Black Lake Stewardship Society

$1,000 and above
Alan & Louisa Shimamoto
Black Lake Bible Camp
Brian Wilmovsky
John Aslakson
Ken & Christy Raske
Larry & Sue Smith
Randy Selness
Tim & Sandy Collins
Vernon & Stacy Bonfield
Vince Gildner
$500 to $999
Bill Conrad
Bob Zeimek
Brenda & Eddie March
Dan Berschauer
Dena & Kelly Thompson
Dennis Boone
Doug Whitaker
Jeff Lemon
Jonna VanDyke
Kris & Lauri O'Bannon
Lyle Westhoff
Nancy & JB Davis
Pat & Mike Madigan
Ray Dooley
Robert & Nita Sell
Sonny Mike
Tim & Shirley Erickson
$100 to $499
Bart & Candice Rydalch
Betty Hall
Brian Delay
Conrad & Denise Riedl
David & Blanca Maag
Deb & John Wallace
Donna Bennett
Eric Lee
Francis Metz
Fred Metcalf
Greg Cummins
James & Melissa Beard
Jim & Carol Kirby
Jim Krieger
Joe & Sherry Heye
John & Effie Henkle
John Schumock
Kevin House
Lake & Sherry Stintzi
Leon Flaherty
Linda & Donald Rollins
Linda & Matt Tobin
Mark & Brenda Hetland
Maxine Jones
Nancy Williams
Nikki Pettet
Patricia Spoltman
Patty May
Paul Batton
Phil Brinker
Ruth Carr
Sue Adams
Thu Ngo
Under $100
Daphne McGregory
Donna Roney
Katherine Gray
Lori Grossi
Virginia Matson

Green Lawns, Clean Waterways


Water Quality Begins at Home

Regardless of where you live, you are part of a watershed--a region where water flows across or under the ground on its way to a lake, river, stream, reservoir or ocean.  Year round lawn and yard care practices impact water quality even if you don't live near a water body.

Thanks to sound science, we now understand how phosphorus-containing lawn fertilizers contribute to poor water quality.  Phosphorus, the middle number on the lawn fertilizer bag, is present in all living things--including soil.  However, too much phosphorus disrupts nature's balance.  How and why does this imbalance occur?

There's a pipeline from your lawn to a water body!

Runoff from unused phosphorus in lawn fertilizer moves across lawns, roads and woods into streams and ditches, and eventually into reservoirs and lakes.  The majority of soils already contain adequate amounts of phosphorus for a healthy lawn, so most lawns don't need the extra food.

Phosphorus is "junk food" for algae present in a reservoir, lake or stream.  One pound of phosphorus can produce 10,000 pounds of wet weeds and algae.  When phosphorus is washed into lakes, the algae grows out of control (known as repeated algaae bloom), reducing clarity and visibility.  Some forms of blue-green algae can be toxic.

Repeated algae blooms create "green" lakes, which can:

        -Cause fish kills or loss of cold water fish habita   

        -Add a foul taste and smell to the drinking water

        -Become a neighborhood nuisance

         -Produce poor water quality for fish, wildlife, and humans

The Economic Impact

As watersheds are converted from their natural state to residential, commercial, or industrial uses, the amount of phohorus runoff into a lake can increase 5 to 10 times.  Green lakes impact a community in several ways.  Poor water quality significantly reduces recreational use of the water body.  It also reduces property values.

Is There a Solution?

The solution to phosphorus runoff is to control the source.. Using phosphorus free lawn fertilizer is one easy way anyone can contribute to better water quality--regardless of where you live.  When shopping for lawn fertilizer, look for the three numbers on the lawn fertilizer bag.  The middle number indicates the phosphorus content of the fertilizer, so look for a zero.  The other numbers indicate the amount of nitrogen (first number) and potassium (third number) in the fertilizer.  Phosphorus is needed only on newly seeded lawns or where soil testing indicates a deficiency.

What You Can Do!

-Use phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer! Your local nursery or landscape supply store should have phosphorus free fertilizers in stock. If not, ask the manager to order it.

-Apply fertilizer only when it is needed, during the right season, and in proper amounts.

-Avoid getting fertilizer on driveways, sidewalks and storm drains.  Above all, fertilize carefully.  Don't let your fertilizer application get  into lakes, streams or ponds.

-Use a mulching mower and cut no more than the top third of the grass.

-Keep leaves, grass clippings and soil out of streets and gutters.  Compost leaves and clippings on site, bag them for collection or use a community compost program.  Registered organic recycling and composting facilities are listed at

-Clean up after your pet.  Pet waste contains phosphorus.

-Prevent soil erosion by covering the ground with vegetation or mulch. 

Information on this page was obtained the brochure "Green Lawns, Clean Lakes" published by the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.