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STORMWATER: THE LINK BETWEEN YOUR YARD AND EMERALD LAKE

Emerald Lake's water quality is under constant threat from stormwater runoff.  Sediment is already filling in portions of the lake (see Sediment). Fertilizers and other nutrient sources have caused an overgrowth of aquatic weeds (see Aquatic Weed Control).  Continued pollution could lead to uncontrollable algae blooms and/or, in a worse case scenario, fish kills. 

Remember that whatever goes on your yard, your driveway, the roads, and into the storm drains ultimately ends up in the lake.  Pursuant to Article X, Section 33 of the restrictive convenants, the Declarant, DRB, or the Lake Committee has the right to limit the use of herbicides, pesticies, fertilizers or any other substances that negatively affect Emerald Lake’s water quality or the wildlife it supports. The following offers just a few guidelines on what you can do to protect the future of Emerald Lake.

LANDSCAPING DESIGN:

»Retain natural wooded areas as much as feasible, which will signficantly reduce your energy and landscaping maintenance costs as well as improve the aesthetics and health of the lake. 

»Maintain a buffer zone of native shoreline vegetation or low-maintenance plants (i.e. iris, soft rush) between your lawn and the lake to absorb nutrients and to provide wildlife habitat

»Build dry creek beds or rain gardens in areas prone to flash flooding and/or erosion. Dry creek beds should be lined with landscape fabric. For more information on rain gardens, go to http://www.tappwater.org/raingardens.aspx

»Minimize lawn space.  Instead, plant landscaping beds,  which used significantly less fertilizer, herbicides and water than grass.

»Survey your yard and note the sunlight exposure and soil conditions (soils in this area range from well-drained to saturated) before you shop.  Select species that thrive under those conditions and opt for low maintenance species that don’t require a lot of water, fertilizer, or pest control.

        Plant Information Resources:

        USDA PLANTS Database http://plants.usda.gov/

        Monrovia http://www.monrovia.com/

LAWN AND GARDEN CARE

»Use a mulching mower and recycle lawn clippings into the yard as a source of nitrogen rather than using a commercial fertilizer.

»Most people over apply fertilizers.  Only apply enough fertilizer to maintain health and never exceed recommended amounts.  Do not apply fertilizers during the dormant season.

»Select slow-release fertilizers with no little to no phosphorus content (the middle number).

»Use a drop spreader rather than a rotary spreader. 

»Do not fertilize within 10 feet of the shoreline.

»Be sure to lightly water-in fertilizers immediately after application. Avoid applying fertilizer before a storm. 

»Do not blow lawn clippings or rake leaves into the lake or storm sewers.

»Avoid blanket application of pesticides and herbicides.  Instead, only spot treat as necessary.

»Properly dispose of all unused products. DO NOT dump them in a storm drain or the lake.