Lake Wise

Echo Lake is proud to be the first recipient of the Vermont Gold Lake Wise Award.

Lake Wise is Vermont Agency of Natural Resources state-funded initiative that awards lake-friendly shoreland property that protects the lake water quality and habitat, and assists landowners in working toward that goal. Lakeshore owners at Echo Lake are learning about what’s growing on their lakeshore from native wildflowers to large trees, as well as practices to help control storm water runoff and protect wildlife habitat. By participating in the Lake Wise Program, landowners can have their property assessed for challenging water runoff issues, for help stabilizing an eroding bank, or for improving wildlife habitat. The goal of the Lake Wise Program is to improve the culture of lakeshore landscaping to benefit the lake to keep it safe and clean for years to come.

A property is assessed in four areas: driveway, septic and structures, recreational area, and shorefront. To earn the Lake Wise Award, a property must pass all four sections by showing minimal erosion and a stable, vegetated shorefront and a functioning septic system. The program offers solutions, called Best Management Practices (BMP), that when used will minimize the impact that development has on the lake and help the property earn the Lake Wise Award. The Lake Wise Award sign showcases a property as exemplary in being lake friendly and using excellent landscaping practices.

Since its inception, 36 lakeshore owners have participated in the Lake Wise Program on Echo Lake. Some landowners are working on lakeshore Best Management Practices by making rain gardens, re-vegetating shores, or installing water bars in driveways. Some landowners have received certificates for passing two or more of the categories.

The following  lakeshore owners have earned the Lake Wise Certificate.

  • Holly Bull and John Wall
  • Ellie and Paul Gavin
  • Robin Cote and William Heanue
  • Maria and Kirk Koenigsbauer
  • Brian Trehearne and Maggie Kilgour
  • Richard Miller
  • Linda and Bruno Studer
  • Tom and Amy Wagner (2 properties)
  • Bill Woolsey, Samantha Stevens, Stan and Susan Czerepak (shared property)

And these lakeshore owners, representing 22 properties,  have passed all four categories and earned the Lake Wise Award and earning Echo Lake the first Gold Lake Wise award in the state of Vermont !!

  • Arvin Anderson
  • Nancy Whalen Bernstein
  • Elaine Carpenter
  • Nancy and Peter Engels
  • Byron and Sue Fish
  • Steve and Ann Gratton
  • Ed Kraimer
  • Lynne and Bill Mann
  • Jon Mills, Dorrie Andermills, Katherine Anderson, Lee Mills, Robert Mills, Ted Mills, Susan Warner Mills (3 properties)
  • Northwoods Conservation Shoreline
  • Ruth and Les Samuel
  • Mark Shattuck
  • Carolyn and John Simsarian (2 properties)
  • Jay Simsarian 
  • Peggy Stevens
  • Cindy Swanson
  • Bob and Jean Wilson
  • Don Wilson


John and Carolyn Simsarian receive their award from Amy Picotte, VT Dept of Environmental Conservation

John and Carolyn Simsarian receive their award from Amy Picotte,
VT Dept of Environmental Conservation

Look for the beautiful Lake Wise Award sign to indicate what outstanding lakeshore development looks like at Echo Lake or along another Vermont lake, such as Seymour Lake, where property owners have started to practice Lake Wise living and earn the Award sign. Lake Associations with 15 percent awarded participation in the Lake Wise Program will receive the Gold Lake Wise Award

To learn more about being Lake Wise and the shoreland technical assistance provided through this program, visit the Agency of Natural Resources Lake Wise web site at To arrange for an evaluation, contact ELPA Lake Wise liaisons,Susan Czerepak at, or Tracy Shadday, or contact Amy Picotte from the Agency of Natural Resources at