Yard - A Work in Progress..
Lawns | Composting | Fertilizer | Native Plants | Native Plants & Naturescaping | Watering | Weed & Feed | Yard wastes | Pet wastes | Turf alternatives | Driveways, Parking areas & Sidewalks | Rain gardens | Neighborhood & Stewardship helps

Backyard Wildlife Habitat
Community Certification

National Wildlife Federation

Beneficial Landscaping - EPA

Master Gardeners - OSU Extension


Native Plant Society of Oregon

Pesticide Alternatives

Rain Gardens

Infiltration technique to capture runoff
Reduce nonpoint source pollution


Environmentally Friendly Lawn Care
Healthy Lawns, Healthy Families

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sponsors a website with information about how to have a great-looking lawn without using chemical fertilizers and weed killers. The DEQ Healthy Lawns, Healthy Families site at www.healthylawns.org includes information about how our lawn care habits influence water quality and tips on how to practice natural lawn care. Misuse and overuse of pesticides and chemical fertilizers on the lawn can lead to lawn problems, and the chemicals themselves are often washed off the lawn by rain, headed for the storm drain and ultimately to Oregon's rivers and lakes. Once in the river or lake, the chemicals can cause problems for fish.

Policy work: polluted runoff
Polluted runoff is Wisconsin's number one water quality problem, degrading or threatening an estimated 90% of inland lakes. Extra phosphorus can wash into our lakes and streams from lawns, farm fields, stormwater and construction sites, roads and other hard surfaces, causing algae blooms, water quality decline, and negative impacts on recreational lake use and lakeshore property values. Phosphorus is the main nutrient that drives eutrophication in most lakes.
The Wisconsin Association of Lakes supports increased funding to implement polluted runoff programs and other policy initiatives that will reduce polluted runoff from agricultural and urban sources.

Grass Clippings are considered fill material, and therefore illegal to throw in the lake. Devils Lake and the wetlands that support it are considered Essential Salmon Habitat by the Department of State Lands, and by being so there is zero tolerance for adding fill to the shoreline or the lake bed.  While grass clippings might seem to pale in comparison to a truckload of rock, it would be considered fill material, and therefore even sprinkling grass clippings on the lake is illegal. Concerns about the ecological effects - grass is rich in nitrogen which is fuel to weeds and cyanobacteria. Devils lake doesn’t need anymore nutrients as development over the last 8 decades has changed Devils Lake dramatically already. Additionally, lawn clippings often are laden with pesticides or herbicides if the landowner should so apply them. This is another negative impact of dumping grass clippings in the lake. 
So what is the solution? Cut the grass out of the “lakescaping” altogether. Allow native vegetation to grow up along the shoreline which do not require weekly maintenance of a lawn mowing, provide habitat to fish, insects, birds and other wildlife, and protect your shore from erosion. (DLWID manager Paul Robertson)

Certified Community Wildlife Habitats (CWH)
National Wildlife Federation
By creating sustainable landscapes that avoid pesticides, chemical fertilizers and excess watering, Community Wildlife Habitat projects benefit the entire community: people, plants and wildlife. For more information on how to turn a community into a welcoming place for wildlife, visit www.nwf.org/backyardwildlifehabitat

Purchase a composting container from North Lincoln Sanitary, use the compost for grass clippings (do not place in the lake)

Stopping the inappropriate use of fertilizers on lawns is one preventive way to limit nutrients from seeping into the lake. Test your soil to determine how much fertilizer is necessary for your yard, garden, or farm. Use lawn fertilizers sparingly, and only when needed. Avoid using toxic pesticides and herbicides on your lawn and garden - these chemicals can pollute rivers, lakes, and groundwater. Use natural fertilizers, such as compost or manure. Ask your local hardware and garden stores to stock them. Tossing lawn clippings in the lake is discouraged - use a compost or leave clippings on your lawn.

10/06/09 - Paul Tukey (www.paultukey.com/) author of the Organic Lawn Care Manual. The book was available from the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. The author recommends a soil test.
•10/09 - Phosphorus free fertilizer for sale at Ace's Hardware -
new DLWID board member Randy Weldon made arrangements with Ace. Cyanobacteria use phosphorus.

