The Lake Guardian Program

Seeking Individuals and Businesses to Protect Our Lake

The Lake Guardian Program, designed to educate homeowners and contractors on “lake friendly” approaches to lawn care and landscaping within the Lake Charlevoix watershed, and to encourage their use. The Lake Guardian program is the result of a growing realization that while some homeowners or businesses may engage in activities that result in harmful runoff or nutrient loading into our lake, most do so without understanding the impact of such actions and how they can be avoided or remediated. 

Central to the protection of the water quality is avoiding unnecessary runoff of chemicals, fertilizers, yard waste and storm runoff, which will enter the lake and affect the water where we swim, boat, and play. Mother Nature has created green buffer zones (“greenbelts”) to help filter water flowing into the lake. However, over the years much of the greenbelt protection has been eliminated and landscaping and building plans have increased runoff, often adding harmful elements to it. The Lake Guardian program aims to promote proper approaches to landscaping and yard design and maintenance among homeowners alike. So what does becoming a Lake Guardian entail and why is it so important in protecting our lake.



As a homeowner, you can become a Lake Guardian in one of two ways. One way is by entering into an agreement to limit or eliminate chemical usage and to keep chemicals away from the Lake, to require that contractors use only lake friendly methods, to comply with all regulations and ordinances aimed at protecting the Lake, maintain or restore greenbelt buffer zones, properly maintain the septic system and generally prevent as much as possible harmful runoff into the Lake. Become a Lake Guardian now. Lake Guardian Application for Property Owners

A second way to become a Lake Guardian is to take the “Rate Your Shoreland” survey of the Shoreland Steward program. If your score on the survey is either Gold or Silver you will have automatically qualified as a Lake Guardian. Start by taking the survey here: Rate Your Shoreland Survey. This will take you to the MIShoreland survey page where you must register and indicate that you are affiliated with the Lake Charlevoix Association. Once you have completed the survey we will arrange to deliver your Guardian burgee and/or discuss upgrading your status.

Please follow the link below for information relating to lake friendly practices.

Lake Friendly Resources


Those businesses whose activities do not impact the watershed directly will be asked to display a window decal showing their support for the principles of the program. Look for these decals throughout the area.

Lake Guardian business partners are those businesses whose activities do directly affect the watershed and water flow to the Lake. Home builders, landscapers, architects, lawn care companies and others can have a major impact on protecting our Lake in the manner they choose to provide their services.  “Impact” businesses are recruited to join in our efforts by agreeing to a set of principles in the conduct of their business.  These principles are designed to be flexible and allow a business to deal with the varying demands of clients and customers while evidencing a sincere commitment to the philosophy of the Lake Guardian program.

Homeowner Associations

Residential associations can have a disproportionate impact on our Lake, both positive and negative. Often the association will control significant property on the lakeshore or in the watershed and how it manages its property can directly affect the health of the greenbelt, shoreline and Lake.  Several homeowner associations in the area have become or are considering becoming Lake Guardian Communities.  The requirements for doing so are flexible and tailored to the particular association’s situation and results in the adoption of a property management plan worked out between the association and LCA. Please contact us for more information.

Take your survey today

Go to and click on “Rate Your Shoreland” in the upper right-hand area of the home page. When you start the survey, please list your lake as Lake Charlevoix.

As a further incentive to those who take the survey and go on to become Lake Guardians, the LCA will be holding a drawing this summer among our Lake Guardians with the winner receiving a $200 prize. Anyone who takes the survey and gets a gold or silver rating will automatically be awarded Lake Guardian Status.

 Join LCA or Renew Your Membership

The Board Members of the Lake Charlevoix Association have a full agenda in living up to our vision of being Lake Charlevoix’s Guardian. Our larger membership base gives us more hands and minds to help with our tasks and also a stronger voice as we tackle tough issues. We would love to have everyone as a member who shares our love for this wonderful lake and wishes to help us with its preservation.

Lake Charlevoix Association

P.O. Box 294

Charlevoix, MI 49720

  • Protecting the natural quality and beauty of Lake Charlevoix
  • Promoting understanding and support for safe, shared use
  • Advocating sensible & sustainable practices for lake use & development