Clean Water Cooperator – October, 2019

Clean Water Cooperator of the month –October, 2019

Karyl and Norb Affeldt

371 Nottingham Ct, Lake Sherwood

Native plantings and rain diversion

Karyl and Norb Affeldt bought their existing home with the beautiful view on the narrows of Lake Sherwood in 2000 as a weekend retreat and future retirement home. On a cul de sac, it has the advantage of being on a point with much more water frontage than road frontage. The property offered some challenges. On a slope from the street, heavy rains resulted in runoff of soils and fertilizer into the lake. Heavy boat action pounded the shoreline, eroding much of the bank. With other changes needed for septic replacement and improved accessibility for aging relatives & friends, Karyl and Norb explored their options. In 2004, working with Adams County and a highly regarded landscaping firm, they arrived at a plan for a beautiful, safe yard that would be a long term, low effort solution for them.
The shoreline was built up and reinforced with rip rap stone to eliminate the erosion issues from boat traffic. A stone walking path separates it from the new native planting gardens that intercept runoff. A winding no-mow grass path provides access from house to shoreline. Swales were created at the top of the lot to carry water around the lot and into the native plant areas where they are absorbed. Norb worked with the Town of Rome to create a French drain in the cul de sac to reduce the force of the water coming down the roadway.
Adams County and their landscaper helped them to obtain grants that covered 75% of their costs, much like the Healthy Lakes Grants available to you today (see Dave Trudeau –14 Mile Creek Watershed Committee). Asked if the effort was worth it, Karyl and Norb said:  “It was a lot of work at the onset, but it’s become a place of beauty where our grandchildren can relax and watch the lake and all the butterflies and birds in the garden”.
So, they’ve taken this challenging yard with a great location and made it into a place of beauty that requires minimal maintenance, and protects our lakes. The birds, butterflies and bees seem pretty happy as well. How do they describe the result?
  • They’ve eliminated shoreline erosion
  • They’ve controlled runoff into the lake from the cul de sac above
  • They have a safe environment for aging relatives & friends to visit
  • They no longer have geese in their yard, as it’s no longer a safe, open haven for them.
  • They have a self-sustaining garden which they mow down to 6” in the spring, allowing it to regenerate naturally, requiring no weeding or special care.
  • Drawing irrigation water from the lake, they find that fertilizer is no longer necessary because of the nutrients from the lake water.