I Used to Mow There … and Now it’s Gone

"See that tree. I used to mow two passes between that tree and the shoreline. Now the tree is in the water." It's a common observation we hear from shoreland landowners. The erosion itself is slow enough that we can't see it immediately. But over time it becomes clear that erosion was happening all along. One measure of land lost is recalling how we used to use an area.

It's striking that the most common measure of erosion is "where we used to mow." Perhaps, it's part of the cause. As a general rule, many grasses have roots as deep as the plant is tall. That means mowed turf has 1-2" deep roots that afford little erosion protection.

As a simple way to slow shoreline erosion, consider an unmowed buffer at the water's edge. It's understood that this may not be feasible in dock, beach, or other active use areas. But in other areas, just let it grow or intentionally plant it with desirable native vegetation. ACD staff can help. Just give us a call.

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185 Hits

Linwood Lakers Trying Out Native Shoreline Plants

"Try it, and you'll like it. The first one's free." A free trial can be just what's needed to break through to new customers. At this year's Linwood Lake Improvement Association annual picnic, the Anoka Conservation District distributed nearly 100 native shoreline plants to be planted all around the lake at around 20 different properties.

Native plants can mean "weeds" to some folks. Or just out of the comfort zone. But the right plant in the right place is beautiful and effective. On shorelines there are a variety of native plants that are the perfect choice –beautiful, strong, and well-adapted to the wet. Good habitat too. They're key to a stable shore and healthy lake.

Thanks to Prairie Restorations, Inc who provided the giveaway plants. ACD offers technical help and grants for those wanting to do a larger shore stabilization or buffer project. 

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167 Hits

Coon Lake Lakeshore Restoration – One Year Later

One year ago, ACD partnered with the Sunrise River WMO and a homeowner on Coon Lake to restore a damaged and degraded shoreline to improve water quality and lakeshore habitat, as well as promote native plant diversity and pollinator habitat. The shoreline was degraded by waves and ice, mowing of turf grass to the water's edge, and further damaged by tunneling muskrats. To correct these issues, the shoreline was regraded to a more gentle approach to the water, a muskrat deterrent was buried along the shoreline, and turf grass was replaced with native plants ranging from aquatic-emergent at the water's edge, to upland plants further up the bank.

The project was installed in July of 2020, and despite the recent drought, has flourished after one year of growth. Creating a diverse, native lakeshore can often be as simple as no longer mowing turf grass near the water's edge and planting native shoreline plants to create a more natural buffer area. The Anoka Conservation District can offer technical assistance to any landowner interested in creating a more beneficial shoreline, and oftentimes can bring financial assistance to a project as well. 

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217 Hits