In 2004 we adopted the state program called LakeSmart. It offers a free evaluation of properties around the lake and within the watershed to assess how well one's property is benefiting the lake and offers suggestions on how the property could be improved in this endeavor. It is strictly educational and voluntary.
We have had extremely wonderful responses from property owners and have become one of two Gold LakeSmart lakes in the state. You will notice LakeSmart signs on properties that have been deemed “lake friendly”. Look for them this summer. This is one more way to educate the community on ways we can all help to keep our lake healthy. When you see someone with a LakeSmart sign, ask them how you can apply for one also.
The LakeSmart PathTo Lake Protection
LakeSmart, the flagship program of the Maine Lakes Society, is one of the most effective lake protection programs available today. It recognizes waterfront homeowners who use natural landscaping strategies to protect the health of their lake. LakeSmart’s now-familiar blue and white Award signs get posted at shorefront and roadside and say, “A friend of the lake lives here.”
Most of us grew up with suburban landscaping and are accustomed to its tidy lawns and open space. But suburban lawns, with big driveways and wide paths are deadly for our lakes. LakeSmart landscaping provides a healthy alternative that mimics nature’s rich mosaic of plants, shrubs, winding paths, and shady trees - so it looks great, enhances privacy, and works hard to protect property values, wildlife habitat, water quality, recreational opportunities and the vitality of local economies.
It’s hard to believe one person’s expansive lawn or eroding camp road could be a threat to something as large and enduring as a lake. But it can when added to a shoreline full of similar sites. All stormwater which gets into a lake carries nutrients. Over time, the cumulative impact can be thousands of pounds of pollutants. The result, “death by a thousand cuts,” means algae blooms, fish kills, and the loss of water clarity and spawning habitat. One tiny rivulet from one rainstorm may not seem like much, but when multiplied across a lake watershed and added up over decades, eroded soil can turn a lake into a smelly, pea green mess. So, what we do, DOES count.
And being LakeSmart is the place to start! To learn more about LakeSmart and how the Maine Lakes Society can bring it to your community, contact the Maine Lakes Society (207)-495-2301.
Note: text from Maine Lakes Society - for more information on the LakeSmart visit: Maine Lakes Society.
Email us today for more information about the LakeSmart Program.