Horseshoe Lake Property Owners Association (HLPOA)

Naturalized Shorelines

The following information was taken from a website originating through the CHA that provides important information about why naturalizing your shoreline is important to all of us on Horseshoe Lake.

Did you know that:

  • Blue Green Algae (BGA) occurs naturally in our lakes, rivers and streams but can become extremely toxic when it creates 'blooms'.
  • While climate change is of course partly responsible for the increased number of blooms, shoreline over-development is accelerating their number and frequency. In just a matter of days, these blooms can make a lake so poisonous that it can no longer be used for swimming, fishing or in our home.
  • Our lakes’ natural shorelines are a wonderful example of form meeting function: they are perfectly designed to filter the waters that flow through them before they reach our lakes. They are the perfect habitat for the wildlife that lives among them. And, at the same time, they are a stunning natural backdrop for our own lives at the lake.
  • ·A 30-metre natural shoreline, rich in native vegetation, requires minimal maintenance, offers the best defence against damaging nutrient run-off and lakeside erosion, and keeps the whole local ecosystem healthy and working as Nature intended.
  • Natural shorelines protect lake water by filtering out the runoff that contains pollutants such as:
  • Phosphorous and Nitrogen: the lead causes of increases in toxic algal blooms
  • fertilizers & pesticides
  • soil particles (sediments)
  • road salt
  • vehicle fluids (gasoline, oils etc)
  • pet waste
  • overflow from poorly maintained septics

·  These pollutants can result in:

  • toxic algal blooms
  • excessive weed growth
  • the prevention of recreational activities such as swimming, fishing and boating
  • the loss of fish and wildlife habitats
  • contaminated water sources
  • reduction in local tourism and property values

Natural shorelines:  Improve wildlife habitat, prevent land erosion and most importantly….

 Reduce the risks to the long-term water quality associated with Pollutants

To better understand how our actions can impact the health of our lake, we encourage you to read any of the following resources from FOCA and the CHA:

Federation of Ontario Cottage Associations (FOCA)

Coalition of Haliburton County Property Owners Associations (CHA) –

What Can You Do To Help?

·  Educate yourself on why and how to naturalize your shoreline. The CHA and the BeShore Websites are great resources for this. ,

·  Do not use fertilizers and pesticides as they can run off into the lake.

·   Do what you can on your property. While research indicates that a 30m ribbon of naturalized shoreline is the optimal in contributing positively to the health of the lake, consider how you might simply increase the amount of natural shoreline (maybe just an additional 5 metre ribbon) on your property this year. For ideas on what you can plant, the CHA has a great tool on their website:  

·  You might be able to do the above by just setting out a “no mow zone” for areas that you don’t need access to. Nature will rebound – and you’ll be amazed at some of the wildlife which will show up on your property!

·  Leave trees on your shoreline to help filter nutrients before they go into the water.

·  If you are planning any tree removal or changes to your shoreline, please review the Haliburton County Shoreline Preservation Bylaw was passed on March 23 2023, effective April 1 2023 to ensure you are in compliance with permits and regulations. Click here to learn more.

How to help with Naturalized Shorelines: 

My Shoreline, Our Lake Bringing the Science Together Presentation Resource List:    MyShorelineOurLake-EH!-May 11 2021.pdf 

The County of Haliburton is developing  a Shoreline Preservation By-law.

Our lakes, rivers and associated natural environmental features support Haliburton's way of life and our stewardship is central to the creation of a Shoreline Preservation By-law. Building on the current policies and by-laws, the County may:

  • add new protection for natural shoreline vegetation located within 30 m of the high water mark;
  • create a permit process for some forms of site alteration within 30 m of the high water mark;
  • allow limited development of up to 25% in shoreline areas; and
  • continue to protect trees within 30 m of the high water mark.

Healthy, natural shorelines on lakes and rivers protect aquatic communities, fish habitat, source water and mitigates flooding.

We encourage all Horseshoe Lake Property Owners to be learn more about this By-law.  In our Keeping in Touch dated January 23rd, (see below) I indicated that the Haliburton County Council would be meeting to discuss the public consultation process for the draft Shoreline Preservation Bylaw.  Council met on January 27th and have decided to put the public consultation process on hold and are moving forward with an RFP to hire an independent consultant to further the process.   We will post further updates on our website as they become available.

To review the draft bylaw and associated schedules, click here

To learn more about the discussion at County Council on January 27th,click here:

HLPOA-Keeping-In-Touch-January- 23-2021.pdf

What You Are Hearing vs The Facts.docx

Shoreline Bylaw Timeline Docs. - Jan.19, 2021 Update.pdf

Horseshoe Lake Property Owners Association
P.O. Box 3, Minden, Ontario K0M 2K0

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The HLPOA acknowledge the lands and waters on which we meet, are the traditional homelands of the First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples. Our beautiful lakes are fed from the north and flow to the south. We therefore acknowledge the Algonquin and Mississauga peoples as well as the governance of the Williams Treaties. We wish to express gratitude to Mother Earth, the resources we are using, and honour all Indigenous people who have been and continue to live on these lands.


Horseshoe Lake Property Owners association is committed to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion in which every member, their family and friends are treated with respect and dignity.

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