LAKE GEORGE — This October, the Lake George Association joined several partners to plant dozens of native plants and shrubs along English Brook near its mouth at Lake George.
“When the subdivision at Lochlea was created,” said Tom Jarrett, one of the Lake George Association members involved in the project, “a 50-foot vegetative buffer was designated along the brook. This buffer requirement is being honored during construction of Dan Dwyer’s property on the brook, but we thought we could do more.”
“The existing buffer on the property benefited greatly from some supplemental planting,” said Lake George Association Education Director Emily DeBolt. “The existing understory was pretty sparse, and since English Brook is one of the larger tributaries to the lake, we wanted to help improve the buffer to protect the stream, and ultimately the lake.”
Funding came from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Trees for Tribs program, which is run by State Tree Nursery at Saratoga.
Trees for Tribs is part of a DEC initiative to restore and protect streamside forests in the Lake Champlain watershed.
The Lake George Association, Lake Champlain Lake George Regional Planning Board, Jarrett Engineers and local property owners at the Lochlea estate worked together on the project. Along English Brook and the Dwyer property, 120 native plants and shrubs were planted, including arrowwood, red twig dogwood, red oak, high bush cranberry, eastern hemlock and more.
The Lake George Association strongly recommends that homeowners create and maintain natural vegetative buffers near the lake shore and along streams, as opposed to clear cutting the land and installing a lawn. Traditional lawns near a lake shore can create a variety of problems, including excessive plant growth in the water and algal blooms; shoreline erosion and sedimentation; a loss of wildlife habitat; and an increase in nuisance animals.
Alternatively, buffers provide food and shelter for local wildlife, stabilize soil, reduce erosion, filter pollutants in sediment, and absorb nutrients.
The Lake George Association offers a list of recommended plants for buffers, available on the organization’s website or by calling 668-3558.