In 2008 the Worthley Pond Association (WPA) started a program called LakeSmart. The purpose of LakeSmart is to provide information to shore land owners on how to manage and landscape their property to minimize water runoff that deposits soil and contaminants into the waters of Worthley Pond. The biggest contaminant is phosphorus which is a natural fertilizer that promotes unwanted aquatic plant life such as algae blooms. With 241 Worthley Pond shore land properties being actively used (55 year-round) there is plenty of opportunity for water to run into the pond.
To help control water runoff, we asked the Oxford County Soil & Water Conservation District (OCSWCD) to provide technical assistance on how to best protect our pond and maintain property values. WPA made a decision to provide this expertise to landowners free of charge, using funds from our annual Golf Tournament. And, if a shoreline property needs some work in order for it to be considered “LakeSmart”, WPA provides an annual grant program matching 50% of costs for work done, up to $300, or a total reimbursement of $150 per landowner.
How does it work? A landowner needs to contact Dave Clement, the WPA LakeSmart Coordinator, and fill out a questionnaire. A plan is then prepared with the landowner and Michele Windsor from the Oxford County Soil & Water Conservation District on what needs to be done: road, driveway, parking areas, structures and septic system, lawn, recreation areas, footpaths, shorefront and beach area. Once the landowner completes the work plan, a follow up evaluation is done and the property is designated a “LakeSmart Property.” Sometimes during the preparation of the plan, a landowner has already been doing work which immediately qualifies the property as LakeSmart certified. Once a property qualifies as “LakeSmart”, two signs are provided to the landowner and can be put on the property signifying it has met the LakeSmart criteria.
Sometimes, for personal reasons, a landowner may not wish to follow all the recommendations but whatever is done helps improve pond water quality. Landowners often take several years to complete work and Michele is available to come back and answer questions at any time. She has many handouts and brochures available to show how to do recommended work. Also she has lists of plants for different soil types.
For more information, contact Dave Clement at 562-4611. He will answer your questions and get you on a schedule for developing a plan.
- New LakeSmart Video for 2016
- Maine DEP: Be Lake Smart
- Worthley Pond LakeSmart Grant Program
- 2009 Camp Road Legislation Approval Letter
- 2015 Worthley Pond Water Quality Report
Join your fellow LakeSmart Landowners (as of 2/20/2016) and do your part to protect and preserve Worthley Pond. Thank you!!
Quotes from Landowners about the LakeSmart Program:
“Once I started I was motivated to complete the last step.”
“I was worried about increasing my buffer with plants and losing my view….but Michele suggested low shrubs and now I have flowers and Maine BLUEBERRIES and I’m keeping most of the runoff out of the pond while maintaining my view.”
“Mumma Bass who has her bed beside my dock tells me every year how much she appreciates having less silt to keep off her nest since I improved our land.”
“Since I put borders along my walking paths I do not have to rake the gravel off my lawn and replace it. Several other great ideas.”
“Soon after completing my plan and being certified, we had a monsoon storm that raised havoc with several camp roads around the pond. At the height of the storm, I walked my 150 feet of shore frontage that is steep and has ledges. I saw no water entering the pond. LAKESMART DOES WORK!”
“I knew I was doing things to my camp lot so I would not lose soil in the pond. Michele came and started a plan but quickly said you have done great and immediately qualified my property as LakeSmart certified. Left me with a couple of “To Do” items which are now done.”
“I have a sense of pride in being LakeSmart certified.”
“This is important to me to preserve my property on Worthley Pond for my grandchildren to use.”
“I felt relaxed doing this as it made sense and could be done at my leisure.”
“Michele was easy to understand so I’m following her plan. She came back twice to answer questions.”
“I told Michele when I finally got my sign, Longfellow Gardens and my chiropractor thank you.”
“When I got my sign others started asking me about LakeSmart.”