Landscaping Options – Buffer Zones

By David Ernes – Lake Management Committee

In many cases, lakes located in areas away from human development tend to be clear and clean. However, once humans build homes, and construct docks, the natural state of the land is disturbed. In the 2007 National Lakes Assessment, a study of thousands of lakes across the continental US, lakeshore habitat change was the number one stressor for a lake’s biological condition. In the 2012 Assessment, habitat changes, coupled with increasing phosphorous are major stressors. When we replace porous soil with impervious concrete or asphalt, or remove local plants and trees and replace then with lawns and open spaces, we eliminate nature’s ability to keep bodies of water clean.

So, what can be done? You may have heard the term “buffer zones” or riparian zones. This is an approach where the area between a lawn and the lakeshore is modified by planting bushes and other plant materials that will reduce erosion and filter run-off before reaching the lake. There are numerous articles on the Internet describing the types of plants that are most beneficial and are beyond the scope of this article. In many cases, plants are selected that are natural for the area, to prevent non-native plants from growing out of control and causing a greater problem.

As one travels on our lake, you can see that almost all lakefront properties are unique. The slope of the land, the shape of the shoreline, and the proximity of our neighbors all make for unique situations. Not every situation can add a buffer zone at the shore. However, that does not mean that you cannot help. If one is thinking of making changes to their lawn and shoreline, take a look at the area. Can you use a rip-rap (use of rocks for shoreline control of erosion) instead of a retaining wall? Are there open areas next to your dock that you can have plants run up to the shoreline. If you have a steep slope, can you have a buffer zone before the slope that can filter run-off and prevent the edge from eroding. Think before removing large trees near the shore.

And, you don’t need to just be on the lakeshore to use this approach. Many lots back into a field, creek, ditch, culvert or drain. Run-off from all properties, not just lakefront, eventually winds its way into the lake. Keeping a buffer at the edge of the lawn can help to keep the nutrient levels in check.

There are numerous examples on the Internet where this approach has lead to an improvement in water quality. The Wisconsin Lakeshore Restoration Project is one example. The Portland Water District has a brochure titled “Lakes Like Less Lawn”, which outlines their program for environmental landscaping. So, if you are looking to make changes to your landscaping in the spring, consider the design and see if you can include bushes, trees and other plant material to improve not only your lot but the lake as well.


2019 Early Bird Drawing #4

The winners of Early Bird Drawing #4 for 2019 and recipients of $350 are Bethany and Ed Hurtuk (Lot #1046)! Congratulations!

Next week’s drawing will be for $300. The sooner your Dues & Assessments are paid in full, the more drawings you will be eligible for!

1/30/19 Office Closure

Due to the extreme weather, the RRA Office will be closing at 1pm today. Stay warm, stay safe!

Ohio Boat Registration Renewals

Attention Ohio watercraft owners: Is your boat registration set to expire on March 1, 2019? If so, it’s time to renew!

You can renew Online, by Mail, or in Person.

Ashtabula County Boat Registration Agents:

Haines Marine 6431 State Route 85 E
Andover, OH 44003 (440) 293-5156

Ashtabula License Bureau 858 Lake Avenue
Ashtabula, OH 44004 (440) 964-7665

Geneva State Park Office 4499 Padanarum Road
Geneva, OH 44041 (440) 466-8400

Pymatuning State Park Office 6100 Pymatuning Lake Road
Andover, Ohio 44003 (440) 293-6030

2019 RRA Decals

2019 RRA Decals are now available for purchase at the RRA Office. When purchasing your decals, you must bring in your boat title and state registration (title proves ownership, registration contains your registration # and valid year). 2019 Dues and Assessments must be paid in full. There has been no change in the price for boat decals.

Remember, we do not register boats that are set to expire this year. Your 2018 RRA decals are valid through April 30, 2019.

2019 Early Bird Drawing #3

The winner of Early Bird Drawing #3 for 2019 and recipient of $400 is Gerald Licate (Lot #1668)! Congratulations!

Next week’s drawing will be for $350. The sooner your Dues & Assessments are paid in full, the more drawings you will be eligible for!

Dues & Assessment Information

2019 Board of Directors Election

Election time for the Board of Directors is almost upon us. This year, there will be 3 open seats. If you are interested in running for the Board of Directors, you must present your written request, bearing the original signature, to the RRA Office no later than Tuesday, February 26th at 1pm. Qualifications for becoming and maintaining a Director are found in Article VIII, Section 2 of the By-Laws.

