LakeSmart Lake Friendly Landscaping for Healthy Lakes
The LakeSmart program was started by Maine DEP in 2003 as a way to encourage shorefront property owners to use lake-friendly practices at their home or camp. The entire property – driveway, structures, septic system, lawn, buffer, and shorefront – is evaluated, and properties that score well in all areas receive a LakeSmart award and the sign as shown above. Just as important, the evaluation includes recommendations to help homeowners make their property more lake-friendly. A primary benefit of these lake-friendly practices is to reduce erosion and runoff to the lake, which in turn reduces phosphorous inputs to the lake. LakeSmart came to the Belgrade Lakes Association in 2005 and since then, more than 95 property owners on Great Pond and Long Pond have received LakeSmart awards or commendations.
Click this link to view a map of LakeSmart Properties.
In 2009, the Belgrade Lakes Association began participating in a new pilot program with the DEP that continues to this day on both Great and Long Ponds.
LakeSmart evaluations are conducted by volunteers from around the lakes. Volunteers evaluators are always needed for this program (training is provided) and as always, Belgrade Lakes Association members are encouraged to have their properties evaluated.
How do I participate? Contact your Belgrade Lakes Association @ 207-512-5150 or Lakesmart@blamaine.org to schedule your free evaluation.
Why should I have my property evaluated? To protect your lake! The LakeSmart process will give you ideas and technical assistance to make your property more lake-friendly in addition to recognizing the work you have already done. If you qualify for the LakeSmart award, your property will serve as an example for other lakefront neighbors and residents and encourage them to take action. We think every homeowner concerned about protecting their lake should have a LakeSmart evaluation.
How is the evaluation scored? Properties are scored in four categories: driveway and parking area, structures and septic system, lawn, recreation areas, and paths, and shorefront and buffer area. Properties scoring over 67% in all four categories receive the LakeSmart award. There is also a bonus recognition category for undeveloped land.
I don’t think I’ll get the award. Should I still have an evaluation? Absolutely! Even if you don’t qualify for the full award, the evaluation will give you ideas on how to help protect your lake (and how to qualify for the full award, if that’s your goal). Besides, you might be wrong!
Is there any obligation? No. The LakeSmart evaluation is simply an opportunity to learn how lake-friendly your property is and get ideas on how you can help protect your lake.
How else can I help? Contact the Belgrade Lakes Association to become a volunteer LakeSmart evaluator. The Belgrade Lakes Association will provide the training free of charge. And yes, you can volunteer even if you don’t have a LakeSmart award.
How can I get started with LakeSmart?
There are a variety of ways you can choose to participate in the LakeSmart Program. To schedule a visit, please complete the LakeSmart Visit Request Form and submit to: Lakesmart@blamaine.org.
If you’ve made the decision to have your property evaluated but you cannot be present for the evaluation, merely complete the enclosed LakeSmart Pre-evaluation Questionnaire and have your property evaluated even if you can’t be there. Just mail your completed LakeSmart Pre-evaluation Questionnaire to the Belgrade Lakes Association, P.O. Box 551 Belgrade Lakes, ME 04918 or via email: Lakesmart@blamaine.org.
View a map showing locations of Great Pond and Long Pond LakeSmart Awards.