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LakeSmart designation awarded to two China Lake residents

Bob O’Connor

LakeSmart Award to Bob O’Connor

In 1967 Bob’s father bought five parcels of property on the Lakeview side of China Lake. One of the lots is where Bob now calls home. The original camp was converted to a year around home in 1980. Bob eventually moved his family to the home full time in 1987.

You may know Bob because he has lived in China for a long time. Or, you may know him because since 1990, he has been the coordinator of the China Lake loon count, which is done on the third Saturday of July at the early hour of 7 a.m., rain or shine every year. Volunteers are assigned specific areas of the lake to ensure we count each adult and chick they see. This information is gathered on most lakes in Maine at this very early hour to help monitor the loon population in our state. Because of the initiative, people pay better attention to our loons.

We learned to stay 200 feet away from them. We keep a “no wake” speed within 200 feet of the shore because we don’t want to flood their nests and wash away the eggs! And every fisherman knows that using Leadfree tackle and properly disposing of monofilament lines protects the life of our loons.

What stands out at Bob’s lovely lakefront property is that he seldom mows. He prefers to see the native vegetation which includes flowering plants that attract the pollenating bees. He likes the natural setting. Bob mentioned that the wild plants have deep roots. I would say he is right on.

If you would be interested in having a China LakeSmart volunteer visit your lakefront property to see if you can help protect the lake, please email us at ChinaLakeSmart@gmail.com. Hope to hear from you!

Cynthia Hart

LakeSmart Award earned by Cynthia Hart

The China Lake Association’s LakeSmart Program recently awarded Cynthia Hart the LakeSmart Award. Her family has owned this lake front property for many years. It consists of a narrow strip of undeveloped land that has a very lake protective natural berm in front of the shoreline. The land slopes towards the lake. The land above the berm consists of undisturbed duff, young and mature trees, and native shrubs.

When we experience heavy rains, the mature trees create a canopy to shield the land from the damaging impact of fast traveling rain. A canopy will reduce soil erosion. Soil has the potential to send phosphorous and pollutants towards the lake. Phosphorus feeds algae and that can cause our lake to turn green.

With the natural berm and strong effective buffers, Cynthia Hart earns the China LakeSmart Award.

Maybe your property is already LakeSmart. Please contact us for a visit and we can find out if you too, can post a LakeSmart Award on your property. People are observational learners. Being a role model helps others to understand what they can do to protect our Lake. We can be reached at ChinaLakeSmart@gmail.com.

2021 Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) at work

Members of the 2021 Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) work on a China LakeSmart project. From left to right, Beck Jorgensen, YCC Director Sage Hapgood-Belanger, and Ryan Tyler. The YCC and China LakeSmart are operated by the China Region Lakes Alliance (CRLA) and CRLA Executive Director Scott Pierz. (photo by Rebecca Hapgood; text by Scott Pierz)

Downer and Stone are LakeSmart award recipients

Randy Downer

by Marie Michaud
LakeSmart Coordinator

Randy Downer and Judy Stone have over 14 acres of undeveloped property on the west side of China Lake. Randy took me on an amazing tour of the property, and I will share some of the experience with you in this article.

We started at the camp road where we saw a low area that in springtime pools water. It is home to 100 to 500 wood frog larvae and the water is called an “ephemeral pool”. Ephemeral means that the pool of water lasts only a short time. This undisturbed land is a bird sanctuary for local and migratory birds. While we were there, we could hear the songs of the American Kestrel, Wood duck and Spotted Sandpiper to name a few. I had never heard of a Veery Bird, but these birds breed here!

There are two streams that travel through this property. The land is heavily forested and has low areas to help slow down the flow heading to the lake. The tall, vegetated berm located at the waterfront is a good example of a natural barrier that can prevent any harmful pollutants from entering the lake. In the past 12 years, I have seen few properties that have such a berm.

The variety of natural plants on the property was amazing. It was truly uplifting just to walk among the trees, shrubs, understory, and the ground cover of various grasses. The red oaks and white oaks stood majestically.

This property is a good example of natural and wild. It welcomes wildlife. Sometimes it is good to just walk on such land to remember Mother Earth; natural and unbroken.

You too can help our land if you are willing. Feel free to contact China LakeSmart for some ideas and assistance at ChinaLakeSmart@gmail.com.

LakeSmart Award earned by Peter and Sandra Nelson

Peter Nelson

 

by Marie Michaud
LakeSmart Coordinator

China Lake Association’s LakeSmart Volunteer Program has recently awarded Peter and Sandra Nelson the LakeSmart Award. On their property there is a wide row of flowers and shrubs lining one entire side of their lawn. This vegetation absorbs any sheet flow from heavy rainstorms that accumulate on the lawn. They also have low, uneven areas on the lawn that hold any rainwater headed to the lake. Their lakeside buffer is composed of shrubs, duff, ground cover that is framed with tall trees. The buffer vegetation prevents any pollutants from entering the lake during heavy rains without affecting their wonderful view of the lake!

If you are a lakeside property owner, would you like to invite our volunteers to offer ideas on how you can help our lake? We also have a Youth Conservation Program that can get any of the proposed ideas completed for you. They can plant shrubs, shade trees, and low growing vegetations. They also build infiltration steps, infiltration trenches, walkways, help with erosion issues at the waterfront like rip rap work and a host of other best management practices that you may be interested in adding to your lake buffer.

To contact LakeSmart you can call 207-242-0240 or email ChinaLakeSmart@gmail.com today! We are looking to accumulate work for the YCC’s 2022 season.

Monroes awarded LakeSmart status

Susan Monroe proudly holds her LakeSmart sign. (contributed photo)

Susan and Scott Monroe have owned their home and summered on China Lake for 14 years. They recently have moved permanently to this well-maintained home on the east side of China Lake. They love being on the lake. Susan calls it her piece of heaven. With a little help from the Youth Conservation Corp, Susan and Scott received the LakeSmart award and have two signs to post on their property.

There are many properties that have a steep slope at their lake front. Keeping vegetation on the slope like woody shrubs and tall trees and ground cover is lake friendly and protective for the lake. In many cases, the Youth Conservation Corp can assist property owners to strengthen this area.

If you are interested in having a free LakeSmart visit by a volunteer for ideas and information, and would like the YCC to assist with adding a better buffer for you, Contact China Lake Smart at ChinalakeSmart@gmail.com or call Marie Michaud at 207-242-2040. If you think your property is ready for the LakeSmart Award, contact us too!

LAKESMART: Geoff and Patricia Hargadon

Patricia Hargadon

The China Lake Smart Volunteer Program is happy to present to the Hargadon family members the LakeSmart award. Their ownership goes back to the late 1800s when their great-grandfather, Wilmont Rufus Jones, and a handful of colleagues fell in love with it. Wilmont Jones built the house that is called The Leaning Elm along with a red boathouse at the southern end of China Lake.

Five generations later (soon to be six), South China remains their family’s touchstone. Although the families currently live in various parts of the country, they can always count on getting together at their summer home.

This family has a long history with the lake. The concern for the health of China Lake has been carried forward through the generations. Their comment to share is, “We are thrilled at the apparent turnaround China Lake is in the midst of, and grateful for the work so many have put into it. Our grandfather would be pleased as well.”

If you would like to have a LakeSmart volunteer come to your lake front property to see if there are any suggestions they could share with you to protect the lake, please contact Marie Michaud at ChinaLakeSmart@gmail.com. Let’s keep this valuable program going.

If you feel that your property is ready for a LakeSmart Award sign, please contact Marie as well.

See also:

LAKESMART: Jeanne Marquis and dad, Carl J. Stenholm

LAKESMART: Jeanne Marquis and dad, Carl J. Stenholm

Jeanne Marquis

Jeanne Marquis and her 94-year-old father, Carl John Stenholm, were recipients of the LakeSmart Award for their lake property on Fire Road 1, on China Lake. Marquis says their Maine property has been in their family since the late 1800s when her great-grandfather, John Benson Doe, returned from sheep ranching out west to purchase their red brick home on the Neck Road. China Lake continued to call this family back home for three generations just as it did for John Doe, even if it was just for the summers. Two years ago, Marquis and her father made a permanent move to their China Lake home as their year-round residence.

Marquis told us, “I am very grateful for the work the LakeSmart Program and the China Lake Association does to improve the quality of the lake and monitor the loon population. It’s encouraging to see the loons and the eagles return to this area for the generations ahead of us to enjoy.”

If you would like to schedule a LakeSmart visit please contact Marie Michaud at 207-242-0240 or by email at ChinaLakeSmart@gmail.com. The visit only takes around an hour. We will share lake friendly ideas for your property. We can offer Youth Conservation assistance to get any suggested lake-friendly ideas completed, too. Together we can help protect China lake for now and for the future.

See also:

LAKESMART: Geoff and Patricia Hargadon