Projects to Help Lake Kenosia

The Lake Kenosia Buffer Gardens Project
The Lake Kenosia buffer gardens project is a planted area that filters runoff, creates a scenic garden, provides bird and butterfly habitat and discourages Canada Geese from using the beach area.

Objective 1: Filter storm-water runoff

The purple lines are possible runoff paths from higher areas to the lake. When it rains, storm water flows downhill through defined pathways (that may change) discharging towards Lake Kenosia. Without the buffer gardens, this runoff picks up nutrients and pollutants as it flows toward the lake, and creates erosion channels on the beach.


With the buffer gardens, the planted areas intercept the runoff, trapping sediments and absorbing nutrients and pollutants that would have discharged into the lake. It acts like a sponge, purifying the storm water and keeping the lake clean.



Objective 2: Deter Canada Geese away from the Beach

Canada Geese like an easy, unobstructed march from the grass to the water through the beach. Encircling their pathway from the grass to the lake with the buffer gardens stops the geese. The geese instinctively know that brush habitat, like the buffer gardens, may be home to predators such as coyotes and foxes so they will fly away seeking safer feeding grounds.


Objective 3: Habitat & Scenic Landscape

The buffer gardens also provide a scenic dimension to the simple landscape of the beach. The tubular flowers in the gardens will attract butterflies and ruby throated hummingbirds, and many other native species of birds.



Managing Weeds & Algae

Every year, tall water plants grow from the bottom of the lake, creating an entangling nuisance. Until 2003, the City applied the herbicide Sonar, approved by the DEP, to control these weeds. After 2003, the State Health Department then banned the use of herbicides in Lake Kenosia because the lake was being used as a water supply in droughts.

Example of lake infested
with weeds.

Since then, annual monitoring surveys have shown increases in the growth of the nuisance weeds such as Eurasian watermilfoil and coontail.

The Lake Kenosia Commission is exploring alternatives to herbicides to control the weeds. The Commission investigated and rejected the possibility of introducing weed-eating fish, which could not be adequately contained within the lake. Instead the Commission has employed scuba divers to suction the weeds from the bottom of the lake. See the section on State of the Lake.



Promising non-chemical weed management alternatives

The Kenosia Commission has been successful using suction harvesting, a technique that employs divers to physically remove the weeds using a suction device, in a limited area. In 2008, the suction harvesting of the waters in front of the Lake Kenosia Park beach (an area approximately 15,000 square feet) effectively removed the nuisance weeds from the bathing area for the bathing season. The level of success of the 2008 survey was documented by snorkel surveys in June and August by the Commission’s consultant (Jack Kozuchowski) and independently by the annual monitoring of the lake in September by George Benson, a limnologist. The Commission has continued to use this technique annually to keep the bathing area as an oases in the park, for citizens to enjoy weed-free water recreation.
The Kenosia Commission is also monitoring weed control efforts in Candlewood Lake, which has seeded those waters with “milfoil weevil,” a native aquatic insect that preys exclusively on the predominant nuisance weed of the lake (Eurasain Watermilfoil), with an eye toward the possibility of introducing weevils in Lake Kenosia if they prove to be effective in Candlewood.