Most actions of the Conservancy focus on improving and maintaining the water quality of the lake. Many of these projects are investments in the future as improvement is certain, but take time for Mother Nature to work her wonders. Fortunately, sufficient time has passed and through these efforts, Deer Lake now provides a lake clarity experience that otherwise requires a trek into the north woods regions of Minnesota or Wisconsin.
Parts of the lake also provide this north woods feel with mature stands of White Pines. Looking at the southern tip of Hungerford Point, the shore land and the quality of the lake itself seem in harmony.
To expand this around the lake, in the summer of 2015, the Conservancy embarked on a White Pines Project to plant established 4’-5’ white pines around the lake. The trees were provided, free of cost to property owners. The program was administered by Steve Palmer of Palmer Landscaping and Cheryl Clemens of Harmony Environmental. The only requirement of property owners was to allow the planting, agree to the placement and then provide ongoing care.
Trees could only be placed on the lake side of structures, consistent with the desire to improve the lake experience. Steve and Cheryl were vital in picking planting sites, in conjunction with the property owners. White Pine require sun, and the professional planting also increased the chances the trees would thrive. This was successful as, although not 100%, the survival rate was encouraging.
This is truly an investment in the future. White Pine can survive up to 450 years. The planted trees are expected to be approximately 40’ tall in thirty years, but are already adding to the total lake experience.
Prior to settlement, the area was covered in White Pine. These were logged off to promote agriculture and for the benefit of the lumber. Anyone wanting to get some understanding of that effort can visit Loggers restaurant in St. Croix Falls where there are many pictures documenting the scope of the logging effort in the late 1800’s.