June 24, 2016. Watchic Lake Earns LakeSmart Gold from the Maine Lakes Society
The Maine Lakes Society announced that the Watchic Lake in Standish, Maine, has earned the Society’s Golden Achievement Award for its LakeSmart activity. In the 12-year life of the program, only seven other lake associations have achieved this level of involvement, which requires that 15% of all lake shore properties are LakeSmart certified.
Thank you to all the property owners who have invested time, effort, and money to create a property that reduces runoff and otherwise protects the lake. And thank you to the WLA LakeSmart team!
Click here for the full press release from Maine Lakes Society.
LakeSmart and Watchic Lake
Watchic Lake is an active participant in the Maine LakeSmart Program. We have participated in the program because it helps protects our lake by supporting and recognizing homeowners who maintain their homes with the lake in mind. Currently about 32 Watchic Lake property owners have received LakeSmart awards, with seven receiving awards in just the past two years.
LakeSmart offers free opportunities for homeowners to learn how to manage their home and yard to protect the water quality of their lake. The primary focus of LakeSmart is to keep our lake water clean by stabilizing eroding areas, reducing the use of chemicals, diverting rainwater into vegetated areas, and maintaining or planting trees, shrubs, and ground cover along the shoreline.
Its pretty easy to get started – property owners call or write our LakeSmart Coordinator. She will arrange for a trained volunteer come to your home to assess its lake-friendliness and give you a written report on its ‘lake IQ.’ The assessment generally takes less than an hour. If appropriate, you will also get some suggestions for making improvements. Once you feel your property is ready, the LakeSmart coordinator will request a representative from Maine Lakes Association come out to review and recommend for a LakeSmart award. The more LakeSmart recipients we have on the lake, the cleaner our water will be and better you are able to maintain your property value.
The Maine Lake Society has four very good videos describing LakeSmart including an overview, how the evaluations work, and typical remediation. More here http://mainelakessociety.org/lakesmart-videos/
We strongly encourage you to join us, join your neighbors, and join LakeSmart to keep our lake clean healthy. Fill in our Contact Us form to schedule your LakeSmart visit.
Recent award recipients:
In 2015, the Martenson Lajoie, and Chesley-Brega properties received LakeSmart Awards, bring the total number of Watchic Lake LakeSmart properties to 25. If we achieve ~30 properties, Watchic Lake will be eligible for a “Gold Lake” award from the Maine Lake Society… a rare honor among southern Maine lakes, and one that will help increase the value of our properties and help encourage responsible usage.
The Lajoie property has a 40 to 50 foot wide buffer at the shoreline, and duff and gravel filled stairway to slow down runoff containing contaminates, all supporting its LakeSmart award.
The Martenson property exhibits the recommended practice of planting mixed sizes of vegetation in the buffer zone and planting along a roof drip edge to control runoff.
In 2014 the Gerardo, Rutter, Smith, and Rodrigueza &Watson properties received awards.
The Smith property has a 40 to 50 foot wide buffer at the shoreline, well above the 10 feet required to slow down runoff containing contaminates.
The Rutter property exhibits the recommended practice of planting mixed sizes of vegetation in the buffer zone:
- Plant ground covers
- Plant shrubs
- Plant trees
- Allow saplings to grow
The Gerardo property uses a tier wall system with buffer plants to control runoff.
In 2013 LakeSmart awards were presented to Eileen and Dave Burnell, and Nancy and Paul McNulty. The McNulty’s commented that “Overall, this was a pretty simple and low cost process, and we learned a lot about taking care of the lake.” Read their full story here.
A bit more detail on how the LakeSmart evaluation process works
The LakeSmart evaluation process involves a site visit by a Maine Lakes Society Volunteer or other qualified individual. During the visit the evaluator will ask you questions about your property. If for some reason you cannot be present during the evaluation, you can fill out the pre-evaluation questionnaire and return it to your lake association’s LakeSmart coordinator. Next, the evaluator walks around the property and reviews landscape and management practices in the five following categories:
- Road, Driveway, and Parking Areas;
- Structures and Septic System;
- Lawn, Recreation Areas, and Footpaths;
- Shorefront and Beach
- Undeveloped Land.
Points based on established criteria are given in each category. If a property owner scores 67% or more points in a given category, he or she is recognized for their efforts in that category with an award certificate. Often an evaluator will make recommendations for improvements that will help the property qualify for the LakeSmart Award and further protect water quality.
If the property owner scores 67% or more points in the first four categories, he or she receives an award certificate and sign (pictured above) for their LakeSmart property. Award winners are published (with the permission of the owner) in newspapers, newsletters and on the web page.