More and more people are building year-round or second homes on Upper Saranac Lake.  They often bring their idea of a conventional yard with them, leading to a grass lawn down to the lake shore.

Issues: The problems with bringing traditional lawns to the lake shore can include:

  • Excessive aquatic plant growth and algal blooms;
  • Shoreline erosion and sedimentation;
  • Loss of wildlife habitat;
  • An increase in nuisance animals such as geese ; and
  • Decrease in waterfront property values due to increased weed and algae presence.

What you can do:

Maintain a lake front vegetative buffer. A vegetative buffer, or buffer zone, is a strip of natural vegetation along the shoreline of a lake or waterbody. Ideally, the vegetation should cover at least 50 – 75% of the property’s lake frontage. By restoring the shoreline with native plants, you restore the ecological functions of the lake shore.  A well landscaped vegetative buffer adds value to your property and can also benefit Upper Saranac Lakes water quality and overall health.

The benefits of buffers include:

  • Food and shelter for local wildlife;
  • Stabilization of soil to reduce erosion;
  • Filtration of pollutants and sediments;
  • Absorption of nutrients;
  • Deterrence of nuisance species;
  • Privacy from lake users; and
  • Savings in time and money for maintenance.