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.