The Finger Lakes are an abundant and vital resource to our region, providing us with recreation, tourism, agriculture, and clean drinking water. It is the responsibility of lake-centric businesses, lakefront homeowners, and responsible renters to keep our Finger Lakes clean and safe for generations to come. What we do in the spring can not only increase bookings and improve home aesthetics, but also reduce pollution, algae blooms, and other harmful outbreaks that can affect the lakes during peak season.
Here are some tips from the local watershed associations to help you protect the lakes during your spring cleanup efforts.
Avoid using fertilizers
Lawn care blends contain excess nutrients that enter the lakes through rainwater and runoff this time of the year. According to the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association, this results in “harmful algae blooms, increased aquatic plant growth, and the degradation of our water quality.” If your lawn or garden can’t go without, switch to a phosphorus-free fertilizer instead. The best practice for a lake friendly lawn? Replace your grass with native plants, bushes, and trees.
Change up your household chemicals
Avoid using toxic or flammable household cleaners, poisons, herbicides, and pesticides. Not only can these be picked up by runoff into the lakes, but according to the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association, many chemical products are not completely removed by the biological treatment in septic systems, so they still end up in groundwater and nearby water sources. Buy and use only what you need, switch to environmentally friendly alternatives, and dispose of chemicals at designated drop-off sites. As always, make sure household chemicals are stored carefully and away from where guests can access them.
Clean up pet waste
Not only will it improve the look of your yard, but cleaning up after your pets is lake-friendly practice. Dispose of pet waste in the trash or flush it down the toilet. We encourage all guests to clean up after pets, but if you have a pet-friendly rental, we recommend stashing some baggies near any exits to the yard.
Control soil erosion
Keep the dirt where it belongs – in your yard! You can minimize storm water runoff by planting a raingarden, adding shrubs, trees, and ground covers to your landscaping, and allowing vegetation to grow along any nearby streams. These plants can help trap sediment and pollutants on their way to the water.
Join a lakeshore monitoring program!
If you reside in the Finger Lakes year round, you can volunteer to monitor shoreline with any of the local watershed associations. Keeping your eyes on the lake can help these organizations monitor algae blooms and cyanobacteria build ups that tend to proliferate during the late summer months.
Doing your part to keep the lakes clean this spring and monitoring shorelines for harmful plant and bacteria growths can have a huge impact on the health of the Finger Lakes. Best of all, improved water quality during peak season translates to higher guest satisfaction and increased reservations for your vacation rental! For more lake-friendly spring clean-up tips, visit www.flrwa.org.
Need help getting your lakefront home ready for peak season reservations? Our owner services and housekeeping teams can assist with your lake-friendly cleanup efforts. Call 844-404-1059 today!