Hague Small, triangular signs with a bright red border are sprouting up on properties around Lake George in recent weeks. The lawn sign proclaims: “Adirondack Lawn GROWS HERE.”
The arrow on the sign points to a lawn that uses no fertilizers or pesticides.
Local water quality activists define an “Adirondack Lawn” as a property that does not use harmful chemicals and adheres to good stewardship practices; they are advocating for towns within the Lake George watershed to adopt a common Lake George Fertilizer Restriction Law. In order to show support of adopting an effective fertilizer law for Lake George, all residents are encouraged to display these lawn signs.
The lawn sign is an initiative of the Hague Water Quality Awareness Committee. The HWQAC and other WQACs are grassroots community based groups around the lake. Resident activists are focused on water quality issues. When the Hague WQAC created this sign to raise awareness and educate property owners regarding increased algal blooms and impacts to water quality from fertilizers and pesticides, all groups supported the initiative.
“I’m very encouraged by the response to the signs,” said Al Rider of the Hague WQAC, who designed and initiated the Adirondack Lawn sign. “We’ve already distributed more than 600 of these signs to property owners. There is clearly a growing awareness among residents for the need for protective actions, including a fertilizer restriction law.”
Rider said he has also discovered that many people, once they become aware of the impacts from fertilizers, commit to not using fertilizers.
“That’s what this is all about – neighbors talking to neighbors to educate them about concrete actions they can take to protect the lake,” Rider said.
He noted that fertilizers stimulate algae growth, which in turn depletes the lake of its dissolved oxygen. Property owners have some measure of control over sources of nutrients that stimulate algae growth, from fertilizer use, septic systems and stormwater runoff, he explained.