Lake Mohawk Preservation Foundation
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Those grates and drains that you see on the roads in Lake Mohawk are storm drains.  Storm drains carry rainwater and melted snow through an underground system that ends up in our Lakes. These storm sewers contain untreated water, so the water that enters the lake is the same water that enters the system. Whatever goes into the drain goes into the lake.  Throw a bag of dog feces in the storm drain, it will end up in front of the nearby lakefront home or beach.  Leaves, grit, chemicals, or trash all will flow directly into the lake if they are put into the storm drain.  So keep them clear, don’t blow or rake leaves into it, don’t use it as a garbage can. Everyone has a role to play in the cleanliness of our lakes.

Roads are swept in the spring in order to prevent the grit and sand from entering our lakes through storm drains. Homeowners also play a role in keeping our lakes clean since swift running water from lawns, roofs and driveways carry sediment and nutrients into our lakes. To prevent unwanted material from entering our bodies of water, homeowners can collect rainwater in barrels or plant a rain garden. Rain gardens work by capturing the water from an impervious surface such as a driveway, patio, or roof- and allowing water to filter out slowly into the ground. Water should never directly flow into the lake or onto our roadways from your property.

The Preservation Foundation planted a demonstration rain garden toward the end of the boardwalk near the spillway. Take a look at it and consider how a rain garden will fit into your landscape. Summer blooms will soon appear! For more information about rain gardens go to our website Alternately, you may email queries to our trustees at

Fast-moving water can also be slowed down, and sediment can collect, in a stone trench. Stone trenches are used throughout the reservation to move water. They can be seen along West Shore Trail, Woodbine Terrace, and between Fairway Trail and the Golf Club property. Trenches help remove sediment as water flows through them before draining into the lake. To be most effective, trenches are periodically cleaned out.  Rather than piping water directly onto our roads or lakes, homeowners might consider building a stone trench.

Chemicals used to kill weeds on lawns also contaminate our lakes.  Please read the labels on weed killers prior to using them on your yard and around our bodies of water!  Speak to your landscaper about the chemicals they use.  Are they harming fish, frogs, and turtles as they beautify your property?  Take a look at our recipe and consider using this inexpensive organic weed killer. 

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