What can go in a backyard composter.
- Coffee grounds and filters
- Tea bags and leaves
- Fruits and vegetables
- Grass clippings
- Plant trimmings
- Weeds (not in seed)
- Sawdust (untreated wood)
- Wood ash (cold, untreated wood)
Don't put these in your backyard composter
- BBQ ash/charcoal
- Dairy products
- Meat, fish or bones
- Pet waste
- Plants treated with pesticides
- Treated wood ash or sawdust
- Vacuum cleaner lint
- Weeds in seed
If you find garbage on the road, please take a photo and email the photo to the Trent Lakes Municipal office or give them a call. They will send someone to pick up the garbage or you may take the unsorted garbage to the transfer station with prior approval.
Here is the contact page on the Trent Lakes website. April 12\18
If you lend or rent your cottage, please ensure that occupants understand how to properly dispose of garbage. If you don't make arrangements for them, don't assume they'll take the garbage home.
You can purchase a Cottage Kit at the transfer station. It includes a single pass and disposal bags. Click on the image below for more information.
Nature - Our Best Defense Against Flooding
THINK twice before you harden your shoreline or change a wetland. You could affect our ability to combat flooding.
Read the full article on the David Suzuki
Excerpts from the article:
Floods have become one of the most visible signs of the effects of climate change in cities, towns and rural areas throughout Canada.
Spring floods aren’t unusual, but the intensity and frequency of recent rains are breaking records.
Deforestation, wetland destruction and artificial shoreline projects worsen the problem.
Nancy Boyce, BBLCA, and Judy McWhirter, BCC, presented Go Green at a lunch and learn session at the Buckhorn Community Centre on February 20th. They talked about products you can make for personal care and for your home.
This is the handout that was given to attendees. February 21\19
Green Cleaning Recipes
We're including a homemade spray cleaner in our welcome packages.
Try our recipe and adjust the essential oil to suit you.
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp liquid castile soap
- 10 drops essential oil (thyme)
Note: Thyme essential oil fights germs.
See the Go Green handout on this page for more recipes.
Green Personal Care Recipes
Liquid castile soap can be used on its own or as a base for home cleaning and personal care as well. Try it as a laundry liquid, shampoo, shower gel or bubble bath. It's great for shampooing your dog too. You can even mix it with water to spray aphids, but be sure to rinse your plant leaves within a couple of hours.
For deodorant, use a simple two step process with coconut oil and arrowroot powder.
For toothpaste, melt coconut oil and mix in baking soda.
See the Go Green handout on this page for more recipes.
This non-toxic alternative can be used on weeds and grass in your driveway.
- 1 tsp. of dishwashing liquid
- 1 tsp. of salt
- 1 cup of vinegar
Stir and pour on the weeds. The exposed part of the weeds will dry up within a couple of hours. It works best in a sunny location. You may still need to pull or rake the weeds to remove them.
Try weeding after a heavy rain when the ground is softer. You won't need to apply anything.
Identify it. Avoid it.
Poison Ivy may be difficult to identify. It spreads by runners. It can be very small or tall and bushy depending on how established it has become. Leaves are reddish to green when starting to show in May, but will turn solid green. The leaves turn red when it dies off in the fall. Leaves can be shiny or dull, droopy or upright. There are always three leaves, two opposite each other with a third lower leaf.
It is a native plant. If it is on your property and it is difficult to avoid, you can spray it with a weedkiller, but it will grow back. The pesticide ban in Ontario does allow you to spray poison ivy, but is not allowed for cosmetic use, i.e., grass or dandelions in your driveway.
If you are able pull out poison ivy, dispose of it in the garbage. Do not burn or compost. If you are allergic, you can react to debris in an area where poison ivy once was.
Invasive Plant Species
Check before you plant
For a plant to be classified as invasive it must be a non-native with a tendency to spread, threaten the environment, social or economic health of the area. The problem is simple to understand; as there are no natural diseases or pests to control them, like native plants, they can spread uncontrollably and crowd out our native plants. There are over 400 species of invasive plants in Ontario.
Last year’s brilliant and well meaning campaign by Cheerios to “bring back the bees” resulted in 400 million seeds being sent out across Canada and 1.5 billion were sent out in total across North American included forget-me-nots. Forget-me-nots are native to Africa and were introduced to gardens because of their beauty, and because they have no natural checks and balances they can quickly escape their boundaries.
