Learn from Mother Nature: Shorelands are naturally full of a large variety of plants and these plants help protect the lake by holding back the water that runs off our property. When you are landscaping your lot, keep these things in mind:
1. Minimize removal of wooded areas. Their removal causes more rain to fall to the ground instead of landing on trees and branches.
2. Grading large areas of land removes the natural depressions where water can pond and soak in.
3. Carefully landscape your yard, especially along the shoreline, to direct runoff away from the lake.
Leave the suburban lawn mentality in the city. Traditional lawns, while not particularly harmful, have few benefits of a more natural shoreline. Lawns are shallow rooted, provide little wildlife habitat, need frequent maintenance and are often over-fertilized.
These factors can lead to problems on your lake such as: shoreline erosion and lake sedimentation, algal blooms and excessive aquatic plant growth, loss of wildlife habitat, and loss of leisure time.
Shoreland restorations take time. Shoreland conditions didn't change overnight, and native vegetation won't come back overnight either.
Here's what to expect through the implementation and establishment phase of shoreland restorations:
- The first year is considered the “messy stage”. Heavy equipment will disrupt traffic around pathways, temporary fencing will encircle the restoration area and erosion control fabric will be noticeable in the first part of the year. During the first year a good portion of plant species will not bloom and annual weeds may be prevalent.
- By the second year annual weeds will become outcompeted by the native species and erosion control fabrics will no longer be noticeable. During the second year more wildflowers will bloom.
- By the end of the third year the site will begin to mature. Flowering will be evident during most of the growing season and temporary fencing will not be needed to protect the area.
Beyond Three Years:
- After an aggressive native plant community is well established along the shoreline (4 to 5 years), all of the project goals will be reached - erosion will diminish, native plant species will flourish and weeds will be under control.
**If you are interested in restoring your shore you may qualify for financial assistance. Contact us or Becker County Soil & Water Conservation District for more information
Shoreline Restoration Site at the City Beach Park
The Pelican River Watershed District worked with Prairie Restoration and the City of Detroit Lakes to restore a portion of the shoreline at the City Beach Park. The project included the planting of shrubs, native flowers and grasses, and creating walking trails through the site with educational signage.
The first step in our restoration project at the City Beach Park was to spray all the existing turf grass to stop its growth.
Next, the dead grass and vegetation was burned off in a controlled burning by Prairie Restoration. The soil was loosened and seeded with native plants, grasses and shrubs as well as a cover crop to help control weed growth.
Fencing was placed at the entrances to the future trails to set the boundaries of the native growth. The flowers are now in full bloom throughout the summer months and many species of birds and butterflies are seen in the area.
Highway 10 Shoreline Restoration - 2009
The Pelican River Watershed District was the lead agency in coordinating an effort to restore approximately 1,800 feet ofshoreline along the north side of Big Detroit Lake. While the project was separate from the Highway 10 realignment project, the timing was perfect to work closely with MNDOT to make this project financially feasible.
After two years of planning workers re-graded the shoreline, removed excess rip-rap and added soil to repair the site that was once eroding rip-rap and turf grass. A variety of trees, shrubs and wildflowers that are native to Becker county have been planted. Examples of such species are Bur oak, a variety of Dogwoods, Blazing stars, and Black-eyed susans.
Restoration activities included:
Reclamation of over 72,000 square feet of shoreline area
Removal of over 1,200 square feet of excess rip-rap
Almost 80 trees, at least 500 shrubs and over 13,000 native plants
Two lake access paths and a split rail fence installed
Naturalization of two rain gardens
Reconstruction of overlook area with raised planters.
Minnesota Conservation Corps
The MCC were a crucial part of putting the project plan on the ground in 2009 and again in 2015 when more plants and trees were added to the site to replace those that did not survive the first six years. Their assistance has been very valuable.
In 2015, PRWD partnered with the City of Detroit Lakes to revitalize the natural planting area along Hwy 10 to repair erosion caused by runoff, wave action and ice damage. A total of $10,700 was spent on the project, which included the labor for the installation, contracted by Becker SWCD. PRWD and the Lake Detroiters Association both contributed $3,500, while the City paid the balance of $3,700. Nearly 900 plants, trees and shrubs were added, along with the placement of erosion control materials and mulch. PRWD provided labor for watering the site, amounting to 14 staff hours per week throughout the summer.