Staff Blogger: Alyssa Jones, Advancement & Communications Intern


Lakeside Chautauqua is a beautiful community that lives by our mission: “To enrich the quality of life for all people, to foster traditional Christian values and nurture relationships through opportunities for renewal and growth…spiritually, intellectually, culturally and physically…while preserving Lakeside’s heritage.”  

Lakesiders are focused on preserving the community’s heritage and enriching the quality of life by keeping Lakeside alive and beautiful, which links to environmental stewardship.

Here are 11 ways that Lakeside is practicing environmental stewardship:

1. Use electric golf carts to minimize golf cart emissions and noise: Electric golf carts, according to Golf Cart City Online, create zero pollution, exhibit almost silent operation and require less maintenance. At Lakeside, we encourage the use of electric golf carts. All of our golf cart shuttles, trams and employee golf carts are electric. A majority of golf carts at Sypherd’s Cycles & Rental Center are also electric. Therefore, Lakesiders don’t have to worry about pollution or noise, making everyone’s Lakeside stay, a little more enjoyable.

2. Walk and bike the grounds: We strongly encourage our guests to walk and bike the grounds because it makes Lakeside a safe, healthy and aesthetically-pleasing community. The community is only a square-mile, so you can walk from one end to the other in about 15-20 mins. To limit the use of vehicles on the grounds, Lakeside introduced a new tiered parking fee structure this year, encouraging guests to park in the South Gate Parking Lot and the Danbury School Parking Lot at discounted rates. Guests are invited to take advantage of the complimentary golf cart shuttle service offered once inside the Lakeside gates if you are unable to walk or bike. Streets with fewer vehicles allow for children to ride their bikes freely, a freedom treasured at Lakeside.

3. Visit a park for outdoor fitness and fun: According to, “There are a lot of personal benefits [to parks and outdoor activities], including exercise, fitness, conditioning, fun and entertainment, learning and education, relaxation and health.” There are also social benefits, including making new friends, group participation, interaction of adults and kids, community awareness and team spirit. A few outdoor activities at Lakeside are walking the nature/walking trail and Ohio’s Most Beautiful Mile; playing tennis, basketball, sand volleyball, miniature golf, shuffleboard or at the many playgrounds; swimming or sailing the lake; participating in a yoga class; or stretching at the LifeTrail Outdoor Wellness Park.

4. Participate in Lakeside’s Recycling Service: There are many motivators to recycling, including concern for the environment and future of our planet, social influence and financial motive. Lakeside has partnered with Republic Services of Sandusky, Allied Waste Division to bring a curbside recycling service to our homeowners and contracted cottage rental units. The service is offered on Friday mornings for five months each year (May-September) and is complimented with retention of the large recycling bins at the rubbish site, located near the South Gate entrance, year-round. For more information, download the recycling service brochure.

5. Become a member of LESS and participate in the Tree Replacement Program: At Lakeside, there is an organization called LESS, or the Lakeside Environmental Stewardship Society. The goals of LESS are to increase awareness of the environment to Lakeside guests and to foster increased environmental activism as people return to their homes after vacation. Membership is open to all; dues are nominal. To become a member of LESS, contact President Frank O’Dell at (419) 798-9807 or One of the organization’s major concerns is the preservation and replacement of trees in Lakeside. For more information about this program and how you can get involved, contact

6. Use energy-saving light bulbs: According to, “Energy efficient light bulbs, such as LED and fluorescent bulbs, outlive others by more than 12 times the conventional incandescent bulbs.” Also, “Energy-saving light bulbs would eliminate about 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually, which is roughly the amount emitted by 80,000 cars.” With the encouragement of the Lakeside Environmental Stewardship Society (LESS) and research by an Environmental Stewardship Intern, Lakeside uses energy-saving bulbs, to not only save money, but to create a better quality of life for all Lakesiders.

7. Participate in environmental education: At Lakeside, there are many opportunities for environmental education. We invite you to become a member of the Lakeside Environmental Stewardship Society (LESS), attend an environmental seminar in Chautauqua Hall, or introduce the next generation to sustainability through Lakeside’s Nature Program or Junior Naturalist Program. All of these opportunities (and field trips) are coordinated by LESS in cooperation with the Lakeside Chautauqua Education Department.

8. Nurture a plot in the Community Garden: Near the old schoolhouse there is a Community Garden that interested Lakesiders can use to plant herbs, flowers and vegetables. According to, there are benefits to a community garden, such as beautifying vacant lots, engaging in physical activity, skill building and creating green space. If you’re interested in cultivating a plot at the Community Garden, contact

9. Rain barrel at the Lakeside Sailing Center: According to, “A rain barrel collects water and stores it for when it is needed most. It also provides an ample supply of free ‘soft water’ to homeowners, containing no chlorine, lime or calcium, making it ideal for garden flower pots.” Thanks to members of LESS, Lakeside has its own rain barrel at the Lakeside Sailing Center. If interested in learning how to install a rain barrel in your own yard, contact

10. Farmers’ Market: Lakeside’s Farmers’ Market was an initiative that launched in 2008 to help us eat more healthfully and decrease our carbon footprint by buying fresh produce grown within a 50-mile radius of Lakeside. The market is offered twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. There is a variety of fresh produce, flowers, honey, herbs, teas, jams and homemade baked goods.

11. Support the Danbury Food Pantry: During the summer, the Rhein Center hosts a class called Cup of Kindness to raise funds to support the mission of the Danbury Food Pantry, to unleash the power of the creative spirit through the arts, and to involve the entire Lakeside Chautauqua community in celebrating a shared vision and achieving a shared goal. In 2014, a total of $1,625.21 was donated to the Danbury Food Pantry to purchase perishable items, such as milk and eggs. The class is being offered again this year. Sign up for a class online. However, that isn’t the only way you can become involved with the Danbury Food Pantry. You can drop off non-perishable food items in the Hoover Auditorium Lobby to help feed local families in need.

What are some other ways that you can practice environmental stewardship while at Lakeside? How do you give back to the environment? Let us know in the comments below.