Education

education02Learn, Help, Do!

Because so many threats can be traced to human actions, education plays a significant role in improving and maintaining the future quality of our precious lakes. Education of watershed residents and lake users can have the most significant impact on the present and future water quality throughout the watershed – this education is a primary focus of WACF.

Lake Talks and Eats

The first Saturday of June, July and August special programs are held at the WACF education center (State Road 13,3 miles south of Syracuse 11586 N SR 13) from 9-11am. Programs vary each year with interesting information shared about caring for the water we enjoy every summer. See the calendar on this page for more information or send an email to Heather Harwood info@wacf.com.

education01Canoe trip

It is surprising that a canoe trip can change how you look at the lakes in our watershed. But WACF volunteers Dan Berkey, Al Campbell and Doug Yoder can help you to see a side of the water and lakes you could not see otherwise. By being on the lakes of the watershed you see our water from a completely different perspective.

It is first class wetlands education. Canoeing you will see the spring fed lakes and wetlands that help provide us with good water. You will see varying flora and fauna and miles of shoreline protected by WACF…. Each trip is different. The guides and canoes take you on an unforgettable trip on Fridays through the summer. These trips start at 7:30 am and are over about noon.

Al Campbell coordinates the scheduling, which is done primarily by cellphone and emails. Al’s cell is 513-543-6997, email is aldotcam@gmail.com, or contact Dan Berkey 303-913-2921, Doug Yoder, Heather Harwood (info@wacf.com). Advance planning is advised. In addition to the WACF canoes, some people bring their own kayaks/canoes. Cost is $5 per person to cover equipment costs. Cheap entertainment for sure – but an education you won’t forget! Our ongoing efforts to care for the watershed are making a difference; you can see it while in the canoes!

Get involved to protect your Watershed

Volunteer opportunities – email Heather Harwood for more information at info@wacf.com

  • Skilled Carpentry
  • Photography
  • Phone callers
  • Help beautify
  • Trail workers
  • Invasive species work

Make your own property lake friendly!

  • Follow conservation groups through social media
  • Donate or raise funds for WACF
  • Report water violations or environmental crimes
  • Be a clean boater

Lawn Care Recommendations from WACF

EUTROPHICATION
The process of nutrient enrichment of lakes. Lawn wastes and fertilizers seep, pour and
erode into lakes, causing unnatural concentrations of nutrients. These nutrients
produce a super abundance of unwanted algae and rooted plants. The misuse of lawn
and garden fertilizers and chemicals by homeowners is a serious problem. Please read
and follow label directions.

LAKESIDE LAWN CARE

  • Never use the lake as a disposal site for leaves or other yard refuse. These speed up eutrophication by “filling the lake.”
  • Eliminate fertilizing. This choice is the best solution, but if lawns must be fertilized, soils should be tested for chemical nutrient requirements so the appropriate fertilizer can be selected. Never use a fertilizer containing phosphorus or potash unless a soil test indicates a need for these nutrients.
  • Avoid spring fertilizing. The nutrients are wasted on foliage. Feed lawns in the fall when growth slows and roots can store the nutrients. If you must fertilize in the spring, use small amounts of a soluble form of nitrogen, a lake friendly” or slow-release nitrogen after spring runoff and rains. Several low level applications are better than a single, large application.
  • Do not apply fertilizers adjacent to seawalls or dose to the shoreline. Leave a reasonable, 10-foot, non-fertilized zone along the shoreline to absorb runoff in these areas.
  • Leave grass clippings. This practice saves labor and returns vital nutrients to the soil.
  • Seed lawns in the fall. Eliminates competition from crabgrass.
  • Use good quality grass seed. When planting or renovating excellent blends of quality blue grass or tall fescue can be purchased for sowing. If so desired, certified
    seed can be purchased.
  • Consider not having a lawn and for establishing a greenbelt of trees and shrubs between your house and the lake. Greenbelts reduce lake pollution, provide a home and food for wildlife, offer a more aesthetic view of the lake and require less maintenance.
  • Use lake water for watering lawns. If lawns must be watered, lake water contains nutrients and organic matter to help fertilize.
  • Carefully consider all beach and seawall construction. These activities increase erosion and disturb nutrient rich sediments.
  • Disturb as little topsoil, shrubbery and grass as possible when doing any excavation near the lakeshore. Promptly grade and seed all disturbed soil at the water’s edge to eliminate erosion.
  • Do not burn or compost near the lakeshore. These activities tend to increase soil erosion.
  • Aquatic vegetation, often considered unsightly, should actually be encouraged, particularly in shallow water. If aquatic herbicides are necessary, please use an aquatic herbicide licensed expert.

Effortless Steps to a Clean, Clear Lake

Phosphorus

  • Dont use it!
  • Seaweed uses phosphorus to grow.
  • Tell your local supplier or lawn care provider that you only want zero phosphorus fertilizer.
  • Once released into the lake it stays in the sediment.

Preserve Our Lake Bottom

  • Stirring lake bottom suspends the phosphorus.
  • Accelerating in shallow water creates sediment plumes.
  • Shallow water is highlighted in light blue in this Lake Wawasee Bathymetrics image.
  • Wakeboard and surf in deeper water (you will have a larger wake anyway).
  • Begin pulling skiers and tubers in deep water.

Diminish Wave Action

  • Consider glacial rock in front of your seawall.

Beautify the Shoreline

  • Plant a tree!