Celebrate Lakes Appreciation Month

Engage in an activity to enjoy and protect Michigan’s lakes.

Photo credit: Lois Wolfson
Photo credit: Lois Wolfson

Michigan’s 11,000 plus lakes are among Michigan’s most valuable natural resources and an enormous asset to the citizens of the state. Clean, healthy lakes provide recreational opportunities, fish and wildlife habitat, food and aesthetics. They also provide sources of drinking water, irrigation, and energy. Clean lakes add to the property value of homes surrounding the lake as well as to the economy of the area. However, as our population grows and lakefront development expands, our lakes become stressed due to nutrient input, poor shoreline habitat, invasive species and other stressors.

Each year, the North American Lake Management Society designates July as Lake Appreciation Month to promote awareness of our lakes and encourage people to take part in activities that support lakes. Governor Rick Snyder has proclaimed July as Lakes Appreciation Month in Michigan. Citizens and communities are encouraged to actively participate in the protection and preservation of our lakes and shoreline.

Photo credit (above photo): Lois Wolfson

What can you do to protect and enjoy lakes in Michigan?

Here are some activities that you can take part in whether you live on a lake or just enjoy visiting one. You and your friends or family can:

  • Help monitor your local waterbody or watershed
  • Visit a local lake, pond, or reservoir
  • Go boating, kayaking, canoeing, sailing or rowing
  • Go swimming
  • Go SCUBA diving or snorkeling
  • Go fishing
  • Host a activity and bring enough sampling gear, ID keys and other materials for everyone to join in the fun
  • Ask your local lake agency about shadowing a lake manager for a day
  • Arrange a lake or watershed clean-up event
  • Start a watershed storm drain stenciling program
  • Have your septic system pumped if you live close to a waterbody
  • Go birding or take pictures at a lake or pond
  • Tap into your artistic side and draw or paint a lake scene for your home or office
  • Organize a lake field trip for students
  • Participate in the MI Shoreland Stewards program to assess your shore land practices

The North American Lake Management Society offers some tips on helping to spread the word about Lake Appreciation Month. Things you can do include:

To provide an opportunity for citizens to get to know their lakes better, Michigan State University Extension Oakland County will hold a half- day hands-on field workshop, “Investigating Lake Ecology.” Participants will get to test the lake for various chemical properties and collect microscopic animals on Independence Oaks County Park’s Crooked Lake via pontoon boat. They will also identify common aquatic vegetation and learn about their role in keeping lakes healthy, look for aquatic invasive species that threaten lakes, and learn about the effects of seasonal changes on lakes. Activities will also take place inside the Wint Nature Center, inside the Park.

The workshop will take place on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at Independence Oaks County Park in the Wint Nature Center, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston, Michigan 48348. Registration/check-in begins at 8:30 am with the workshop starting at 9:00 am.

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development pesticide applicator recertification credits have been submitted for approval for this workshop.

Pre-registration is required. Registration cost is $40/person on or before July 14, 2017. The cost is $50/person on or after July 15, 2017. The deadline to register is July 21, 2017. One can register online at: https://events.anr.msu.edu/lakeecology2017/. If you are have trouble registering online or want to find out if space is still available, call (248) 858-1639. Workshop registration fee includes park entry, light morning refreshments, and educational resources.

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