History of LakeSmart
Maine Lakes committed to supporting LakeSmart, a homeowner reward program encouraging lake friendly landscaping, in partnership with LakeSmart’s sponsor, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Together, Maine DEP and Maine Lakes have concluded a successful test of volunteers to speed LakeSmart adoption by property owners.
With partners Colby College and 7 Lakes Alliance, Maine Lakes introduced LakeSmart implementation and analysis to Colby College’s study of Resilience and Change in the Belgrade Watershed, with support from Maine’s Sustainability Science Initiative (SSI) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
What is LakeSmart and How Does It Work?
LakeSmart is an education and reward program that helps lakefront homeowners manage landscapes in ways that protect water quality. The program is free, non-regulatory, and voluntary.
Homeowners participating in the LakeSmart Program receive an in-person site evaluation by a trained evaluator as well as individualized suggestions for keeping pollutants in stormwater out of the lake. Properties that score well earn the coveted LakeSmart Award, consisting of two distinctive signs that can be posted at the waterfront and driveway. The signs identify the homes of good stewards and illustrate what lake-friendly living looks like.
Why Participate in LakeSmart? All stormwater that gets into a lake carries nutrients. Over time, the cumulative impact can be thousands of pounds of pollutants. The result, means algae blooms, fish kills, and the loss of water clarity and wildlife habitat.
To be LakeSmart means that the homeowners have received the education and techniques, and are using natural landscaping strategies to protect their lake. LakeSmart landscaping mimics nature’s rich mosaic of plants, shrubs, winding paths, and shady trees–so it looks great, enhances privacy, and works hard to protect property values, wildlife habitat, water quality, recreational opportunities and the vitality of local economies.
How Can YOU Get Involved? Maine Lakes administers LakeSmart through its network of 130 active lake association members and partners. As a local hub or “center” for the Belgrade Watershed, 7 Lakes Alliance works to coordinate volunteers and site visits in the Belgrade area. With multiple lakes and ponds in the area, coordinators work at the local level on each lake or pond to better reach participants who may be interested in becoming LakeSmart.
If you or one of your neighbors or friends would like to learn more about having a site visit, or just volunteering as a LakeSmart Evaluator, please feel free to reach out! Visit 7 Lakes Alliance to chat about LakeSmart at 137 Main Street, Belgrade, or give us a call at 207- 495-6039. If you would like to reach a local coordinator at your local lake, click to e-mail your contact below.
North Pond: Ed Glasheen
McGrath Pond-Salmon Lake: Kim Hallee