Master Gardeners - Oregon State University Extension Service in Newport
Master Gardeners hold an annual plant sale at the Lincoln County Fair Grounds around the third Saturday in May. Call 541-574-6534 for information about becoming a Master Gardener or for help with your yard or visit http://extension.oregonstate.edu/lincoln/index.php

Native Plants & Naturescaping
Naturescaping is a term used to describe planting a plot of land so that it is environmentally friendly to people and wildlife. Landscaping with native plants means reduced maintenance, little or no fertilizing, and less watering, clipping, mowing and weeding over time.
Planting of native plants is recommended. Native plants need less water, provide wildlife habitat, help prevent erosion and stabilize banks. Four easy steps to preserve wildlife in your area include providing food, water, cover, and places to raise young. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife publishes a book, "Naturescaping, a Place for Wildlife." Plant lists and sample landscaping plans are included in the book. For more information visit www.dfw.state.or.us/NS/.

A naturescaping garden has been planted at Holmes Road Park off West Devils Lake Road for residents to note ideas to use in yards at home. Several organizations with help from the Watershed Council and the Master Gardeners http://extension.oregonstate.edu/mg/, have planted a garden using a diversity of native plants. Shoreline plants to protect riparian areas from erosion are featured. An interpretive display is planned for the future. Visit often to see the improvements.

Another website about gardening is http://eesc.orst.edu/agcomwebfile/garden/enews/index.html.
Click here for more information about naturescaping.
Visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium to view the native plants along the nature trail, and view the butterfly garden.

Pesticides and Herbicides
Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides website, www.pesticide.org

Pet Wastes
Environmentally friendly pets

An article in the National Wildlife Federation magazine's October/November 2004 issue by Heidi Ridgley states, "According to a 1999 Vanderbilt University study, dog feces are a major cause of water pollution in urban and suburban areas, particularly following periods of heavy rain. The runoff taints streams and rivers, robbing them of oxygen and killing aquatic life. The researchers originally suspected that leaky septic systems and sewage pipes accounted for unexpectedly high bacterial levels in Nashville, Tennessee streams and tributaries. 'What they found instead was that in neighborhoods with no sewer problems, the most common fingerprint is that of dogs,' says Edward Thackston, an environmental engineer." The article encourages pet owners to keep their cats indoors, bag their kitty litter, pick up pet poop, and read the labels on flea and tick repellent.
   Pet waste disposal stations are at the Tanger Outlet Mall and D River. West Devils Lake State Park is working to control pet waste.
Property owners around the lake and in the watershed are encouraged to pick up after their pets.

Information about the plants in the lake (aquatic) and along the shoreline (riparian area between land and the lake)

Rain Gardens - Click here to view a whole page about rain gardens
Rain gardens are a way for homeowners as well as businesses to participate in the reduction of polluted runoff, simply by planting a specialized garden. Rain Gardens are an infiltration technique - water is captured in a garden that features native plantings, and the water has a chance to slowly filter into the ground rather than run off into the storm sewer. It is a popular way to reduce nonpoint source pollution and has been popular along the East Coast for a number of years. http://dnr.wi.gov/org/water/wm/nps/rg/index.htm

Lincoln City has a tree removal protection regulation. A permit is required to cut a tree having a trunk diameter of eight inches (approximately twenty-five inches in circumference) or more in diameter at breast height (DBH -- the cross sectional diameter) of the trunk of a tree when measured at a point four and one-half feet (fifty-four inches) above the base of the trunk on the uphill side. In the case of multi-stemmed or trunked trees, the diameter shall be the sum of diameters of all individual stems or trunks; over a certain diameter. Check with the planning department before cutting down a tree. Trees are important to the Devils Lake watershed by stabilizing the soil, providing wind breaks, wildlife habitat and noise buffers.

Turf Alternatives

Weed and Feed

Yard Wastes (see compost)
Do not throw cut grass and leaves in the lake.

Beyond yard maintenance...

