Do Your Part to Protect Hutchins Lake

What You Can Do to Protect Hutchins Lake

Explore the topics below to learn simple things you can do to protect Hutchins Lake.

Live in Harmony at the Water's Edge

“Michigan’s inland lakes support a wealth of plants and animals, many of which depend upon the nearshore and shoreline areas at some point during their lives. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Lakes Assessment, 40% of Michigan's inland lakes have poor lakeshore habitat. Learn more about the importance of healthy lakeshores and what you can do to protect and restore them for the benefit of the lakes you love.”

- Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council

Lake Friendly Landscaping

Growing plants such as shrubs and wildflowers at the water’s edge helps keep the water cool, pure, and clean. The plants also filter pollutants, prevent erosion, and reduce sedimentation. Grass along the water’s edge offers little protection. The comparatively shallow roots of grass are less effective at infiltrating runoff and preventing erosion.

Landscape to Keep the Lake Alive and Beautiful

“There’s something magical about spending time at a lake, whether you’re swimming, boating, fishing, or just sitting and listening to the lapping waves. There are simple steps property owners can take to keep their lakes clean and healthy for generations to come. The Shoreline Living series shares the examples of ordinary property owners who have done something extraordinary. Each is taking steps in their own way to do their part to care for the lake. From small steps to rehabilitate a relatively manicured property to protecting an almost fully forested and natural landscape, the articles within feature the efforts of people just like you.”

- Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership

Become a Michigan Shoreland Stewards Ambassador

The Michigan Shoreland Stewards Program was created to recognize inland lake property owners for using best management practices to protect their lake. Become a Shoreland Stewards Ambassador and help spread the word about the program and healthy lakeshores.

Photo by Mark Bugnaski Photography

Do Your Part. Be SepticSmart.

Keeping your septic system in good working order is one of the best things you can do to help maintain the quality of our lake water. Have your septic tank pumped out by a licensed operator every two or three years. For answers to septic system concerns, contact the Allegan County Health Department.

The SepticSmart program provides a wealth of online resources to facilitate an understanding on how to properly care for and use your septic system, how simple septic maintenance can save you money and protect your property value, and why maintaining your septic system can protect your family’s health and the environment.

SepticSmart Quick Tips

Watch this video to learn more on the importance of properly using and maintaining their septic system, such as how a septic system works, what not to put down the drain, the importance of getting your well water tested, and more.

Get Your Permits

Outdoor Burning

Putting in a Permanent Dock

Adding or Removing Soil to or from the Lake

Constructing a Seawall

All Building/Construction

Do Not Use Phosphorous Fertilizers

Allegan County bans the use of fertilizers containing phosphorous on lawns. The purpose of the ordinance is to prevent phosphorous from leaking into county lakes and streams. This ban applies only to lawns. It does not apply to newly established lawns during their first season or to flowerbeds and shrubbery. Fines for ignoring the ordinance range from $50.00 to $300.00. Stores in the area carry phosphorus-free fertilizers. For more information, download the Phosphorous Fertilizer Ban brochure or visit Allegan Conservation District and Allegan County websites.

Do Not Fertilize within Ten Feet of the Lake

Leave a minimum of ten feet between the lake and where you begin to fertilize your lawn to prevent the fertilizer from washing into the lake. A 25-foot buffer is ideal!

Observe No Wake Zones

In order to protect its fragile shoreline, the channel is a wake-free zone. Buoys by the public boat ramp mark the no wake zone for safety and to protect the shoreline. Thank you for your cooperation.

Remove Invasive Plants

Purple Loosestrife and Garlic Mustard are extremely invasive plants and they are invading the Hutchins Lake area. These plants are a serious threat to our lake habitat! If we do not get rid of them, they will take over native plants.

When you identify garlic mustard or purple loosestrife plants on your property, do the following:

  1. Pull up the plants.

  2. Put them in large bags to dry.

  3. Burn the dried plants

The Midwest Invasive Species Identification Network has information on how to identify both terrestrial and aquatic invasive species.

Explore More Conservation Resources

Explore 3rd party conservation, ecology, and government organizations.

Photo by Mark Bugnaski Photography

"A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.”

John James Audubon

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