What is LakeSmart?
LakeSmart is an education and reward program that assists lakefront homeowners manage landscapes in ways that protect water quality. The program is free, non-regulatory and voluntary. Participating homeowners receive individualized suggestions for keeping pollutants in stormwater out of lake waters. This type of contamination is the leading cause of damage to lakes.
The Lake Auburn Watershed Protection Commission is trained to provide property assessments for participating homeowners. Sites that score well earn the coveted LakeSmart Award, consisting of two distinctive blue and white signs that can be posted at the waterfront and driveway. The signs identify the homes of good stewards and illustrate what lake-friendly living looks like.
How Does it Work?
The LakeSmart evaluation process involves a site visit by a trained LakeSmart individual. During the visit the evaluator will ask you questions about your property. If for some reason you cannot be present during the evaluation, you can fill out the pre-evaluation questionnaire and return it to your lake association’s LakeSmart coordinator.
Next, the evaluator walks around the property and reviews landscape and management practices in the five following categories:
Road, Driveway, and Parking Areas;
Structures and Septic System;
Lawn, Recreation Areas, and Footpaths;
Shorefront and Beach
Points based on established criteria are given in each category. If a property owner scores 67% or more points in a given category, he or she is recognized for their efforts in that category with an award certificate. Often an evaluator will make recommendations for improvements that will help the property qualify for the LakeSmart Award and further protect water quality.
If the property owner scores 67% or more points in the first four categories, he or she receives an award certificate and sign (pictured above) for their LakeSmart property. Award winners are published (with the permission of the owner) in newspapers, newsletters and on the web page.
To be LakeSmart means that the homeowners have received the education and techniques, and are using natural landscaping strategies to protect their lake. LakeSmart landscaping mimics nature’s rich mosaic of plants, shrubs, winding paths, and shady trees – so it looks great, enhances privacy, and works hard to protect property values, wildlife habitat, water quality, recreational opportunities and the vitality of local economies
This is a program of the Maine Lakes Society, more info can be found here:
Contact us here if you are interested in getting a LakeSmart Evaluation: