Today marks the first of several events organized by the Friends of Spider Lake.

The group, made up of women who met each other while organizing fun neighborhood community-builders like kayak scavenger hunts and bonfires, will host a three-speaker series that starts today.

But instead of just getting together and enjoying their northwoods lake surroundings, they’ll also take a deeper look at them.

The series invites experts from the Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay, Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and the conservation districts for Grand Traverse, Benzie and Leelanau counties to discuss water quality and ecosystem protections.

“It’s to spread information and knowledge to be better water stewards,” said Carol Kuesel, one of the organizers.

We applaud this effort — and especially like how grassroots it appears to be, as the group’s new tack directly responds to the popularity of an event they planned last year when upward of 30 people puttered around on two pontoon boats while an aquatic plant specialist identified various plants in the water.

Apparently, learning about your own neighborhood can also be an enjoyable social outing.

We see the appeal on several levels, and also think it wise to underscore the impact that lake- and riverfront property owners have on their surroundings, as well as those who recreate on them.

Areas like Spider Lake are being developed quickly, and we see great value in educating ourselves on how our actions affect the watershed as a whole.

The free lectures are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. at GOREC, 4754 Scout Camp Road, Traverse City. Organizers request reservations be made so enough seating and educational materials are available by calling 231-946-4263 or visiting online.