Would you like to help preserve our lake water quality?
Last year the POA started a shoreline enhancement program. We are continuing the program this year. The goal of the program is to help preserve the lake quality in two ways. First by limiting the nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) added to the lake from lawn fertilizing. Secondly by encouraging residents to plant native non-invasive plants in shoreline landscapes.
The POA program encourages this action by providing a wealth of articles and documents on our website about proper lawn care and shoreline plants. In addition, we will award up to $500 to any POA member’s shoreline enhancement landscape project that follows our guidelines.
Lake property owners can help the lake water quality by lake-appropriate lawn fertilizing. We encourage property owners to only use fertilizer if a soil test shows their soils are short on nutrients – most lawns aren’t. As many homeowners know, fertilizer composition is listed on the bag by three numbers that represent the product’s N-P-K ratio (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, K for potassium. The numbers found on the package represent the percentage of these three macro-nutrients.
if lawn fertilization is warranted avoid fertilizers that contain phosphorus. Remember, it’s phosphorus that accelerates algae growth. That it turn depletes oxygen in the water so that fish can no longer thrive. Most lawns already have adequate and often excessive phosphorus. One pound of phosphorus can result in 500 pounds of algae growth. We encourage property owners when buying fertilizer to select bags with no phosphorus, meaning the middle number of the bag is a zero.
On sandy soils, nitrogen can leach through the soil into the groundwater and the lake. On these soils, slow-release nitrogen is preferred. Slow-release nitrogen sources provide soluble nitrogen over a period of time so there is not a large concentration of nitrogen available for leaching. Many fertilizer manufacturers offer slow-release products. We hope property owners will select fertilizers with slow-release nitrogen.
Shoreline Enhancement Landscape Projects
The POA Shoreline Enhancement Program is focused on helping property owners plan and implement landscape projects along the shore. We have collected and posted on our website a number of documents to help plan good lake-friendly landscaping. The fundamental part in the plan for shoreline vegetation is to use native non-invasive plants and bushes for a non-mow buffer zone along the shoreline.
Our program offers financial grants of up to $500 to property owners planning shoreline landscaping that include lake-friendly components. See our website page POAShorelineGrants for information about the program and how to apply for grants.
Professional Landscaper Partnership
The POA Shoreline Enhancement Program has partnered with Matt McGuire. Matt is the owner of McGuire Landscaping Company. He studied horticulture at MATC and has many years of experience running his landscaping business in West Bend. He has completed a number of projects on Big Cedar.
Matt has helped us with our shoreline program and fully understands our goals. He can recommend appropriate native non-invasive plants and bushes that meet our program goals and qualify for 10% of the cost at up to $500 in POA grants. We hope Big Cedar property owners will consider working with Matt on lakeshore landscaping projects. You can reach Matt at 262-224-1086, email him at MattMcGuire22@gmail.com or see his webpage at Mcguirelandscapes.com
We have a number of publications available online that provide information on best practices for lakeside landscapes and plants for our climate and soil conditions.
- Protecting Your Waterfront
An excellent summary of issues and suggested actions and practices
2. Protecting and Restoring Shorelands
This DNR publication briefly describes issues that natural shorelands prevent, the benefits, site descriptions, and the first steps in restoring shorelands.
3. A Homeowners Guide to Native Shoreline Gardens
This guide prepared by Walworth County Land Use has a lot of information on selecting appropriate plants with lists of plants and associated conditions soil, moisture, sunlight for best plant health. HomeownersGuide
4. Shoreline Plants and Landscaping
This document has nice lists of native trees and shrubs as well as groundcover.
5. Johnson’s Native Guide for Wisconsin
This brochure includes lists of appropriate trees and shrubs and includes pictures of many of the mature trees and shrubs.
6. Homeowners Guide to Native Shoreline Gardens
This document includes instructions on planting techniques and maintenance.