Many invasive plants are beautiful and some have even been sold innocently by garden centres, such as periwinkle and ornamental grasses. An ornamental grass can be controlled in a city but when people bring them to the cottage and let them grow uncontrollably we create a situation that can disrupt our healthy biodiversity. Phragmites is an invasive perennial grass that originated in Eurasia and is quickly becoming Ontario’s worst invasive plant. Phragmites release toxins from their roots that obstruct the growth of other native plants as they outcompete them for sunlight, water and nutrients. They will kill off the natural bulrushes and cattails. With their dense clusters there is no wildlife that will live within it; no nests or wildlife activity, just quiet.
To learn more about Phragmites and how to identify it go to:
Invasive Phragmites – Best Management Practices.
If you think you have seen an invasive species please report it to:
Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can check out what to grow instead here: Grow Me Instead.
Fireworks in Trent Lakes
Fireworks will not be permitted in the Municipality of Trent Lakes until New Year's Eve. September 20\20
The Municipality of Trent Lakes approved a Fireworks By-law which came into effect on October 15, 2019.
Fireworks are now restricted to specific days and times.
Note: no fireworks are allowed in the spring due to the effect on nesting birds, particularly loons.
Flying lanterns are prohibited in Trent Lakes as are any type of fireworks during a Burn Ban.
Permitted dates and times:
New Year’s Eve – between 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. the following day.
Canada Day – between 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on July 1st and the weekends directly preceding and following it.
Civic Holiday – between 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on the statutory holiday (Monday) and the weekend directly preceding it.
Labour Day – between 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on the statutory holiday (Monday) and the weekend directly preceding it. October 25\19
Quarry Covenant Page
Native Plants Offer More Bugs for Birds
Here's another reason to plant native trees. Native trees attract more insects, which in turn feeds more birds. Native plants in general feed our wildlife, non-native plants do not and invasive non-native plants crowd out our useful plants.
Read the full article on the Audubon website.
Lighting at Night Can Destroy Habitat in an Instant
From The Land Between website:
Dark skies are often overlooked as important parts of habitat….but lighting instantly affects all species.
Humans sleep best without glaring lights – and so do animals!
Having lights on at night destroys the sleeping areas for many animals, such as Hummingbirds and songbirds; but also confuses and changes the natural order of the world.
For more information on how night time lighting affects wildlife and what you can do about it, go to the full article on The Land Between website. March 20\18
Demonstration Site Plants
This is a list of the native plants that were used for our demonstration site:
- Sweet gale
- White Turtlehead
- Potentilla yellow
- Potentilla white
- Woodland sunflower
- Smooth Rose (aka wild rose)
- Beebalm (aka red bergamot)
- Joe pyeweed
- Blue lobelia
Our top perennial picks for your shoreline are: Swamp Milkweed, Blue Flag Iris, Blue Lobelia and Joe Pye Weed. Great shrubs are Red Osier Dogwood, Willow and Sweetgale.
See Native Plant Nursery Catalogues on our Links page and find your new favourite. Note: these nurseries are wholesalers, so consider grouping your order with a neighbour's and be sure to call ahead.
Why native plants? Native plants provide food for birds, bees and other pollinators. May 31\17
Biodiversity is the variety of life. We cannot survive independently of each other. We need to have diverse plants and animals.
In an effort to increase biodiversity and improve our water quality, we are educating our lake residents about the importance of natural shorelines. We'll be planting a demonstration site on the lake. Also, we are distributing native plant starter kits.
By planting a variety of native plants along your shore, you'll:
- attract pollinators
- support the food web
- provide a buffer against species loss
- deter geese from your property
- prevent toxins from entering into the lake
- reduce pests
- eliminate the need for fertilizers
- reduce erosion
2020 E.coli Test Results
Click on the image below to see a larger image of the 2020 E.coli Test Summary
Click on the image below to see a larger image of the 2020-2018 E.coli Test Summary
2020 E.coli Testing Sites
Click on the map below to see the sites that are being tested in 2020.
2020 Phosphorus and Secchi Depth Testing
Labs are not accepting our phosphorus tests this year, but we are continuing with Secchi Depth testing which indicates how clear the water is. We will post test results here each month. The depth listed below is how deep the disk can be seen.
