and illegal behavior. It is the consensus of the highly experienced consultants to Friends of the Ledges that posting a large area would be unreasonable and would be against the interest of the community.
    2. When faced with loss of shoreline that has been used responsibly, Friends of Ledges will lose badly needed and helpful user cooperation that we have worked to establish. History at other beaches shows that user cooperation is essential in resolving problems. One of the key reasons for failure of the previous Ledges User group was that the clothing free boundary that was established in 1996 was not reasonable. As a result, interest in the group was lost by all but a very few and the boundary signs were taken down by non-cooperative individuals. User cooperation is a valuable asset in the policing of reasonable boundaries and can be utilized by the community.
    3. This solution is not targeted to a specific problem. Users have the knowledge and experience to understand the problem, while officials have little time to study the problems and little experience with the area during active times of use. This may add to the officials’ discomfort in dealing with the situation. It goes without saying that any solution developed to resolve any type of problem without a full understanding of that problem is quite likely to backfire. In this particular situation, decision makers may be dealing with issues that have been blown out of true proportion.
    4. There may be FERC licensing restrictions to controlling access to this area per New England Power Company.33. Article 18 of the License that states:
      "So far as is consistent with proper operation of the project, the Licensee shall allow the public free access, to a reasonable extent, to project waters and adjacent project lands owned by the Licensee for the purpose of full public utilization of such lands and waters for navigation and for outdoor recreational purposes, including fishing and hunting. Provided, that the Licensee may reserve from public access such portions of the project waters, adjacent lands, and project facilities as may be necessary for the protection of life, health, and property". Although Friends of the Ledges would not ask FERC to initiate action, any one of the many groups assigned to oversee this agreement might and this could result in heavy fines to PG&E National Energy group. There may also be Vermont Land trust problems with posting an unreasonable area as well.
    5. A goal of managed nude recreation is to create a proper place where nudity will not impose on others. The Ledges is quite crowded and any loss of shoreline space will serve only to spread nudity around the lake.
    6. Although understandably unfamiliar to the local authorities or power company, there are proven and viable solutions to the problems we face and these solutions have proven effective elsewhere. There are two very substantial organizations that can lend expertise to resolve these issues. Both The Naturist Society, and the American Association of Nude Recreation recognize the interest of Wilmington, of the power company, and the interests of responsible freedom of the people. The executives in both organizations are working closely with Friends of the Ledges to assure that the Ledges will remain an asset to all interested parties and that the value of the Ledges to the community will increase.
    7. Friends of the Ledges has proven that effective solutions can be developed with minimum burden to others, and both the community and the power company can be assured that a very slight bit of joint cooperation with the Friends of the Ledges will resolve the majority of problems in the long run.
    8. Any plan to resolve a problem that does not have a means of measuring progress from a starting point could cause an infinite expense to those who administer the plan.
    9. Most of the land being considered for posting is used legitimately by hikers, hunters, and skinny dippers alike and is not used for illegal activity.
    10. Friends of the Ledges will not endorse any plan that has not sought reasonable input from users. Our mission is to develop win- win solutions, not to support actions where all parties serve to lose.
  3. Friends of Ledges would endorse a no trespassing zone that would be used to create a more official presence in the area beyond the north end voluntary no nudity compliance line, but not including any shoreline other than a small police boat landing zone, as a deterrent to the illegal behavior that takes place in the nearby woods. It is suggested that all points in this posted area be visible from either side. Enforcement of this area would be practical because it allows easy access to police from the camp owners property, from Mill Lane, and is a good area for police boat beaching if ever necessary. Potential vandalism of signs would likely be reduced due to distance from the main parking lot and because of the camp owners’ presence.
  4. Other proposed solutions
    1. Define specific problems and utilize user cooperation to resolve most of these.
    2. The lewd behavior problem in the off-premises area is one that should be directly addressed using existing law rather than turning currently acceptable use of nearby areas into a crime. There is an old adage, "Bad law makes criminals out of law abiding citizens." The off-premises male to male cruising problem is the only problem that is foreseen to require substantial utilization of police resources and this situation will exist in the area whether the land is posted or not and whether nudity is regulated or not.
    3. Create an ad hoc committee to evaluate problems and to monitor the effectiveness of solutions. This committee can report feedback to the town government, chief of police, and to the power company representative and should consist of local delegates who understand the interest of the community as well as of the problems of the Ledges.
    4. Friends of the Ledges is willing to provide a complete and unbiased tour of the entire situation as a means of helping to create a further understanding of the problems that exist. We have done this with others and this is not a tour for those who are uncomfortable with seeing nudity. We are empathetic to this uncomfortable situation of others and can do many things to ease any discomfort that may be encountered by a professional person. .

