Join the Baywise Challenge!

February 6th, 2015 No Comments

by Jan Knox, Friends of the Lake Chair

All of us at Friends of the Lake want to wish everyone a healthy, environmentally friendly, Happy New Year! Friends of the Lake’s focus for 2015 will be on environmentally sound landscaping practices. Our goal is to educate, engage and inspire as many people as possible throughout our community and watershed to adopt as many sustainable practices as they can. The small tweaks we make in our own landscaping practices on our own lots can add up to a huge impact on the health of our lakes, streams, forests, and wildlife.

In 2015 we are kicking off Lake Linganore’s Bay-Wise Challenge.

We are challenging every Lake Linganore resident to participate in the Bay-Wise Maryland Yardstick Program sponsored by the University of Maryland Extension Service. Each month for the next 8 months we are going to present one of the 8 segments of the Yardstick Program in LakeTalk. Our goal is to have at least 30 homeowners accept the challenge and complete the Yardstick Program. Every household that completes the program successfully will also earn the designation (and bragging rights) of their yard being “Bay-Wise Certified.”

We don’t want to leave anyone out, so if you don’t want to officially accept the challenge you can still help by keeping your score to see how well your yard measures up in helping to protect the environment. Every additional inch (on the yardstick) is progress.

How Do I Get Started?

1.) Signup your household with FOL by sending an email to:

2.) Follow along each month in Lake Talk with the Bay-Wise Maryland Yardstick. You will give your yard pluses (+) or minuses (-) for your current lawn practices while educating yourself on environmentally sound approaches to your landscaping. The more sustainable your methods, the more points you earn.

3.) Listed in the Yardstick program are approaches and management practices designed for individual home landscaping. Mark off your credits as you complete each action. Your goal is to reach or exceed 36 inches.

4.) In September we will be tallying up everyone’s yardsticks and conducting yard certifications. When your yard is officially certified through the University of Maryland you will receive a Bay-Wise Plaque and your name will be entered into our grand prize drawing.

This is an awesome project to get the entire family involved. Learn more about how we can preserve and improve our woodlands, the Chesapeake Bay and our own great resource, Lake Linganore!

Quick Q&A

Q. I thought all plants that grow in the woods are native, am I right? Bernie
A.Thanks Bernie for your question, many people have this same assumption. Unfortunately the answer is no. There are many invasive species threatening our Maryland native forests. We will be spotlighting an invasive each month in Lake Talk along with our Bay-Wise Challenge

Q. If I fertilize my lawn does that make me ineligible to participate in the Bay-Wise Challenge? Carrie
A. Carrie you are not alone. Many people think that if they use any chemicals in their yard they are not eligible for the Bay-Wise Challenge. However, it’s important to know how and when you should use pesticides and fertilizers. There are proper ways that reduce the impact on our environment. You can still participate in the Bay-Wise Challenge and you will learn other alternatives through IPM (Integrated Pest Management).

Please feel free to send your questions in to Friends of the Lake via our email or our Facebook page.

Meet with Friends of the Lake

In 2015 Friends of the Lake will be holding meetings quarterly. Meetings are open to all residents. We would love to see new faces and familiar friends!

In 2015 we are all about fighting invasive plants!

What is an Invasive plant?
Invasive plants are usually non-native species that have been introduced intentionally or by accident. Invasive plants spread from human settings into natural areas with negative effects to our economy, environment or health. Free from the plant-eaters and parasites that keep them in check in their native ranges, they reproduce rapidly and spread aggressively, taking over natural areas and altering biological communities. Invasive plants have been referred to as a form of biological pollution.

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