October 14, 2020 - Secchi Test done mid-lake at 11:45 am - Depth = 5.5 metres - Water Temperature - cold
September 21, 2020 - Secchi Test done mid-lake at 2:00 pm - Depth = 4.1 metres - Water Temperature - 63 F
August 6, 2020 - Secchi Test done mid-lake at 10:45 am - Depth = 2.6 metres - Water Temperature - 75.6 F
July 17, 2020 - Secchi Test done mid-lake at 12 noon - Depth = 3.7 metres
June 16, 2020 - Secchi Test done mid-lake at 1:15 p.m. - Depth = 4.42 metres - Conditions - Windy
2019 Phosphorus Results for Big Bald Lake
We receive phosphorus testing results each spring for the previous year through the Lake Partner Program. You can review past results and see how other lakes did by going to the Lake Partner Program
You may also refer to the Kawartha Lake Stewards annual report for a complete list of E.coli and Phosphorus test results for our area. See our Links page.
Phosphorus is tested mid-lake.
How we can reduce E.coli
The following is an excerpt from an article in the KLSA Lake Water Quality 2015 Report, Protecting the Natural Beauty Around Us.
We can help keep our lakes cleaner by:
- discouraging large populations of waterfowl
by keeping our shorelines well vegetated. (Clear
sightlines from the water to lush green grass are
very inviting to geese!)
- reducing erosion, e.g., interrupt the flow of water
off the land with plants and curving paths
- minimizing lake sediment disturbance, e.g., keep
your boat’s power down until you are in deeper
... and from our Water Quality Testing Report
Tips on Protecting our Lake and Yourself
- Don't feed geese and other waterfowl.
- Naturalize shorelines.
- Don't swim after a heavy rain.
- Clean up and properly dispose of any animal waste from geese and dogs.
- Don't overload your septic - spread out your laundry loads.
- Have your septic tank pumped out every three years.
Acquatic Weeds as Fertilizer
If you don't want to haul your acquatic weeds to the dump, try mixing them with dry leaves to make a great natural fertilizer for your gardens. Just make sure you have a natural shoreline to ensure those nutrients don't get washed back into the lake. April 12\18
2016 FOCA Lake Stewards Newsletter and
Peterborough Public Health - Blue-green Algae
What are blue-green algae?
Blue-green algae are not really algae, and they aren’t even always blue-green. They are actually a type of bacteria called “Cyanobacteria” that get their energy through photosynthesis, like plants do. Cyanobacteria are known for rapidly reproducing and collecting to form large, highly visible blooms that can appear throughout the water, on the surface of water as a scum, or on the lake bottom as a mat. Some species of cyanobacteria can release toxins into the water when the cells that make up the bloom rupture or die. Some species do not; blooms contain a mix of species, but it is estimated that up to half of cyanobacterial blooms are non-toxic.
Factors affecting blooms
Within lakes, cyanobacteria can occur naturally in low numbers,
but under certain conditions their numbers can
increase dramatically, leading to blooms. A wide variety
of factors are linked to the formation of blooms, but the
most significant ones are increased nutrient input to
lakes, and a number of specific meteorological conditions
such as high water temperature, low rainfall/precipitation
and reduced wind speeds.
Consequently, blooms typically develop in shallow,
sheltered bays and during the summer or fall when these
meteorological conditions are most likely to occur.
How you can help
Management of nutrient inputs into lakes remains
a crucial step in controlling the occurrence and
frequency of algal blooms. Your personal actions
in support of this effort could range from using
phosphate-free products, to naturalizing your
shoreline which helps reduce erosion and phosphorus
loading. Reducing phosphorus loading will serve
to reduce one of the major predisposing conditions
necessary for bloom occurrence.
What should I do if I think I have spotted a blue-green algae bloom?
If you see an algae bloom that you think may be blue-green algae, report it to the MInistry of the Environment (MOE) by calling 1-800-268-6060. If it is the first blue-green algae bloom of the season on that lake or in that area, the MInistry will take a sample of the algae and identify whether it contains cyanobacteria. They will also test the toxin level from a dense area of the bloom, but will not return to confirm that the bloom or the toxin levels have dissipated. Subsequent blooms will not be individually identified.