Site photography courtesy of Matt Champlin

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

Going for 1000!                                                  Fran Rotunno Fish

The Board of Directors of the Skaneateles Lake Association (SLA) has not taken an official vote on setting a membership goal for 2018, but informally we all agree that we should easily reach a membership of1000 and it is important to make every effort to do so.

In 2011, when the SLA evolved from its predecessor organizations (Skaneateles

Lake Pure Water Association, Inc. and the Tri-County Skaneateles Lake Pure Water Association), the SLA Board of Directors determined that its future financial stability and ability to carry out the activities necessary to fulfill its mission would require broad community support, not the limited large donations and one-time government grants that had funded its efforts in the past.  Thus, SLA Annual Membership was born with efforts to reach a broad scope of the lake community to “spread the pain” of funding the SLA’s efforts.

In 2011, the first membership year, 293 families, individuals and businesses joined the SLA and in 2012 the membership grew to 548.  While our membership grew from 639 in 2013 to 822 in 2017, the threats to our lake also grew.  The scope of our action plan to protect the lake had to grow as we focused more expansively on milfoil control and preventions of the introduction of other invasive species, especially, the dreaded Hydrilla.  Of course, the Algal Blooms of the Fall of 2017 and this past summer have further intensified the need for expanding our membership and support.

There is no reason why we cannot achieve a membership of 1000 for 2018.  These are the families, individuals and businesses we need to join the SLA right now to achieve that goal.

There are 156 memberships paid between Oct. 2017 and Dec. 2017.  If 100% of them rejoin, we will be well on our way to 900.  They have all received renewal reminder letters in the past month or will be receiving those reminders in Nov. if they joined in Dec. 2017.

There are 177 memberships (74 of which are known lakefront or lake rights property owners) that were registered for a year or more between 2011 and 2017, but have not rejoined in 2017 or 2018.  If they all jump in and join, we make the 1000-member goal.

And, we can do better than that!  There are still 93 memberships registered between Jan. and Sept. 2017 that have not been renewed for 2018.  All of these have received membership renewal letters and follow emails, when available.

Perhaps the saddest number to report is the approximate 500 lakefront and lake rights property owners who have never supported the SLA or its predecessor organizations via membership or other donation.  Getting any of them onboard as members would certainly solidify achievement of our 1000-member goal.

Today there are two things you can do to surely get us to the 900-member goal, but we should be able to get to 1000 with your help.  So, if you are in any one of the “missing from 2018 membership groups”, join now!  If you have already joined go to our website (, click on the membership tab and check over the list of current members.  If you see anyone missing who should be a member and for whom a nudge from you would be helpful, please call me and confirm the status (as we have 30 anonymous members).  Then, if appropriate give them a call and share your reason for SLA membership and why you hope they will join also.

You can reach me at 315-558-3143 for membership status confirmation, if you want to have a member registration form mailed or if you want to help us grow our membership and can put in some hours to help with the effort.  With your help, we can make that goal of 900 and there is really no reason why we cannot reach 1000 members for 2018.

Source:  Skaneateles Press

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

Lawn Care, Lake Care for October                   Fran McCormack

You are a resident in the Skaneateles Lake watershed.  You’re concerned about the algal blooms and understand everyone can help our lake with better landscaping practices.  It is October.  Here is what you or your landscaper should do this month.

 Leaves and Lawn:  Keep mower blades sharp.  Mow grass no shorter than 3 – 4 inches in the Fall with a mulching lawn mower so that grass can still peak through.  Leave grass clippings on the lawn or rake and bag leaves or use as plant mulch so they don’t enter streets, road side ditches, drains, or gullies.  Or, do not mow your yard at all!  Mowing avoidance adds habitat, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and restores pollinators.

Seed bare spots to reduce erosion by establishing healthy, dense growth because thin, patchy lawns will have an increased amount of runoff and will transfer more to the lake (even if they are not fertilized).  Test your soil before considering fertilizing your lawn. Most soils in our area do not need fertilizer. Call Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) (585) 394-3977 for testing.

Remove all pet waste – bag it and throw it in the trash. (15-20% of bacteria that enter our waterways comes from pet waste).  This is good lake care every month.

Native Trees/Shrubs/Perennials:  Consult with a certified nursery professional for native trees, shrubs and pollinator-friendly plants.  Plant in the Fall before ground freezes (as long as you can dig) and mulch.  Plant native plants as a buffer along shorelines or stream beds to act as a sponge for storm water runoff.  A buffer can also discourage geese from walking on your property!

Plant a rain garden in a low area where water collects and plant with native plants to slow rainwater flow into the lake or streams or use a rain barrel under gutter downspouts.

New York State Lawn Fertilization Regulations are important to follow every month.  Do not use lawn fertilizer that contains phosphorus unless you are establishing a new lawn, or a soil test shows that your lawn does not have enough phosphorus.  Do not use any lawn fertilizer December 1 – April 1. Don’t apply fertilizer on sidewalks, driveways or other impervious surfaces. If fertilizer spills, sweep it up to prevent it from washing into drains or waterways.  Do not apply lawn fertilizer within 20 feet of any water body unless there is at least a 10-foot buffer of shrubs, trees or other plants between the area you are fertilizing and the water.

You will find a month-to-month guide for lawn care at this site:  The Homeowner’s Lawn Care and Water Quality Almanac –

Please Save the Date and plan to join us on Tuesday October 23rd at 7pm at the Skaneateles High School auditorium.  The SLA, CCE and Town of Skaneateles are collaborating on a forum on Landscaping for Water Quality with Landscape Architect Matt Biondolillo and Native Plant author and dendrology professor at ESF – Don Leopold.  You can register for this forum at

Join us in thanking the following for co-sponsoring the Milfoil Boat for a day:  Jessica & Douglas Fetterman, Annette & Peter Becker.

We thank an anonymous donor for sponsoring an Invasive Species Monitoring Steward for a day.

Every single membership counts.  70 households will be receiving letters this week reminding them it is time to join the SLA for 2018.  If all 70 join we could achieve a total household membership of 900 and that means by the end of the year we could get to 1000.  If you have received one of our annual renewal letters or a reminder letter that you were missed last year and are needed back this year please join today.  You can join the SLA online at or call 315-685-9106 and ask for a membership form to be mailed to you

Source:  Skaneateles Press