Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Keeping Bare Oaks' ponds, lakes and rivers clean

As naturists we seek to live in harmony with nature. As part of that commitment, we are doing our best to create as natural an environment as possible.

There has been some discussion about the health of our ponds and lake. You can rest assured that they are in great condition. What you are seeing is the result of a great deal of work and expense to bring the water bodies into ecological balance. That way, all of the plants, animals, insects and amphibians work together to keep the water clean. The proof is that when we send water samples to a lab to test the water quality of Gymnos Pond and Lake Beamor, they both come back well below the limits. In the last test, both samples were at less than 10% of the bacteria level that closes beaches in Ontario. (some level of bacteria is normal) That level is so low that the test results don't report an exact number. They just say that it is less than 10.

The most important changes can be seen in Lake Beamor. We use only natural techniques to keep the lake clean. Aerators, natural bacteria and native plants are some of the methods we employ. We have taken steps to create a naturalized shoreline. (Except for the beach area so that we can all enjoy a freshwater swim.) An ecologically balanced body of water is beautiful to look at, delightful to swim in, and fun to fish.

There are two key parts:
  1. Aquatic plants that grow in the shallow portions of the lake add aesthetic character and provide valuable ecological functions. Aquatic plants stabilize banks, oxygenate the water, absorb nutrients, (which prevents algae growth) provide shelter and spawning habitat for fish and amphibians, and are a food source for wildlife.
  2. A riparian buffer is also important. This is the strip of shrubs and grasses that line the edge of the pond. It intercepts sediments, pathogens, pesticides, fertilizers and other contaminants that could reduce water quality and harm fish habitat in streams, creeks and rivers. It also prevents erosion of the bank and improves habitat for fish by shading and cooling the water.
Preventing shoreline erosion and filtering run off is very important because sediment in the runoff from the land will:
  • slowly fill the pond over time
  • cloud the water
  • reduce water quality
  • serve as a source of nutrients that promotes algae growth
  • harm the fish that live in the water
So everyone can enjoy the rich and diverse nature of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park in confidence. We can all feel good that we are living by the basic tenets of naturism. Of course, our very presence is having an impact on the environment. But our efforts will help minimize any detrimental effects and hopefully prevent any permanent repercussions.