Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Buffer landscaping – protecting Smith Mountain Lake from us

We hope you enjoy this informatiive article by Virginia Master Naturalist BRFAL Chapter member Meg Brager on Buffer Landscaping at Smith Mountain Lake. Click the link at the end for more information
A basic physics lesson - everything up there will end up down here
When I first moved to SML a little more than a year ago, my husband and I would ride around the lake in our boat admiring the beautiful properties and various landscaping.  I remember noticing properties such as the ones in the pictures below and thinking “how beautiful, that huge expanse of green reaching right down to the lake looks like a park”!

I have since learned that what looks lovely to the eye is not necessarily the most environmentally healthy.  As humans we have a huge negative influence on our environment, simply through the use of all the products that make our lives easier.  Living on our beautiful lake, on these mostly steep and hilly lots that make Smith Mountain Lake the unique spot it is, means that every chemical and product that we use (fertilizer, weed killer, bug killer, ice melting products) eventually finds its way down to the lake.  This applies to every creek, stream and river also….they’re all connected!  This can have a devastating effect on the health of the lake and its’ inhabitants, including plant life, insects and fish.  The easiest way to reverse the process is our mantra….”slow the flow, filter the flow”.

Through my involvement with the BLAST committee (Buffer Landscape Advisory Service Team) I have learned that there are fairly simple things we can do as citizens to avert some of those negative environmental or  human influences on our waterways, and it is called “buffer landscaping”.   BLAST is a partner of the Smith Mountain Lake Association, Appalachian Electric Power, Virginia Master Gardeners and Virginia Master Naturalists.  If you have questions or concerns about erosion and run-off on your property a team from BLAST will gladly visit to inspect your property, identify problem areas, and work with you on a plan to improve the conservation aspects of your property.

As you can see from the pictures below, you can still have a beautiful lush shoreline, and help protect the lake, provide wildlife habitat, and reduce your maintenance ….it’s a win-win situation!
Learn more about BLAST, buffer landscaping, and having a team visit your home. Visit the BLAST website here. There are ideas including how to get started on building a buffer, building a rain garden, and lists of native plants. Or call SMLA at 540-719-0690 to set up a visit from the BLAST team. Let’s keep SML as beautiful as it is today!

BRFAL Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalist wants you to get outside, explore and learn something new today. Get involved in something cool, learn more about the Virginia Master Naturalist program here!

1 comment:

  1. I am always searching online for articles that can help me and this is one of them. Thanks for sharing this article, great way of bring such topic to discussion.


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