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First Lake Wise Award On Lake St. Catherine

The Lake St. Catherine Association (LSCA) and the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District (PMNRCD) are excited to announce that the first property on Lake St. Catherine has been selected for a Lake Wise award.

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."

On Friday, September 8th, representatives from the LSCA and PMNRCD gathered at Sylvia and Harry Bingham's camp on Peninsula Drive to present them with the Lake Wise award - the first awarded on Lake St. Catherine.

During the presentation of the Lake Wise award to the Bingham's, Hilary Solomon from the PMNRCD said: "I am very pleased to present this LakeWise award to Sylvia and Harry Bingham. They have a lovely property with many natural features including a diversity of trees and shrubs; a very natural shoreline toward Oxbow Bay; nice gardens which also infiltrate stormwater, and a patio with areas between the stones to infiltrate water, as well. This summer, they added shrubs to both shorelines through the LEAP program, as they continue to build and maintain their plantings.

This property has been in the family since the 1960’s. The Binghams love to garden and Harry built the patio and the lovely stone walls. Their son David brought irises from his expansive garden back home and also helped with the gardening. From the short time that I have met them, it sounds as though they love their home on the lake and the time they get to spend here and they contribute in many ways to the health of the lake and the community of property owners around the lake. They have served in various capacities on the Lake Association and actively participate in community-building events.

Sylvia and Harry, I could not be more pleased to honor you with this plaque today. Your exemplary stewardship and your love for the lake is evident. Congratulations. And thank you for helping us as we take steps as a community to help maintain the water quality and wildlife on Lake St Catherine. The Association and the Conservation District are working with homeowners to assist them with wider, more natural buffers; less overall lawn area; no-mow zones; narrower paths to the lake; leaving duff and mulch in place; maintaining septic tanks and leach fields, and many other activities that should cumulatively help to maintain the high-quality characteristics that we all love about this lake. We hope to award many more plaques in the near future, and this is our first step toward that goal."

Congratulations to the Bingham's on earning the first Lake Wise award on Lake St. Catherine! We appreciate their continued efforts to maintain a lake friendly property which we hope will be a model for all property owners on Lake St. Catherine.

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 protected]

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