Events and News

Landscapers Learn How to Protect Local Waterbodies!

Just in time for spring, local landscapers participated in a 2 day training on March 30 and 31 in the Moultonborough Life Safety Building to learn ways to protect our lakes and ponds as they landscape near the water’s edge. UNH Cooperative Extension professionals gave them tips on managing stormwater runoff, which contributes over 80% of the contaminants that enter our local waters.

We love our lawns and we love our lakes.  However, green lawns extending to the shoreline can lead to a green lake.  Your landscape can make an important difference in the health of Lake Winnipesaukee and your local rivers, lakes and streams, even if you don’t live on shoreline property. Appropriate trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants in your landscape will help capture and absorb rainwater and snowmelt. This helps prevent contaminants such as nutrients, sediments and bacteria from reaching the Lake or other water bodies.

To help keep Lake Winnipesaukee and the numerous surrounding lakes and ponds clear and blue, landscape professionals learned ways in which they can incorporate stormwater management principles into their landscape design and maintenance activities. Landscapers have a unique opportunity to educate property owners to incorporate these innovative designs (Figures A and B) that will protect slopes from erosion, maximize the amount of water that can be intercepted and infiltrated into the soil, and add interest to the landscape.  Not only does water quality and wildlife benefit, but groundwater sources are replenished as well.

Residential lot_landscapingbegin

Traditional property with green lawn to water’s edge

Ecological landscape design

Ecological landscape design

A comprehensive list of topics covering hydrology, stormwater management principles, soils, plant selection, Shoreland protection regulations and more were presented by faculty and specialists from the UNH Cooperative Extension and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Soak up the Rain program. Guest speakers from the UNH Stormwater Center, University of Connecticut, and local town and watershed groups offered additional information on the effectiveness and maintenance of vegetative stormwater systems, lawn care best management practices, and local regulations and policies adopted to protect water quality.

One highlight of the training involved a field visit to the clubhouse at the Balmoral Improvement Association, a private community located on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, to provide participants with the opportunity to put the theories and principles into practice.  Using site plans, aerial photos, and information garnered from the site assessment, workshop attendees presented conceptual designs to enhance the current site with plantings, rain gardens, and other best management practices to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff, increase infiltration, and stop erosion.

Field visit to the Balmoral Improvement Association Clubhouse to put theories into practice.

Field visit to the Balmoral Improvement Association Clubhouse to put theories into practice.

Workshop attendees apply stormwater management principles to paper to enhance a site with ecological approaches to landscaping for water quality protection.

Workshop attendees apply stormwater management principles to paper to enhance a site with ecological approaches to landscaping for water quality protection.

To view the workshop presentations, visit UNH Cooperative Extensions website at https://extension.unh.edu/SOAK-Landscaping-Water-Quality. Landscapers participating in the training will be included in UNH Cooperative Extensions ‘Directory of Landscape Professionals Trained in Ecological Landscaping for Water Quality Protection’, and will be listed on the Winnipesaukee Gateway website. Financial and organizational assistance is gratefully acknowledged from these local sponsors: Lake Winnipesaukee Association, Moultonborough Conservation Commission, and Miracle Farms Landscape Contractors.


Attention: Civic Groups, Schools, Real Estate Agencies, Lake Associations, etc…

Schedule a speaker for your next event or annual meeting

LWA will be happy to coordinate a professional speaker for your next meeting. Speakers will talk about lake issues and watershed issues that are important to your group. Please contact ptarpey@winnipesaukee.org for more information.