Lake association receives conservation grant

Volunteers gathered on the shoreline of Crescent Beach — at the intersection of Crescent Drive and Clearview Drive — April 8 for the Ridgefield Lake Association’s first workday. — James Pelgrift photo

The Ridgefield Lake Association (RLA), which oversees Rainbow Lake, was chosen by the Hudson to Housatonic Conservation Initiative (H2H) as one of its grant recipients. H2H is an inter-state collaborative of more than two dozen local and regional conservation organizations and municipal partners.

Funded by a two-year U.S. Forest Service grant, H2H’s main goal is to engage landowners to protect clean water and plant and wildlife habitat.

A section of Crescent Beach — at the intersection of Crescent Drive and Clearview Drive — was identified as the target for restoration, with funding by H2H as well as the RLA. The installation of a demonstration garden (buffer zone) started its first of three phases on April 8. The next two installations will take place over the next two Saturdays — April 22 and 29 — at 10 a.m. and 9 a.m., respectively.

There will be native plantings, a dry stream feature, walking paths, educational placards, and a memorial bench in honor of longtime RLA board member Bill Kelly.

“This garden will be a showcase of native plants that support the birds, bees, butterflies, and wildlife found in a thriving ecosystem. Often people don’t realize that what they plant in their garden determines what can live in their garden,” said Donna Merrill, member of the H2H Regional Conservation Partnership. “By using native plants in our back yards and along our lakesides, we keep the outdoors healthy and alive with the sights and sounds we all enjoy.”

All members of the Rainbow Lake community are encouraged to attend the next two phases. More information may be found on the RLA website (www.rainbowlake.org, under “Projects”).  Rainbow Lake resident Lynn Amler said, “Over time we hope that the demonstration garden will be a focal point of the community and an interactive way for homeowners to learn about buffer zones for their own properties.”

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