Friends of Spanaway Lake (FOSL)

To Improve Lake Water Quality -

FOSL is composed of the community of Pierce County Citizens who desire to protect the uses provided by Spanaway Lake

The Friends of Spanaway Lake (FOSL) is a 501c3 non-profit group with the following goals:

The Friends of Spanaway Lake is a community organization of local citizens comprised
of property owners, users of the lake and other interested parties dedicated to:

  1. the preservation of water quality,
  2. fish and wildlife habitat enhancement,
  3. protection from environmental hazards,
  4. education, and Including communication of lake safety, preservation and protection of property and property rights.

These objectives will be attained by a combination of citizen engagement and working
with local and state government and other appropriate agencies for the continued
vitality of Spanaway Lake.

Above from our bylaws.

The friends of Spanaway Lake (FOSL) is now a reality that will benefit Spanaway Lake and the lake community.  The January 25th 2017 meeting and annual meetings since then have been attended by fifty plus persons who saw that if we did not organize that we would lose control of the future of Spanaway Lake.

Thus, with the boring yet necessary part of organizing done, (see bylaws tab) and a great board of directors elected (see minutes) the FOSL presence can now be felt. Councilwoman Cruver demonstrates how we can connect to impact change.

Spanaway Lake is the host to 500,000 people per year according to statistics from the Parks department.  Boaters, fishermen, swimmers, nature lovers, inspired artists and many others use the Lake for a relief from the urban pressures of the modern world.    This number does not even include the people who access the lake from non-park locations such as the Lakeside drive walkers and scenic car drivers.  With a unified voice provided by FOSL we can push the lake communities vision of what the lake needs if it is to be a resource and asset to the community for years to come. 

 A 2015 study of the lake was funded by the state to determine how to fix the toxic algae problem  As the study determined it was not fixable without an organized effort to control certain chemicals,especially Phosphorus [P] that are fertilizing the lake.  That study also surfaced many other concerns from fish stocking to invasive species.  The FOSL board and lake community can now take the lead in prioritizing these challenges (your input) and create a viable plan forward.  This would not happen without the creation of FOSL- it would be left to government agencies- who with good intentions- may not really prioritize Spanaway lake.

For those will to work and or to get wet and dirty there are other projects on the FOSL menu that would not be possible without its organizational clout.  Some potential projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Invasive plant removal- especially on some county property overrun by blackberries
  • Yellow iris removal using combination of volunteers and summer county employees
  • Lake characteristic data collection- we need to know a lot more about the chemistry, currents, temperatures and oxygen levels in the lake to understand what to do.
  • Toxic Algae watch- in cooperation with Tacoma- Pierce County Health department FOSL can coordinate the data that will lead to understanding the where and why these algae blooms occur.
  • Lake bottom mapping- detailed mapping of the lake bottom using everything from depth finders to scuba divers.  This would include a vegetation mapping project to support future noxious weed removal.
  • This list can go on - if you have ideas please send them to

FOSL; It’s a good thing and with all of us working together, the Lake will get better and we will have it well into the future. 

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