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Lake Ossie hosts Love Your Lake Landscape Tour

Inspired by the Lake Steward program started on the Gull Lake chain of lakes, Lake Ossawinnamakee recognized homeowners with lake friendly landscaping on a self-guided "Love Your Lake Landscape Tour".

The self-guided landscape tour featured eleven properties that use landscaping to help the water quality of our lake by reducing phosphorus runoff and increasing natural habitat.

Here’s the six steps they followed to get the tour started:

1. Create Survey: The association created a survey modeled after a combination of the Gull lake and Minnesota Lakes and Rivers survey. It was free to create a 10 question survey at

2. Send e-mail to members: A short e-mail introduced the tour and invited everyone to take the survey. Here’s what it said:

“Hello, Neighbors!

This summer we are starting a self-guided tour to showcase properties that are examples of landscaping that helps the water quality on our lake. Lake-friendly landscaping means no use of fertilizers and pesticides, maintaining your septic system, minimizing storm water runoff into the lake, leaving a buffer zone, and minimizing lawn on the entire property.

We will publish a map of participating properties so everyone can take a self-guided trip around the lake.

How it works:

1. Take a six question survey at and see how your property scores. If the score is 50 or higher, and you would like to be considered for the tour, send an e-mail to the tour organizer.

2. If the score is below 50 and you would like some ideas about what you can do on your property, contact Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District to schedule a site assessment, read some of the articles published by the Pine River Watershed on or contact a lake association board member.”

3. Review Survey Results: The organizer reviewed the survey results and contacted interested owners. There were 11 properties that either responded to the survey or were great examples to feature on the tour. The organizer went around the lake, took photos, and wrote a short description of how the landscaping helped water quality.

4. Make a map: The properties were placed on a google map and the tour was organized in a path around the lake.

5. Create a Tour Guide: A website was created to host the pictures and the story for each property.

A printable PDF was created for homeowners to take out on their boats.

2021 Love Your Lake Landscape Tour
Download PDF • 5.22MB

6. Invite the lake to go on tour: Another e-mail was sent out to all the lake residents.

Hello, Neighbors -

We are kicking off the self-guided landscape tour with eleven properties that are using landscaping to help the water quality of our lake by reducing phosphorus runoff and increasing natural habitat.

We are fortunate to have a lot of great examples.- not just the houses on tour, but all over the lake.

Here's the map and information about each property:

A pdf version is attached if you would like to take it along for your trip!

Enjoy the tour!

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