Cross Pollinating Success at the Lake Flower Boat Launch

The Lake Flower boat launch waterfront is abloom with pollinator-friendly plants. A successful public-private partnership between New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and AdkAction transformed the waterfront from a suburban lawn into a necklace of various native shrubs, trees, and many pollinator plants. 

Historically, the boat launch site featured a manicured grass lawn stretching from the parking lot down to the water’s edge. This lawn allowed constant erosion which washed sediment into the lake. Nitrogen-rich grass clippings also blew into the lake along with other sources of pollution from adjacent lawns and parking areas. 

Today, the shoreline is protected by a lively “No Mow” perimeter of pollinator-friendly native plants, shrubs, and trees like tamarack. The waterfront No Mow necklace has been extended to Saranac Lake Village property which exists on both sides of the NYSDEC launch site. The new habitat helps decrease lake pollution while providing pollen, nectar, and nesting for the benefit of a variety of pollinators. As an added benefit, NYSDEC and the Village of Saranac Lake have reduced their carbon footprints, and used less gas-powered equipment and staff time maintaining the site. All this while offering a more Adirondack-looking and attractive public amenity. 

“This ongoing effort has been made possible due to the successful collaboration with NYSDEC,” said Chris Cohan, Landscape Architect and planting volunteer from AdkAction’s Adirondack Pollinator Project. “Robert Fiorentino, NYSDEC Region 5 Fisheries Manager, opened the dialogue and coordinated with David Lee, NYSDEC Nursery Manager, who recommended suitable plants for the site. Rob Ross of the grounds crew has also embraced the No Mow concept,”related Cohan.

Rob Ross was also integral to the success of a similar No Mow project at the Upper Saranac Lake Back Bay boat launch, which includes pollinator habitat planted by AdkAction’s Adirondack Pollinator Project. That site already shows signs of reforestation in areas which had previously been cut. Bluebird houses are active with annual broods and many monarch butterflies are seen there. The success of the project on Upper Saranac Lake helped spur the transformation at Lake Flower.

AdkAction Executive Director Sawyer Cresap said of the project, “The Back Bay and Lake Flower boat launches show that there are unique opportunities at any kind of site to create an enhanced pollinator habitat, if there is the community support to seek it out.” 


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