LakeSmart is a program that educates landowners about best practices to protect the lakes they live on! The goal is to reduce or eliminate erosion and storm water runoff because it carries pollutants, including phosphorus. Properties which are particularly lake-friendly receive the LakeSmart Award, with accompanying signs for display!
LakeSmart is a program of Maine Lakes run in the Lake Region by the Lakes Environmental Association. If you live in LEA’s service area, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved in LakeSmart! If you live outside of our service area, contact email@example.com or visit lakes.me/lakesmart
LakeSmart properties are more natural than suburban; preventing erosion, providing wildlife habitat, food for pollinators, cooling shade, privacy screening, and so much more. They are functional properties, too…with docks, decks, recreation areas and winding paths.
Interested owners can request a free property evaluation. The evaluation involves a volunteer walking your property with you, looking at different criteria that affect lake health. Some questions LakeSmart volunteers are looking to answer are:
*a vegetated buffer is the trees, shrubs and groundcover plants between your house and the lake that catch sediment and other pollution.
The evaluation report provides recommendations intended to make your property more lake-friendly by eliminating and preventing erosion or other pollution. Its a normal part of the process to not meet the requirements on your first evaluation! Common recommendations for improvement are:
If your property meets LakeSmart requirements, you get the LakeSmart award! Each award is accompanied by two distinctive signs intended for display at the shoreline and at the road. These signs may encourage lake-friendly practices throughout your neighborhood.
If your property does not, you receive a report with recommendations for improvement. There is not pressure or obligation to make these changes! If you choose to make changes, your property can be re-evaluated for award!
If you live in LEA’s service area (Bridgton, Denmark, Harrison, Naples, Sweden, & Waterford) contact firstname.lastname@example.org! If you are outside of this area, contact email@example.com
Soil naturally contains phosphorus, which feeds algae blooms on lakes. If stormwater carries soil into the lake, it can turn green and swampy (which is gross and unhealthy!)
Maybe. If your lawn is limited to the leech field or other small areas its possible you are still LakeSmart. However, having large expanses of lawn will prevent you from becoming LakeSmart.
Lawns often require fertilizer and pesticides which pollute lakes. Lawns offer little habitat to wildlife and pollinators. Lawns do very little stormwater infiltration and can cause runoff problems.
Nope! Free to all. The program is supported by a network of volunteers and donations to Lakes Environmental Association and Maine Lakes.
It is not just in lawn fertilizer. The number one pollutant of lakes is eroded soil carried in stormwater runoff from yards and roads. Phosphorus attached to the soil particles feeds algae in lakes. Algae blooms ruin the lake’s usefulness and lakeshore property values. Phosphorus is naturally occurring in soil and plants, but human development has introduced it in excess to lakes and ponds.
Have an evaluation and figure out how you can improve! This is an opportunity to improve your impact, not a judgement of your property.
If you would like to volunteer for the program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
LEA is proud to announce the 2022 recipients of LakeSmart Awards in its regional Hub area. LEA thanks each of these individuals and families for helping to ensure that the beautiful lakes and ponds of this region stay pristine for generations to come.
Susie Albert & Andy Pond
Dick & Etta May Bates
Bob Spiwak & Maureen Debrot
Lee & Bill Bearse
Cindy & Mitch Coddington
Alice & Gary Gold
Jenny & Shawn Hagerty
Gail & Matt Hoffman
Bill & Linda Monroe
Terri Koehler & Ed Nikonowicz
Alan & Patty Graves
Charlie & Antoinette Tarbell
Wilma Johnson Realty Trust
Moira & George Yip
Margaret And George Chapman