A LakeSmart Story

Questions out of the Blue 

Stephanie Turner called our office from San Diego last spring with questions about plants and lakes and soil and birds and rules and contractors and nurserymen. Forty emails, countless calls and two months later, this determined artist and new householder deplaned in Portland just in time to grab a rental car, drive to Hope, and accept a truckload of plants for her just-completed home on Lermond Pond.

Where It All Started
Stephanie’s childhood summers were spent with grandparents who lived near a small pond in Maine. Her eyes light up as she recalls walking with them on a dirt road through woods and fields to the lake. Excitement grew as she and her siblings caught glints of reflected sunlight shining through the trees along the dusty track. Her grandmother, a country woman who could mimic every bird, repeated birdsongs they heard along the way. And Stephanie remembered.

Throughout the intervening years, Stephanie dreamed of returning to the place where she learned so many things, among them the loveliness of lakes and the importance of preserving habitat for birds and and other living things. Now, she’s back.

A Dream Home in Hope
Stephanie and her husband Jim bought property on Lermond Pond last summer. They engaged an architect and construction company to replace the existing building and guided the process every step of the way from their home in California. Over the winter, while Jim built kitchen cabinets to ship east and Stephanie brooded over plant catalogues and sketches, a beautiful New England cottage rose on the old footprint. However, much of the hilly site was stripped in the process of building. Photos show it looking almost like an overturned brown bowl, with a fringe of green showing at the lakeside and a few tall trees lining the uphill driveway.

Enter LakeSmart
Stephanie had heard about LakeSmart from a neighbor and liked the concept. For her, home on a lake meant much more than just being on the water. Her picture would not look or feel right without wildlife, especially birds, native to the place and the certain knowledge she was not causing harm. Her garden was to be not only beautiful but functional. Our Song would shield the lake and animals dependent on it. That’s why the many phone calls, the long-distance mapping, the investment in so many trees, groundcovers, blooming and fruiting plants, and yard upon yard of erosion control mulch to lay a winding path across the hill.

The August day Patrick Powell, LakeSmart Coordinator for the Alford Lake-Lermond Pond Association, Rob Pfeiffer, President of the Association, and his wife Julie visited the Turners with me, their hillside was alive with butterflies and loud with bees. It was beautiful, and it was LakeSmart.

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