Just Fix It! A Lifetime of Caring for a Special Lake Home

Dirk and Mary Landis were one of many generations of caretakers who rented the little brown cottage on Silver Lake in Madison each summer. They didn’t just share a love and enjoyment of the lake with other families, they shared responsibility for the home itself.

“Everyone took care of the property and the lake like their own. When something needed fixing, you just fixed it,” Dirk and Mary explained.

They had an opportunity to purchase the lake home in 2021, and they did! They did it to preserve the home and to honor those who spent countless hours there creating lakeside memories.


“Silver Lake is a part of our family’s history. We want our grandchildren, and those after us, to enjoy it as we have.” 


During rain storms, Dirk and Mary could see a flood of water running across the property and down to the shoreline. They knew the runoff water was carrying unwanted and harmful nutrients into their beloved lake and was poisoning it. They also knew the future of the lake they loved would be in danger if steps weren’t taken to stop runoff water.


Because of your support, they found the LakeSmart Lake-Friendly Living Program. And, they decided to do what generations of people who loved this lake home have always done: fix the problem.


First, Dirk and Mary hired a professional to modify how water runs off their driveway. Now the flood of water flows through vegetation, filtering out pollution and soaking into the soil.


Next, they installed steps of crushed stone and timbers leading down to the shoreline. The new steps prevent the runoff from being funneled toward the lake, and, instead, slow it down and allow it to soak into the ground.


For Dirk and Mary, being LakeSmart honors the history of their property, and all those who love and care for the lake. Their LakeSmart sign celebrates our community’s commitment to restoring and preserving the health, and they hope it inspires others to do the same.

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