Shoreline restoration demonstrates techniques landowners can apply to their lakeshores

Eighty-three dedicated volunteers pulled on their boots and pushed up their sleeves to help restore over 1,000 feet of shoreline on the north side of Spring Lake on Saturday, May 21. The event was led by Great River Greening (GRG), an environmental conservation nonprofit, in partnership with the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District (PLSLWD) and Scott County.

“This event aimed to give lakeshore property owners hands-on experience and the tools they need to restore their own shorelines,” stated Maggie Karschnia, PLSLWD Water Resources Project Manager.

Work completed that day included hauling 140 cubic yards of buckthorn, an invasive species, up the steep slopes and out of the shoreline restoration area.  Volunteers then got their hand shovels out and planted more than 1,000 native plants.  Other state-of-the-art erosion-preventing techniques were also installed, such as brush bundles and cedar revetments which will promote a natural plant barrier to protect the shoreline and prevent phosphorus runoff.

The restoration was completed at two sites:  a small quarter-acre parcel owned by PLSLWD and the southern shoreline boundary at Spring Lake Regional Park.  Spring Lake borders the south edge of the 400-acre Spring Lake Regional Park, host to a rare maple basswood forest, recreation amenities, and environmentally important open water and wetlands. Great River Greening volunteers played a key role in its evolution. Since 2010, 400 hundred volunteers have hauled buckthorn and planted native flowers to restore the park’s oak savanna.  The shoreline restoration on the PLSLWD property will help enhance the work completed at the Regional Park and provide vital habitat connections for wildlife.

This project is made possible with support from Scott County, Prior Lake Spring Lake Watershed District, MN DNR Aquatic Habitat Program, Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund, Cargill, and Scott County in partnership with Three Rivers Park District.