Keeping Local Lakes Clean

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When land used for the old Chippewa Bay Girl Scout Camp was sold to a developer, the initial plan called for a couple of massive lots; 100 acres each. The environmental impact in the area would have been every bit as great.

"With that comes seven to 10 times more nutrients that stimulate the alga growth in a lake," said Buzz Sorge of the DNR

Thanks to a pair of investors, parts of the land were converted to easements; legally protected in a natural sense.

"It's very protective, way above normal shorline zoning protection."

On long lake, 11 lots will have homes that will be uilt within 1,200 feet, and designed with help from a land trust and the DNR to keep the adjacent lake clean.

To do that, every lot has to have 3,000 square feet of this depressed land with heavy vegitation. These 'Rain Gardens' turn runoff into groundwater naturally.

That keeps fertilizer and other pollution out of the lake.

The homes built on Long Lake will sit farther from the lakeshore, and will be inspected every year.

"We work with them to identify and help protect the natural resources on the property," said Michelle Dingwall of West Wisconsin Land Trust.

Even trees that may have fallen over into the water. They serve as natural protection for fish in a lake conservationists hope stays just like this for generations.

"Most of the people who will enjoy this easement aren't even born yet," Sorge said.

"This is a great example of what 2 concerned landowners can make happen," Dingwall said.

While making sure very little happens to a neighboring lake.