Sunday, October 24, 2021

Silver Lake Under Watchful
Eye of Local Volunteers

Silver Lake Association's Water Quality Committee has partnered with landowners, government entities, and environmental experts to make inroads on projects that will stem the influx of nutrients and sediment into the lake at critical tributaries.

A recent project started in August when volunteers cleared a site in preparation for a fall planting. On October 15, over twenty volunteers and municipal workers gathered at East Lake Road and East Springbrook roads to plant over 75 trees and plants along a lake tributary. The site, identified by Wyoming Soil & Water Conser-vation District as a potential problematic run-off location, was planted with native species suggested by a professional arborist.

The planting was dedicated to honor the life of Rosemary Biddle, a Silver Lake enthusiast who died in 2018.

It is hoped that these plantings will form a critical riparian buffer, reducing water pollution by intercepting surface runoff and filtering sediment. According to research, riparian vegetation can remove up to 90% of unused nitrogen from croplands (https://www.nrcs. usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/nrcs144p2_043594.pdf).

In addition, riparian buffers can provide some flood protection, slow water velocities, protest against banks. An increase in native habitats is an additional bonus.

This is the fifth project undertaken as a result of landowners, SLA Water Quality volunteers, and Wyoming County Soil & Water joining forces to get work done to decrease the flow of sediment into the lake.

An ongoing partnership with Perry Central High School will allow for further study of the project. Working with teacher Todd Shuskey and his students, the Water Quality Committee hopes to grow its base of knowledge while at the same time encouraging further stewardship in the community for Silver Lake that so many enjoy.

These efforts are made possible because of the support of the SLA members, Silver Lake Golf tournament proceeds, Ring of Fire flare sales, Wyoming County Soil & Water Conservation District, landowners, and numerous volunteers.

The Water Quality Committee continues to reach out to elected leaders (local, state and national) to discuss funding mechanisms for large projects. Wyoming County Soil and Water on watershed projects that stem the influx of sediment and nutrients into the Lake, and business leaders and property owners for their support. 
Submitted for publication by K. Paganelli, Co-Chair, C.L.E.A.N.

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