Lake Friendly Living

May is Lake Friendly Living month, which encourages individuals to make an impact and take action to preserve and protect the Finger Lakes. The Lake Friendly Living Coalition of the Finger Lakes is comprised of individual lake watershed associations and works toward a common goal of overall health of the Finger Lakes region’s precious waters. With various seminars, clean-up days and educational sessions taking place in May (more details here) there are lots of things to learn and do to protect the Finger Lakes.  Visit your local lakes watershed’s website to take the lake friendly living pledge and learn what you can do. In the meantime, here are things you can consider doing today:

  • Be mindful with your lawn care
    • use phosphorus-free fertilizer (or try natural materials like compost or mulched leaves) and don’t fertilize before a storm
    • mow your grass higher – longer lawns lead to less runoff
    • make sure that your grass clippings and leaves stay out of the storm water drains
    • consider native plantings instead of grass lawns – plants absorb and filter water better than grass

  • Reduce household hazardous waste
    • maintain a healthy septic system with regular maintenance and pumping
    • never flush prescriptions or hazardous materials – dispose of them at designated collection sites
    • use the smallest amount possible for hazardous waste and use non-toxic products when available

  • Use your water wisely
    • install a rain barrel to collect natural water that’s great for around-the-house uses
    • use your new rain barrel to water for your lawn and plants when it’s cool (morning or evening) to prevent evaporation
    • wash your car at a car wash facility – they have better drainage than your driveway
    • water your lawn, not your sidewalk – adjust those sprinkler heads to make sure the right spaces are getting water
    • mulch your plants and garden for the best water absorption

  • Watch your plants
    • a rain garden is a great way to collect rainwater and reduce flooding
    • report invasives when you see them – they WILL take over! Contact the DEC to let them know here
    • use native plants  – they need less water and chemicals to thrive and survive in your garden beds

  • Clean, Drain and Dry
    • Look for any mud, plants or animals that may have hitched a ride on your boat, kayak or dog! wipe those off before moving to the next location
    • Dry everything that comes into contact with water
    • If it didn’t come out of that body of water, don’t put it back!

  • Join your local watershed alliance
    • learn the latest information about lake improvements, concerns and practices
    • get involved and make a difference for the water quality
    • feel good about what you are doing in the Finger Lakes community

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