The Maine Lakes Society has announced the Gull Pond Association (GPA) in Rangeley, Maine, has earned the Society’s Golden Achievement Award for its LakeSmart activity. This distinction is a credit to both the homeowners on Gull Pond, as well as the Gull Pond Association. Many homeowners on Gull Pond are careful with the impact their dwellings, septic systems, and vegetation (or lack of vegetation) has on the water quality of their pond. LakeSmart, a homeowner education program, provides site specific recommendations for landscaping that protects lake water quality, property value and wildlife habitat. LakeSmart Gold is awarded when 15% of all lakeshore owners are certified as LakeSmart Awardees. In the 14 year life of the program, only 14 other lake associations have achieved this level of success. The only other area water body designated as LakeSmart Gold is Quimby Pond.

To earn this distinction, coordinator Sue Motley and evaluator John Towey visited lakeside homes and performed site evaluations to assess each parcel’s ability to prevent lake pollution, provided recommendations to homeowners, and presented a LakeSmart Award sign to homeowners whose properties qualify in 4 categories to protect lake health, wildlife and natural beauty. Awardees receive distinctive blue and white signs for posting at the shoreline and roadside to promote good stewardship.

LakeSmart is a program that offers FREE opportunities for homeowners to learn how to manage their home and yard to protect the water quality of their lake. The goal of LakeSmart is to change the increasingly common suburban landscaping practices around lakes to more natural, lake-friendly environments.

The primary focus of LakeSmart is to keep our lake water clean by stabilizing eroding areas, reducing the use of chemicals, diverting rainwater into vegetated areas, and maintaining or planting trees, shrubs, and ground cover along the shore land. Landscaping and managing your property in an environmentally friendly manner through LakeSmart is one way for you to help your lake and have a low-maintenance, great-looking property.

The Maine Lakes Society is a statewide membership organization dedicated to protecting the water quality, benefits and value of Maine’s lakes, ponds and watersheds by advocacy, education, and action.

The LakeSmart program is provided by The Friends of Quimby Pond association as a public service to the Rangeley Lakes region. We have both participated in the LakeSmart program and done evaluations for the past 8 years. If any shoreline property owner would like an evaluation, please contact Sue Motley at 207-670-8124 before May 2019. There is no charge for the evaluation. The homeowner will need to complete a form, then a site visit is scheduled (usually 1-2 hours), and several photos will be taken. The evaluation will be submitted to the Maine Lakes Society’s LakeSmart Program for determination of an award.

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