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Planting to Protect Our Lake

by Priscilla Orr Treadwell

Spring is here and black flies notwithstanding, it’s a good time to enhance your property with plantings that protect Keoka. Erosion and runoff from ever-intensifying storms are a major contributor to sending pollutants into the water and diminishing water quality.

Even on a small scale, you can help by planting native groundcover, plants, and shrubs to provide a buffer between the land and the lake. Whether you are situated up a steep slope from the water or fairly close, rain will find its way from the road to the driveway, throughout the property, off the roof, and down to the lake. Increasing vegetation around your property and under the roofline of your house and outbuildings will prevent those drops from taking a longer journey — eroding soil and carrying dirt, petroleum products, fertilizer, and other pollutants — into Keoka’s clear water.

For ideas on what to plant, take a look at these resources on the KLA website:

  • Go Native!” by LEA Executive Director Colin Holme, in which he encourages less lawn, more plants, and highlights some of his favorite native plants.

  • Buffer Plantings by the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance Conservation Corps.

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Maine has some wonderful garden centers to explore – a sampling below:


Young’s Greenhouse, South Paris

Farther afield:

Finally, for more information on the polluting impact of storm water runoff and a detailed look at how to develop a good buffer on your property, see Storm Water Runoff on the KLA website.

Happy gardening!

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