According to some experts, man-made lakes have a shelf-life that can be termed at approximately 100 years. But like any assessment of this nature, many factors can play a role in helping to extend the health and vitality of a lake, and it can be done with the contributions of others.
One such option includes buffer landscaping – vegetation planted near the lakeshore to trap sediments and to filter nutrients and pollutants. Buffer landscaping also serves to prevent erosion and stabilize sloped areas of the shoreline. There’s also a beauty to it: lake home and landowners realize a beautiful lakefront while being lake friendly and environmentally sound.
John Rupnick, Chairperson of the SMLA Buffer Landscaping Committee, said that SMLA members who are Master Gardeners have developed a protocol for the establishment of buffer gardens using native vegetation to filter contaminants and fertilizers flowing to the lake. The SMLA also provides a Buffer Landscape ‘How to Guide’, as well as an extensive plant list that can help with planning. The plant list is comprehensive with native, as well as cultivars that thrive in our area, and is approved by AEP for use below the 800-foot contour in the current Shoreline Management Plan.
SMLA also offers a free assessment to lake home and landowners, which includes having a representative come to the property and provide suggestions for buffer landscaping options specific to a property.
For more information about buffer landscaping, visit smlassociation.org/buffer-landscaping/.