Background and Challenges

Woodridge Lake comprises over 300 acres in the town of Goshen, CT.  It is a private community of roughly 700 home sites surrounding this gorgeous lake.  The community has a beautiful spacious clubhouse, a large swimming pool, numerous tennis courts, community beaches and docks, and a number of other resources available to the homeowners.

The community is governed by a 5 member Board of Directors that appoints committees to work with the Board around various recreational activities and to help preserve the lake.

The lake and the community is truly a hidden gem of Litchfield County.  Centered in the rolling hills, surrounding by trees, the home sites are a minimum of one acre.  The rules help preserve the beautiful character of the community, with houses neatly tucked away among the thousands of trees. Boating, fishing, sailing, kayaking, water skiing and swimming are just a short list of activities available on any given day – and that is just the lake!

The lake is a man-made resource, with a dam at one end that allows the level of the lake to be controlled.  It is part of a sewer district that is essential to keeping the lake and the environment as clean and natural as possible.  The homeowner rules restrict the ability to cut trees, use fertilizers (which inevitably would run in to the lake), and controls the architecture of the houses built in the community.  All of this contributes to a caring, well preserved, natural community.

Over the last 35 years, the weed level in the lake has waxed and waned, depending on any number of factors from year to year.  None of this has had any real impact on the activity level on the lake – which has increased substantially from year to year.

Over the last 15 years, the Board of the Homeowners Association has made various applications to apply chemicals to reduce the weeds in any given year, including an application to apply diquat, a toxic chemical that has since been banned for use in the state.  About four years ago, another application was made to the CT DEEP to use another herbicide that was not approved for use in watershed areas of the state.  The state denied this application.

One of the causes that supports is the use of natural methods to control weeds, particularly invasive Eurasian Milfoil, which has been growing in some parts of the lake and needs to be controlled.  There are numerous natural methods to control the milfoil.  Doing an annual draw-down to freeze the weeds, dredging to improve water flow, suction harvesting, and the “weed whacker” are just some of the methods that have effectively controlled both the native and invasive weeds through most of the lake's history, including the last four years.

The purpose of Woodridge Lake Conservancy is to positively promote natural means of maintaining a healthy and vibrant lake environment.