WOW - what a day on the Lake!
This morning, members of the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District (PMNRCD) and the Lake St. Catherine Association (LSCA) visited all the 2020 Lake Wise Award winners to recognize this outstanding achievement for their lakeshore properties.
Lake Wise is a program developed by Vermont’s Lakes and Ponds Program to recognize outstanding efforts by homeowners who live along a lakeshore to protect the water quality and habitat along the shoreline and within the near-shore area of the lake. Four categories are assessed: The driveway and parking area, the structure (which includes roof, drainage, and septic), the recreation area (the lawn/footprint of non-natural, high-use yard areas), and the shoreline buffer area.
The goal of the Lake Wise program, from the Lake Wise website:
"The goal of Lake Wise is to establish a new normal, a new culture of lakeshore landscaping that is proven to help protect the lake. A property that earns the Lake Wise Award will represent a 'model' shoreland property. The Lake Wise Award certifies a property is well managed, using shoreland Best Management Practices, and is maintained to care for the lake."
This season, the LSCA earned a grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) to perform Lake Wise assessments, and to help property owners with projects on their land to mitigate stormwater runoff into the lake. Then, the LSCA partnered with the PMNRCD on this project and began the outreach to the lake community.
Stormwater has a widespread environmental impact which makes it a growing concern in Vermont. In a statewide effort, towns and local organizations are working to implement large scale projects to help clean stormwater before it enters water bodies. Work is being done from the headwaters all the way down to the stream outlets. Excess nutrients in the water contribute to problems which affect both human and wildlife health including; lower oxygen levels in the water, toxic algae blooms, and excessive plant growth.
As a shoreline property owner, you have the access and the ability to control what is happening directly at the water's edge.
While small-scale improvements on individual properties may not seem like they have much impact, collectively the implementation of many small projects will have a positive benefit on the water quality in the lake and the surrounding watershed.
Actions now will promote a healthy lake environment that will continue to support swimming, fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing in the future.
This is such an important program for long term health of Lake St. Catherine, and we can all pitch in to make a difference.
So, without further ado, our 2020 Lake Wise Award winners are:
The Herricks - Cones Point
The Conines - Cones Point
The O'Connells - West Lake Road (south)
The Pofits - West Lake Road (south)
The Liberatores - Oxbow Bay
The Crandalls - West Lake Road (west) + 2 other properties
The Michels - Ferncliff Road, North Bay
The Dankowskis - Ferncliff Road, North Bay
The Smith-Pilners - Parks Drive, lower Channel
Thank you to all the winners for the work they have put into their property to become Lake Wise. Their properties represent a model of what all LSC lakeshore owners should strive for, as they are both beautiful and lake friendly.
All winners will be receiving the Lake Wise Award plaque that they can proudly display on their shoreline. Keep an eye out for them as you cruise around the lake.
This brings the total Lake Wise properties on LSC up to 12 (the Binghams were awarded it last year).
The LSCA and the PMNRCD would like to help other Lake St. Catherine property owners earn the Lake Wise award. If you would like to have your property assessed, please email us at email@example.com.Make a positive impact on the lake and be Lake Wise!