Plan for restoring an urban lake

Bass Lake Preserve Restoration Project

Bass Lake Preserve in St. Louis ParkAfter decades of neglect, Saint Louis Park‘s Bass Lake is now the subject of a management plan, written by Great River Greening staff, that calls for restoring tree groves and prairie, which had surrounded it before the land was used as a dumping ground.

“This project establishes native plant communities in the Preserve.  Not only will that improve the habitat, the visitor experience will be enhanced as well.”
-Todd Rexine, Great River Greening ecologist

The plan was commissioned by St. Louis Park as part of the Bass Lake Preserve Restoration Project, an effort to revitalize the city’s historic wetland and improve overall wildlife habitat in the area.

Trails at Bass Lake Preserve are currently densely shaded.

Implementation of the plan is slated to begin this winter. It includes removing distressed and invasive trees to bring light through the walking trails canopy. Ground level vegetation management will begin as soon as spring 2016.

The City says Bass Lake was an 80-acre lake until excavation of a county ditch in 1908 effectively drained it. Using it as a landfill for 60 years further shrank it in size and depth.

An anti-dumping order was implemented in 1969, and the area was designated as a Park Preserve. In that time, the city grew up around the lake. It is now surrounded by compact urban development – businesses, condos and rental apartments – and desire for a healthy urban nature preserve has grown.

“Today, it is called the Bass Lake Preserve, a protected wetland. This once mighty lake has taken decades of abuse, but hopefully our descendants will see that it is preserved.”
-St. Louis Park Historical Society

Links:

History of Bass Lake

The management plan, written by Great River Greening

This project was made possible with funding from The City of St. Louis Park