Lake Partner News

We’ve put together and summarized some recent news and articles from our Lake Partners.  Use the links to access full information  Enjoy!

  Cottage Life          

The surprising way woodstove ashes can help your forest:  The soil in Muskoka is typically low in calcium that has been leached out by acid rain.  The Friends of Muskoka Watershed's ASHMuskoka program, hopes to replenish the calcium deficient soils of the region to boost forest productivity.  “The most interesting result that we don’t quite understand yet is a dramatic increase in sap volume from sugar maples,” says Dr. Norman Yan. In one experiment, some maple trees supplemented with wood ash doubled in sap flow.  If you have groves of maples or other hardwoods, sprinkle about a yoghurt container per square yard of wood ash in your forest stands. “You’ll see a real benefit for the health of your trees,” says Yan.

Other of wood ash include using wood ash as an environmentally-friendly alternative to road salt on steps and walkways and to improve vehicle traction on icy driveways.  For those with outhouses, sprinkling some wood ash after use is said to eliminate outhouse odours.  

What restrictions can you put on your rental cottage?  “There are rules and policies that each host sets for their vacation home,” says Alison Kwong, a spokesperson for VRBO. “It gives hosts that peace of mind.”  Restrictions can include guest and pet policies, primary renter age, length of stay, and local rules.

  The Land Between          

    Healthy Shorelands:  Interested in improving the health of your shoreland, welcoming pollinators and stopping pesky Canadian Geese from pooping everywhere? The Shorelands Gardens Program, a joint venture with Watersheds Canada, gives you tips to improve our environment.

      Muskoka Steamships and Discovery Centre

    Indigenous Perspective: The Reconnecting with the Natural World webinar tells the story of the indigenous peoples who have called Muskoka home for over 13,000 years and how we can reconnect with their concept of home.

      Reform Gravel Mining Coalition

    Moratorium on New Aggregate Mining Applications:  Eighteen Ontario Municipalities now support a moratorium on new gravel mining approvals in Ontario with more in the process of signing on.  SLCO has brought this Moratorium to:

    • Three Councillors at the Township of Muskoka Lakes - all three Councillors replied and expressed interest in exploring the possibility of the Township of Muskoka Lakes signing the Moratorium.  
    • Three Councillors at the Town of Huntsville - None responded.  
    • Four separate messages were sent to four individuals at FOCA, including the Executive Director - None replied.  
    • MLA offered to include a piece in their NewsBites Newsletter;  SLCO provided a submission that was published in the March 2022 edition.   
    Additional information:  FAQs on why this Moratorium is needed and The Moratorium Statement.

      Safe Quiet Lakes

    Wake Aware Committee Update:  Have a look at Safe Quiet Lake's video, featured at this year's Spring Cottage Life show.  New Wake Awareness materials will be available this summer, hopefully at in-person events and beyond.  Contact SQL to get your No Wake signs, available for $20.00 and check out these articles featured on MyMuskokaNow and

    Decibel Coalition Update:  Transport Canada, responsible for regulations on Canadian waterways, invited public consultation on its Let’s Talk web portal by presenting five options regarding boat muffler and noise emission levels. Almost 2,000 responses were in favour of decibel limits.  The Decibel Coalition supports the introduction of performance standards for both manufacturers and operators to ensure vessels don’t exceed certain decibel limits. The Coalition believes that the decibel limits must be accompanied by efficient, effective enforcement procedures that make it easy for police to use on the water. This process has sent a very loud and direct message to Transport Canada that action must be taken.   The Coalition also asked that you write to your local politicians - again there has been great response from across the country with more than 380 letters sent to over 70 MPs.  If you have not yet sent a letter to your MP(s) please use this link to do so.

    Your Lakes  Your Views Survey:  All Safe Quite Lakes programs are based on input from lakefront communities. In 2017, over 3,300 persons responded and the detailed report was shared with lake associations, local governments and the OPP. Six thousand community members responded to the 2021 Your Lakes, Your Views survey:

    • 71% supported no wake zones to protect people and nature
    • 70% supported stronger enforcement of boating while under the influence
    • 67% supported establishing decibel limits on boat noise
    • only 18% said there is no need for additional enforcements (down by 33%).  
    The research report has eight practical recommendations. Safe Quiet Lakes is actively working on plans to lead these changes.  

      Be Wake Aware:  Over 200 No Wake signs were deployed in Muskoka and beyond.  You can purchase a No Wake sign from SQL.  No Wake Sign Request.  

        Town of Huntsville   (also applicable to the Township of Muskoka Lakes)

      Licensing short-term rentals:  All seasonal and permanent residents of the town’s Short-Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) Program. All those operating a short-term rental are reminded that they must be licensed with the Town and registered with OHRMA for the MAT program.

      Emergency Preparedness – Be Ready for Anything:  Natural disasters may be beyond our control, but there are ways to reduce the risk and impact of whatever emergency might happen, whether natural or human-induced. Everyone has a role to play when it comes to emergency preparedness.  Take concrete actions to protect yourself and your family during an emergency by practicing these simple steps:

      1. Know the risks – Although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing the risks specific to our community and our region can help you better prepare.
      2. Make a plan – It will help you and your family know what to do.
      3. Build an emergency kit – During an emergency, everyone will need basic supplies. You may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in an emergency.
      4. Stay Informed – Residents are encouraged to be alert ready. There are several ways to stay informed:
      • Register for local notification through the new Voyent Alert in Muskoka app. This is a community alerting service provided by the District of Muskoka and surrounding communities. It is intended to keep you informed during critical incidents such as fires or floods. The service is FREE, simple and anonymous. Register online to receive email, voice or text-based alerts at:
      • Sign-up for Provincial notifications through the Alert Ready in Ontario app
      • Follow @OntarioWarnings, @ONsafety and other provincial communication handles on Twitter or follow #AlertMuskoka on social media
      • Subscribe, listen or follow local government and media outlets online

        Visit for resources to help you and your family prepare for all types of emergencies or for additional information specific to Huntsville. 

        Please contact Lawry Simon at with any suggestions that you may have for our Lake Partner News Summary.  

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