This page is a resource for information on factors affecting the health of our lakes, potential projects that our Association may consider and things that residents can do to help preserve our lakes.

Ponds are Born to Die ….  click for full article  

It can be said that “ponds are born to die,” because over time, all ponds and lakes undergo natural succession. This aging process can vary in time from 25-100 years or more depending many factors.   The back end of Lakeside’s upper lake was in the later stages of it’s life prior to the weed and muck removal projects of 2016 and 2017.  The Board is actively studying cost effective measures to slow this natural process.  However, there is many things that our residents can do to help.

Top ways to protect our lakes

Pick up lawn/leaf debris
Don’t blow or rake your lawn debris into the lake. We worked hard, and paid a lot, to get the sediment out of the lake. Decomposing grass and leaves will deplete the lake of oxygen and we will end up with a swampy mess again. So please rake up leaves before they make it into the lake and, if applicable, remind your yard maintenance crew not to put anything into the lake. This is also true for other contractors – especially painters.
Keep hazardous materials out of the drainage system
Don’t use the ditches or storm drains to dispose of oils, paints and other materials. Remind your contractors – especially painters.
Leave the natural vegetation
The trees, shrubs, bushes and groundcovers between your home and the water are the lake’s last line of defense. This area is often called the buffer because it “buffers” the lake from excess nutrients, sediment and stormwater. It is also providing an essential habitat corridor for riparian animals. Whether you live on a lake, pond, river or stream this area is crucial for maintaining water quality. However, a view of the water is also important for most lakefront landowners. This is why shoreland zoning, which is designed to protect this area, has provisions to allow trees to be limbed up 1/3 of their height. Care was taken to leave the natural vegetation intact while allowing for a view on this waterfront lot.
Plant a shrub border or ‘island’
If all you have between your home and the lake is grass or trampled sandy soil, then consider planting a shrub border or “island” to help soak up rainwater. After picking up speed on your driveway or roof, stormwater needs a place to slow down and get absorbed back into the ground. Low-growing, native woody shrubs hold back the earth and take up much more water then grass or bare ground. Using the proper plants which are suited to the area can also be easier to maintain then a lawn. Remember when ever possible – Go with native plants!
Stop over-fertilizing your lawn
Most of all soils tested did not need the nutrient phosphorus to grow grass. Still phosphorus laden lawn care products are routinely added to waterfront lawns. The use of lawn fertilizers in the last 15 years has skyrocketed and our lakes are paying the price. Topical fertilizers easily wash into the lake and encourage superficial root growth which makes grass more prone to drought. In addition to nutrients that harm both fresh and marine waters, lawn fertilizers are also often full of pesticides which are known to cause cancer. Is a green lawn worth that much? The safest way to a green and healthy lawn is by building up the soil. This can be done by adding good quality compost and natural fertilizers like alfalfa meal and corn gluten. Signs like this are a good indication that some lawn care products are not safe. This advice apply not only to lakefront residents, but also to any resident living in the watershed area.
Fix your paths and banks
Paths are like little driveways except they run all the way down to the lake. They channelize stormwater and wash soil right down into the water. However, they are often a lot easier to fix than driveways. Waterbars made from logs or landscape timbers can push runoff into adjacent areas with vegetation. Steps back filled with crushed stone can stabilize the walking surface while providing infiltration. Infiltration steps like these on Foster Pond absorb rainwater and are stable even in heavy rains.
Take care of roof runoff
While water coming directly off the roof is relatively clean, it builds up enough volume and velocity to immediately erode the soil as soon as it touches the ground. Using dry wells, drip edge drains, rain gardens or rain barrels can alleviate erosion caused from roof runoff and reduce your homes overall environmental footprint. A rain garden is an attractive way to treat roof runoff.
Mulch bare areas
Heavily used areas frequently have compacted soils and little capacity to absorb runoff. These spots are often devoid of vegetation and have exposed tree roots protruding from the soil. Stormwater builds up on these areas and has the ability to wash out natural vegetation, shorefront below. If you can’t plant or at a minimum get grass to grow, consider top dressing with superhumus or erosion control mulch. These products are primarily made from ground up stumps and bark and look similar to garden mulch but they are much less erosive. They not only slow down and absorb water but they also protect tree roots (and bare feet from tree roots). Always make sure not to cover existing plants when bringing in mulch.
Do a rainy-day survey
If you are not sure how your property is affecting the lake, grab an umbrella and raincoat and head outdoors during the next heavy downpour. This is the best time to really see what is happening with stormwater and how you could fix problems. Start at the top of the property and work downward towards the lake. Take note of where water is channelizing, where sheet flow is heavy and areas of vegetation that might be able to absorb some of the water. The key to treating stormwater is to break it up and divert water flow to stable areas as often as possible. Use some of the techniques above to get stormwater off driveways and paths. If there is already a ditch designed to hold stormwater, make sure it is stable by armoring it with rocks or vegetation. Natural tributaries and wet areas should be left alone.


Fertilizing Lawns

Friendly Landscaping


Aeration Simplified

by  Bob Cordello – There has historically been a misunderstanding about what it means to aerate a pond. When I strike up a conversation with a pond neophyte they will commonly talk about aeration Read more…