VII) Litter, sanitation, dogs, safety

  1. Problems and observations, actions, plans
    1. An inspection of the shoreline and trails on both Saturday and Sunday revealed no litter or sanitation problems. There was no sign of human or dog feces, or of tissue. This absence of dog feces may have been the result of a temporary sign stating the Wilmington dog ordinance.
    2. The State has performed a sanitation inspection and Friends of the Ledges will support any recommendations made by this inspection.
    3. We have spoken to the town manager and will work with the town to maintain public awareness in regard to the dog issue.
    4. There is no doubt that the entire Ledges area is by far the cleanest area along the entire shoreline, demonstrating the pride and civic responsibility of the users.
    5. At least one porta-pottie in the main parking area was smeared with feces making it unusable. This took place around mid day on Sunday and it can only be speculated that:
      1. This was the result of an accident.
      2. This was the result of vandalism by teenage drinkers that were observed in the parking area.
      3. This may have been the result of a confused anti-gay or anti-nudist activist, drawn by the recent surge of publicity. A more official presence usually discourages such activity.
    6. There is a problem of litter being left at the porta-potties. This is generally from non-ledges users as most users follow the policy of carrying out more than they carry in and they keep the area free of litter. Users will be asked to scan the entire lower parking area at the end of each day and to carry out any trash left behind by littering picnickers. This should be no problem as this is currently a common practice by many of the users.

VIII) Long term conflicts in community utilization of the lake as a tourist attraction and a FERC licensed power generating company.

  1. It is recognized that catering to tourism on the lake, whether nude or not, is not the business of power company and is sometimes an expensive endeavor. Power generating companies have little interest in operating parks. It is notable that Matt Cole has developed such a good relationship with the community and does much more than expected with limited resources.

  2. Any additional tourism places an additional financial burden on the power company and is not part of the objectives of the company.

  3. Friends of the Ledges realizes that they are creating a burden to the power company at the current time and propose:

    1. That a reasonable parking fee be implemented in order to return the cost of security and maintenance to the power company. A side benefit is that a parking fee may discourage the unruly.

    2. That in the long run, the power company, obligated by FERC license to provide reasonable public access to the lake, turn over management duties to a government run park service. This has been done at other FERC licensed power generation reservoirs and removes any inherent conflict by creating a win-win situation with all involved and would enhance the value of the lake to the community. At Lake Travis, part of the Lower Colorado River Authority in Texas, the County operates the parks and a nude recreation area is successfully managed at one of the locations. The licensee wins by not having to deal with a situation out of business focus, the community wins through direct revenue produced by tourism, the county wins by collecting parking fees, and the users win by having a safe and well managed facility.

IX) Friends of the Ledges organizational and public image notes

  1. We are aware that full cooperation with the community requires clearing up the myths as to who the users are. Correcting any improper image of nude recreation or the responsible citizens who partake in this form of recreation may enable the town officials to work closer with the group without repercussions from the few in the community who would not be supportive. Naturists are generally a very responsible and civic minded group and at the Ledges, users are grateful to the community. We are planning the following events, both to bolster interest of users to the Friends of the Ledges organization and to demonstrate to the community that we are the best group of neighbors and tourists to have.
    1. Expose yourself Tee shirt campaign, utilizing Twice Blessed (a locally run thrift store that distributes profit to local interests), who will profit as the wholesale distributor of these shirts. Sales will be by stores, hotels, and restaurants in Wilmington. We hope that as people buy and sell these shirts that the myths will be dissolved and that this will also encourage users to do more business in Wilmington.
    2. More by accident, a group of users participated in a fund-raiser for Families First, a local organization to help special needs children. The result of this was that Ledges users contributed about 20% of the funds collected at this small benefit and developed a relationship with this group.
    3. On August 18th the Indigo Lounge is sponsoring a similar event for Families First and the Friends of Ledges will promote generous donations at this fun night out with the hope of raising well over a thousand dollars for this charity.
    4. In conjunction with the August 18th benefit, Friends the of Ledges is in the process of arranging a Friends of the Ledges sunset cruise on the lake. We plan to be very discreet at this event and to limit nudity, if any at all, to the complete discretion of the highly aware and responsible Captain of the ship.
    5. We are planning a clothing drive for Twice Blessed and plan to have a drop point near the Ledges on a weekend in late August as soon as Twice Blessed has more storage room. The object of this is obvious. If Friends of the Ledges gives away all of their clothing, no one can take away the freedom to be nude. In all seriousness, the clothing free crowd is very generous and affluent and many are parents of children who have outgrown clothing. Most would rather help out a Wilmington based organization by making an easy drop on the way to the beach than to track down an urban based Goodwill store.
    6. We have discussed a fall and spring shoreline cleanup, not for the always immaculate nude use area, but for other areas along the lake and hope to do this with cooperation of the power company.
    7. We seek out other ways to help both the power company in non-nude related situations as well as other community benefits and are always open to suggestion.
  2. The Friends of the Ledges e-mail list currently reaches over 300 of the estimated 5000 unique visitors that visit the area each season. Hundreds more are reached by printed distribution. We will continue to recruit and to build this as a solid permanent organization.