SECTION 2.   The qualifications for becoming and remaining a Director of the Association are as follows:

(a)          A Director must be at least 21 years of age and a United States citizen;                                   

(b)          Each Director shall be an Active Member of the Association or an officer or director of the corporation, limited liability company, or other business or legal entity which is an Active Member of the Association;

(c)           Any Active Member may become a candidate for the Board of Directors by presenting to the Association a written request to be placed on the ballot,  which request must be delivered to the Board of Directors or its designee at least sixty days before the annual meeting of the Active Members and bear the original signature of the member requesting to be placed on the ballot;

(d)          Only one person from each household (which is hereby defined to include all persons who share the same residence) shall be eligible to serve as a Director;

(e)          No member who has been convicted of a felony as defined by the laws of Ohio shall be eligible to serve as a Director;

(f)           The Active Member must have attended at least three regular meetings of the Board of Directors within the last twelve months;  and 

(g)           The Active Member must complete a questionnaire and execute such form as are prescribed the Board of Directors agreeing and promising: (i) to act in the best interests of the Association  at all times; (ii) not to knowingly make, cause, or permit to be made any false statement about the Association or its directors, officers, employees or agents;  (iii)  not to knowingly make, cause, or permit to be made any statement that is likely to be injurious to the reputation or goodwill of the Association; and (iv) not to disclose or permit to be disclosed confidential information, including matters discussed in executive session, personnel matters, contracts under negotiation, and all communications with legal counsel. It shall be cause for disqualification or removal should any candidate or Director be found to have provided false information or to be in violation of any of the foregoing.

A Word of Caution Regarding Ice

Please take caution from this recent news story from Mosquito Lake, which is just one county south of us. The family was very lucky! Remember, no ice is safe!


A family of seven inside a tent fell through the ice while fishing on Mosquito Lake.

The call came in around 4 pm at the Mosquito Lake Marina in Bazetta Township.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Matt Eiselstein said the ice broke, sending the family into the water.

“They’re stuck… they don’t have a lot of time,” a 911 caller said.

Bazetta Fire Chief Dennis Lewis said the victims include two 7-year-old twins, an 11-year-old, 12-year-old, 20-year-old and 34-year-old.

“We’ve got people who fell through the ice. We need assistance immediately… there’s kids; they fell right through,” another 911 caller said.

Bystanders were able to help get them out of the water, Eiselstein said. He said there were others out on the lake fishing.

“Guy’s going out with a rope right now. I gave him my rope. I can see two people that are in the water,” a caller said.

The victims were taken to the hospital to get checked out. 

Chief Dennis said they are all in stable condition. 

Eiselstein reminds everyone that no ice is safe ice and to use extreme caution when out on the water.

ODNR has different videos featured on their YouTube page about ice fishing safety. You can check them out here

Hanging Out at the Boat Show

Roaming Rock Marina and the RRA attended the Cleveland Boat Show at the IX Center.

We were happy to talk with prospective buyers, folks curious about our community, and we even ran into some residents who came to say hello!

Thank you to everyone who came out and to those who volunteered!

2019 Early Bird Drawing #2

The winner of Early Bird Drawing #2 for 2019 and recipient of $450 is Peter Bolek  (Lot #294)! Congratulations

Next week’s drawing will be for $400. The sooner your Dues & Assessments are paid in full, the more drawings you will be eligible for!

2019 Polar Bear Plunge – Feb 23rd

The Roaming Shores Polar Bear Plunge is moving to February this year. Are you brave enough to take the Plunge into the icy waters of Lake Roaming Rock to raise money for charity? This year’s Polar Bear Plunge event will begin at 1 pm on Saturday, February 23rd at the Roaming Shores Clubhouse/Main Beach. The actual plunge will begin at 3pm.

The Polar Bear Plunge will include brave students from Jefferson, Grand Valley and Pymatuning Valley Schools, as well as wild and crazy local area residents. Last year’s Polar Bear Plunge raised $7635 with 75 Plungers. We need your help to make this year’s event even more successful!

This year, the money we raise will be used to benefit the Jeff Meddock Memorial Scholarship, Jefferson Area Local Schools Academic Boosters, Grand Valley Schools student programs in memory of Emily Plickert, and the Roaming Shores Breakfast with Santa event.

Grand Valley Schools strives to improve student programs in the memory of Emily Plickert, a beloved cheerleader, classmate and friend to all.

Jeff Meddock was a resident of Roaming Shores and the beloved principal of Pymatuning Valley High School. He died unexpectedly and the money we raise helps to continue his pursuit to educate.

Both Jeff and Emily were very proud active members of The Polar Bear Club.

The Jefferson Academic Boosters strives to reward students for academic success. Also, a portion of the money we raise is also used to host the Roaming Shores Breakfast with Santa event.

If you are interested in taking the Plunge, a minimum of $55 must be raised. There is no age limit (minors will need parental consent). Each courageous person that takes that icy Plunge will get a t-shirt as a thank you for participating.

There will be a DJ and a 50/50 raffle! We’ll be serving hot dogs, chili, popcorn, chips and soda. Additional merchandise will be available for sale. You can purchase items before and/or after the plunge. First come, first serve.

For plunge participation forms and information, please visit or contact:

Facebook: Joey ThePolarBear
Gayle Zirkle, President

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Roaming Shores, OH
March 26, 2019, 2:33 pm
real feel: 43°F
current pressure: 30 in
humidity: 44%
wind speed: 7 mph ENE
wind gusts: 9 mph
sunrise: 7:17 am
sunset: 7:42 pm
Forecast March 26, 2019
Forecast March 27, 2019
Forecast March 28, 2019