Submitted by Laura Bullock
For many who frequent Fawn Lake, the unannounced addition of a post and rail fence earlier this year has stirred up quite a bit of a commotion. There is lots of speculation and more questions than answers have been circulating and we now finally have some answers.
According to Elizabeth Bagdonas, who is the town Conservation Agent, the fence was installed in an attempt to control the geese population and to keep the vegetation next to the lake intact.
Ms. Bagdonas gave two reasons for wanting to keep the geese off the lawn. First is to keep the area clean and free of their droppings. She mentioned that people would like to have weddings and other functions on the lawn and the mess the geese create makes this difficult and uninviting. The second reason is in regards to the aquatic overgrowth that is starting to choke the lake. Ms. Bagdonas stated that the geese droppings fertilize the plants and are a significant contributing factor to the rapid overgrowth of the aquatic plants. If the lawn area is inaccessible to the geese and our spring/fall visiting swans, they will be unable to consume the grass and it will naturally discourage their desire to make Fawn Lake their summer home.
The fence is also being used to protect the vegetation from being mowed accidentally. These plants are native to this area, are helping to keep the banks of the lake from eroding, and are also a natural barrier to the geese as they supposedly will not walk through the plants to get to or from the lake.
For the time being, Ms. Bagdonas requests that the fence gates be kept closed to keep the geese off the lawn. I know there are many people who love the geese and their goslings, as well as the swans, and would hate to see them go. I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but the mallard ducks started off with a family of nine ducklings this year too – they can be hard to spot as they often hide among the lily pads. Clearly, the lake has become a favored spot of our feathered friends as we have three families of geese this year, a pair of swans just three years ago grew into a family of six this past fall, and now the addition of the ducklings. We know there are a number of factors contributing to the aquatic growth and we all need a better understanding of not only what these factors are but what we can do to help protect and improve Fawn Lake.
Topics we will cover in the next couple of weeks involve the 2008 assessment of the aquatic vegetation in the lake as well as the town’s current plans/ideas for trail maintenance. Please tell your friends and neighbors about the lake and our quest to keep it alive and thriving. At some point next spring the town will vote on how much money and resources should be dedicated to Fawn Lake. The more people who know about and show support for this very special place, the easier it will be to have our voices heard and vote in the necessary resources.
In the meantime please follow us on Facebook at Fawn Lake Bedford Springs!