Georges Pond & LakeSmart Monitoring Program
LakeSmart is the flagship program of the Maine Lakes Society, Maine’s only statewide membership organization dedicated to protecting Maine’s lakes, ponds, and watersheds. MLS administers LakeSmart through its network of 130 active member lake associations.
LakeSmart is an education and reward program for lakefront property owners who maintain their homes in ways that protect lake water quality and property values. It is free and non-regulatory. The GPA Board of Directors voted to join the LakeSmart program and will begin training volunteers and evaluating waterfront properties in the summer of 2018.
It is hard to believe one person’s expansive lawn or eroding camp road could be a threat to something as large and enduring as Georges Pond. But when added to a shoreline full of similar sites, it can. All stormwater that gets into our pond carries nutrients. One tiny rivulet from one rainstorm may not seem like much, but when multiplied across the pond’s watershed and added up over decades, the result can lead to algae blooms, fish kills, loss of water clarity and spawning habitat, and a pea green mess that you don’t want to swim in. Georges Pond experienced serious algal blooms in 2012 and as recently as the end of 2017.
LakeSmart is one of the most effective lake protection programs available today. It recognizes waterfront homeowners who use natural landscaping strategies to protect the health of their lake.
A trained volunteer will come to your home, explain the program and assess your property. The volunteer screener will assess four areas of your property, starting at the driveway and working toward the lake. If your home scores well in all 4 categories, you will get the prestigious LakeSmart Award. Most properties don’t qualify for an award right away. If there are corrections that can be made, the volunteer will provide information on how to address the issue(s). What you do next is completely up to you – you may choose to follow the suggestions or not. An Award of Commendation is granted for just having your property evaluated. There is no cost or obligation to you for the visit.
Properties that qualify for the LakeSmart Award are recognized by the blue and white award signs posted at the shorefront and roadside. They say, “A friend of the Pond lives here.” What we do, DOES count. And being LakeSmart is the place to start!