Lake Iroquois Wins The Gold!
By Shannon Kelly, Lake Iroquois Association
Many people familiar with Lake Iroquois, located 20 minutes outside of Burlington, VT, know exactly how important the lake is to them. But in mid-November, the Lake Iroquois Association (LIA) found out there is a new way to measure just how special one of the most popular bodies of water in Chittenden County really is.
Alison Marchione, Lake Shoreland Coordinator for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC) notified LIA’s current president, Shannon Kelly that Lake Iroquois had achieved Lake Wise Gold status.
What does that mean?
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resource’s Lake Wise Award program “…aims to inform, teach, and change the current lakeshore development practices from clearing shores and building sea walls to practices that are more lake friendly and known to effectively protect the lake.”
The Lake Wise Program was developed to educate lake shore property owners and incentivize them to invest and implement best management practices that enhance shoreline protection. Shoreline property owners undergo an assessment of their parcel of land, which must meet specific criteria set forth in the program to be awarded the coveted Lake Wise Award designation. The capstone to a successful award is a beautifully designed sign signaling the property owner is doing their part to protect the shoreline for lake health.
For a lake to achieve Lake Wise Gold status, 15% of a lake’s total shoreline property owners must receive the Lake Wise Award.
According to the VT DEC’s informative Lake Wise web page, social science suggests neighbors are influential with other neighbors in seeking similar property improvements that in turn lead to recognition. The web page also cites marketing research showing that 15% of a given population is a metric that often leads to favorable trendsetting.
How significant is this achievement?
There are over 800 lakes and ponds found within Vermont’s borders. Of these bodies of water, only two lakes in Vermont had achieved Lake Wise Gold status. Lake Iroquois proudly becomes the third Lake Wise Gold recipient statewide!
Also noteworthy is that the Lake Iroquois Association celebrated its 15-year anniversary in November 2022. While not formally organized prior to 2007, lake residents and others have participated in active stewardship of the lake since the 1970’s.