Lake Manager’s Report – April 2022
Randy Stowe, firstname.lastname@example.org
1. As this is the time of year when piers and lifts are going in the lake, it’s important to remember the rules and regulations:
REGULATIONS FOR DOCKS, LIFTS, SWIM PLATFORMS, RAILWAYS OR ANY OTHER FORM OF IN-WATER EQUIPMENT
1. In-water equipment including all of the above shall not project more than 40 feet into the lake from the nearest shoreline
2. Docks shall be no greater than 10 feet wide.
3. For L-shaped or T-shaped docks, the length of that portion parallel to the shoreline shall not exceed 50% of the landowner’s shoreline footage.
4. All in-water equipment shall be aligned so as not to cross the projection of property lines. Docks shall not come within 10 feet of the perpendicular projection of the property lines.
5. All in-water equipment including bumpers shall be securely anchored to prevent detachment.
6. Good judgement should be used when installing your docks so that they are not under water during high water events.
The MPOA has already been notified this spring of a situation where a long-term boat lift location did not comply with Item #4 above. That situation will be corrected. It is important to note that the MPOA does not actively seek out these situations but does have to deal with them when they are is brought to our attention.
2. Based on the detailed inspection report conducted by the MPOA consulting engineers last fall, repairs have begun on the Wonder Lake spillway and the wingwalls on either side of the spillway. These repairs primarily consist of replacing existing concrete that has deteriorated over the years.
3. The Merchant Creek footbridge project is continuing through the final / design permitting process.
4. Over the winter, the Nippersink Watershed Association undertook a “Salt Watch” project, where volunteers monitored streams to determine the amount of chloride (salt) present. The highest levels of in-stream chloride (salt) was found at a small creek flowing into Wonder Lake at Hickory Drive and E. Lake Shore Drive. The highest chloride value found at Hickory Creek was 440 parts per million which is at a level that can begin to have an adverse effect on aquatic life. It’s important to remember that once chloride gets into water, it can only be removed by evaporating the water away.
5. As our lawns green up, it’s important to remember not to blow or dump your grass clippings in the lake, or into streams leading into the lake. Another approach to good lawn care is called “No Mow May”, as described in the Chicago Tribune article on the following page. Similar information on helping pollinators by reduced mowing can be found at: https://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/55816
Glenview wants residents to keep from mowing lawns until Mother’s Day. An ecologist explains why
Spring is maybe, kind of, sort of here, which means dads across the Chicago are checking the oil on their mowers for the coming year’s lawn care.
But the Village of Glenview, along with a handful of other suburbs, wants homeowners to hold off on the first cutting until May 8, part of an environmental initiative to support local ecology and even encourage healthier and less wasteful lawns. Glenview residents can sign up to participate in the Now Mow ‘til Mother’s Day program online, for which they’ll receive a sign promoting the program and exemption from village ordinance mandating lawns be kept under eight inches.
According to Alan Molumby, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Illinois-Chicago, most grasses planted in the Chicago area are cold-season grasses, meaning the bulk of their growing happens during cooler, wetter months like April and early May.
That growing means taller grass, the photosynthetic machinery that absorbs sunlight for sustenance, but it also is when grass establishes its roots system, which maintains the long-term health of your lawn, Molumby said.
Cutting during heavy growth means nutrients and energy that would help build roots instead go toward replacing the cut grass.
“If you mow them immediately, what you do is needlessly waste a lot of resources, just for aesthetic reasons,” Molumby said.
Conversely, letting your lawn grow long while its cold and wet gives your lawn a long-term “competitive advantage” in upkeep. Let it grow long enough and the grass will flower and release seed, reducing the need to reseed lawns year after year.
Homeowners should also try to move their lawn less often in general, Molumby said, both to cut down on emissions from gas mowers and reduce the amount of fertilizer, herbicide and water necessary to maintain a frequently cut lawn.
Following this guidance not only creates healthier lawns, but also helps improve urban ecology. Lawns make up part of what Molumby called the “urban matrix,” a patchwork of both wild and undeveloped land as well as areas inhabited by humans that make up a greater ecosystem. Area lawns are frequently traversed by the wildlife that inhabits scattered nature preserves like the James Woodworth Prairie in Glenview, a remnant of the Illinois prairie that Molumby manages for UIC. Animals need to be able to move through urbanized areas to reach wild environments, since those areas are too small to support wildlife populations individually.
“If people manage their yards to be sterile landscapes, then every nature preserve in Chicago will be a great deal lesser because of it,” Molumby said.
Molumby does have one caveat to his advice: do your best to minimize mowing, but also try to avoid angering your neighbors.