Boathouses, Boat Slips, Docks, Seawalls

Register your dock with the Division of State Lands. statelands.dsl.state.or.us/

Burning & alternatives
Banned in the city, burn permit required in the county.
County residents by Devils Lake are encouraged to be kind and find alternatives to burning - in lieu of a burn ban ordinance in the county similar to the one adopted by Lincoln City in September 2003. Devils Lake is not very wide, and smoke can blow across a canal or inlet or even the lake. Part-time weekend residents and full-time residents who burn debris may not realize that some of their neighbors have smoke allergies, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, or aesthetically just do not like smoke. Burning debris can be a serious health hazard to affected neighbors.
Some folks may not realize that permits are required from the fire department to burn in the county, and then only certain times of the year. Contact the fire department for a permit form and dates. North Lincoln Fire & Rescue’s phone number is 996-2233 and burn information hotline is 996-1008.
Alternatives to burning yard debris, particularly in the Lincoln City urban growth boundary, include:
1. Haul to the dump - North Lincoln Sanitary Service has a map to the site, 994-5555;
2. Include the debris in your weekly garbage pickup;
3. Rent or purchase a used or new mulcher or chipper;
4. Use your debris as compost for soil conditioner - Lincoln County Solid Waste District’s Gretchen, 265-4171 or Lincoln County OSU Extension Service, 574-6534;
5. Haul to Toledo the first full weekend of the month - Lincoln County Solid Waste District’s Gretchen, 265-4171 has information;
6. Contact high schoolers, youth or church groups for help;
7. Free pickup to those who want wood.
If you have any suggestions or alternatives to burning, please contact PADL through its website at www.devilslakeor.us. Thank you for considering your neighbors before deciding to burn.

Car washing
Avoid washing near the lake

Car and engine motor oil (boat or lawnmower)  
Recycle used motor oil. A single quart of motor oil poured onto the ground can seep into groundwater and pollute 250,000 gallons of drinking water. Do not pour oil or other chemicals down storm drains, where they often flush directly into your favorite river, lake, or bay. Many communities offer places to recycle used motor oil.

Cats - Keep domestic cats indoors
Keep your pet cat indoors. Cats can kill migratory birds and other small animals. Indoor cats live longer and healthier lives. Outdoor cats should be on a leash, in an outdoor enclosure or cat run. For information see www.abcbirds.org/cats/. - keep indoors or let out from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm only.

Sweep your driveways instead of hosing them down (conserves water).

The following is from the city's Natural Resource Overlay Zone (NR) Section 3.111

a. For in-water work the responsible party must follow the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife guidelines for in-water work.
b. The responsible party may not remove native vegetation except for that in the space occupied by the use.
c. Within six months of vegetation removal, the responsible party must replant areas from which vegetation is removed with native vegetation at densities at least equaling those of the removed vegetation, unless vegetation would not allow the use to function.
d. The responsible party must keep sediment from entering the water area.
e. The responsible party must obtain all required federal and state permits (e.g. US Army Corps of Engineers permit, Oregon Water Resources Department permit, Division of State Lands fill/removal permit).

Driveways, Parking areas, Sidewalks and Walkways
Use gravel or porous materials instead of hard surfaces, sweep surfaces instead of hosing off. http://www.mononabay.org/help.htm

Avoid the rainy season for moving earth, replant exposed areas as soon as possible. Improve drainage around your home and in your yard, to keep runoff out of storm drains by filtering slowly into the soil. Avoid landscaping with hard surfaces, such as concrete. Instead, select native vegetation, gravel, or other porous materials. Redirect rain gutters to your lawn . . . or collection barrels to water your garden. See erosion

Fire Safety
Mark your street address well so that emergency vehicles can find your residence. Do not grow plants close to your house, leave a buffer.

Hot tub water & laundry water
Do not empty hot tubs into the lake. Do not run laundry water into the lake. Grey water discharge rules apply.

Stormwater runoff can carry nutrients to the lake. Plant a rain garden.

Safety signs
Safety signs are available to post near a dock to inform family and friends about the safety rules of the lake. Contact the Devils Lake Water Improvement District (DLWID) 541-994-5330.

Septic Drainfield
Maintain septic systems properly. Monitoring and cleaning your system when needed protects your groundwater and surface water, and saves money by prolonging the life of the system. Map out your drainfield. Help stem the tide of water pollution. Click here for more on septic systems.

In your community
Help identify, report and stop polluters. Join PADL and help monitor activities around the lake. Local groups can be especially effective working together with state environmental agencies, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Copyright © 2003-2011 Preservation Association of Devils Lake (PADL).
All rights reserved.

P.O. Box 36
Lincoln City, OR 97367