Water Quality, Invasive Plant and Shoreline Stabilization Information
The Grayslake Community Park District has implemented numerous Best Management Practices, (BMP’s), along the shorelines of many of its properties that contain ponds. The majority of these ponds were designed for retention and are surrounded by residential properties and some park land.
The BMP’s include establishing buffers along the shorelines with native plants which provide a filtration process to help reduce levels of pollutants before they enter the water. These pollutants include phosphorus from lawn fertilizers. The run off contributes to invasive plant growth within the ponds and can also promote algae growth.
The park district has received 2 grants from the Lake County Stormwater Commission within the last few years for shoreline restoration projects. These projects focus on introducing native plants to shorelines and included work on the north and south ends of the detention pond in College Trail subdivision and along the majority of the shoreline of the detention pond in Washington Village. In addition to these projects, the district has stopped mowing the turf grass down to the water’s edge to help native plants take hold and filter pollutants before they enter the ponds at many of its other properties.
Another practice the district has employed is the treatment of select ponds for invasive plants such milfoil and pondweed. In 2016, the district will treat the ponds at College Trail and at Molly’s Pond. The treatments may require a restriction of use of the water for private irrigation. If restrictions apply, neighboring households will be notified and signs will be posted at public points. Postings on the district’s web site will also serve as notice. Some of these treatments will not have restrictions and no notices will be posted in those cases.
The district will also continue to work with local volunteers to help establish native plants along many of its ponds. Previous volunteers include students from Prairie Crossing helping to apply native plant seeds along Molly’s Pond and residents removing invasive plants along smaller detention pond shorelines in Chesapeake Farms. If you are interested in performing some similar volunteer project, please contact the Park District at (847) 223-7529.
Some of the dos and don’ts of water quality and shoreline maintenance that citizens can be aware of to help improve local water quality include:
- Help reduce runoff by not applying fertilizer with phosphorous to any turf grass that is near or sloped towards the water.
- Create a 6 to 15 ft. buffer area of native plants and grasses such as Blue Flag Iris, Fox Sedge, Black Eyed Susan, sand Coreopsis and Wild Lupine along the shoreline’s edge to help reduce run off. These types of plants are excellent filters and absorb quite a bit of non-point source pollutants before they hit the water.
- Use references such as A Citizen’s Guide to Maintaining Stormwater Best Management Practices from Lake County Stormwater Management Commission for additional information.
- Encourage your neighbor to implement the same type of practices and stewardship.