Friendly Practices

Friendly Practices

Here is a list of simple lake friendly practices that help keep Lake Ripley beautiful. Some are eligible for grants. Click on links to learn more or call the Lake Manager.

Rain Gardens

Photo credit: Rain Dog Designs, Gig Harbor, WA.

How-to video 1
How-to video 2

Rain Barrels
Hoard & Curtis Scout Camp

Stop by the Hoard & Curtis Scout Camp next to the Lake Ripley boat landing to see "fish sticks" at work!

Invasive Species in the Rights-of-Way

Do you want to learn how to control invasive species that you see in rights-of-ways? Below you will find a document designed by the Wisconsin DNR. Inside this document you will find selected best management practices for preventing invasions, ID and control recommendations for five species of concern in south central Wisconsin, and a list of resources for further information.

Best Management Practices for Invasive Plants in Rights-of-Way

Invasive plants are taking a toll on Wisconsin's roadsides and nearby natural areas. Jefferson county is working with citizens and partners to slow the spread of invasive species. Through educational outreach, strategic planning, and active management we are protecting our environment and economy from invasives.

Other Ways to Help

Make Your Property "Lake Friendly"

The Lake Ripley Management District strongly encourages lakefront property owners to adopt sound landscaping practices along their shorelines. Too often, people are unaware of how the cumulative impacts of their actions can degrade the larger ecosystem. Clear-cutting native vegetation to establish large expanses of turf grass or sand beaches right up to the water's edge is one such example.

The "suburbanization" of lakes can create a host of problems. Sea walls, boat ramps, sand beaches, and manicured lawns to the water's edge have all been shown to be detrimental to water quality and fish/wildlife habitat. For example, the typical lawn is a non-native monoculture offering little habitat value or protection against shoreline erosion (due to the shallow root structure of lawn grasses). A lawn also requires a lot of maintenance in the form of pesticide and fertilizer applications, regular mowing, and the need to water during dry weather conditions. During large rain storms, the short and flexible grass blades over compacted soils do little to prevent stormwater runoff from flushing pollutants into the lake. Once in the lake, fertilizers and other pollutants harm aquatic life and can contribute to excessive weed and algae growth. Finally, a mowed lawn up to the water's edge is inviting to congregating geese. Large groups of waterfowl can damage property, pollute the lake, and have been linked to outbreaks of Swimmers Itch.

To combat these problems, lakefront property owners are advised to maintain or establish a native "buffer strip" between the lake and a lawn. Buffer strips should be as wide as possible, and planted with deep-rooting sedges, grasses, forbs, shrubs and trees that are native to the area. Paths can then be added to access piers and boat hoists. These types of shoreline-restoration efforts are often eligible for up to 50% cost sharing. They are usually found to be quite affordable for most landowners, and can greatly improve the natural scenic beauty of the shore.

20 Things Everyone Can Do...

  1. Plant a native tree, shrub or perennial garden on your property
  2. Minimize soil disturbances and the clearcutting of vegetation to prevent erosion
  3. If you must fertilize, use phosphorus-free products away from the lake
  4. Direct roof downspouts to a rain garden where water can infiltrate into the soil
  5. Burn leaves where ashes can't wash into the lake
  6. Be aware of the issues that affect the lake
  7. Recognize that every action has a positive or negative consequence
  8. Learn to share the lake by respecting other users
  9. Comply with all local rules and regulations
  10. Practice "catch-and-release" when fishing for large, spawning-size gamefish
  11. Attend a Lake District meeting and support ongoing management efforts
  12. Pick up litter when you see it
  13. Keep soil, leaves, grass clippings, pet waste and chemicals out of the lake
  14. Report illegal activities to law-enforcement authorities
  15. Use conservation farming practices
  16. Slow down when boating in shallow-water areas
  17. Help stop the introduction and spread of non-native species
  18. Conserve water during your normal daily activities
  19. Encourage local government officials to adopt sound land-use policies
  20. Teach others to respect the land and our precious water resources