Birch Lake Shoreline Restoration

Quick facts:

A 150-foot stretch of lakeshore on Birch Lake, in White Bear Lake was improved in the summer of 2010. In 2011-2012, an additional 700 feet of shoreline was restored on either side of the original planting area. The project was completed in 2012. Annual maintenance is performed in order to promote the longevity of the project.

Funding:

This project received funding from the Native Buffer Grant program. The Ramsey Conservation District (RCD) administered the grant for the MN Board of Soil & Water Resources. Additional funding was secured via a grant from the DNR Shoreland Habitat Restoration Program. The City of White Bear Lake, the Birch Lake Improvement District, and VLAWMO have all contributed to the project and its continued maintenance.

Reason for project:

The shoreline showed signs of erosion due to foot traffic and the area was filled with invasive weeds. By installing deep-rooted native plants and providing a path for people to access the lake shore, the soils along the shore would be stabilized and a protective buffer would be help prevent pollution from reaching the lake.

Construction:

First, most of the existing vegetation was cleared along the shoreline to make space for a stabilizing erosion blanket. A pathway to the lake was constructed with large stones for fishing and a bench conveniently adjacent to the sidewalk. The shoreline was graded for planting, supplemented with new soils, and replanted with plants such as black-eyed susan, milkweed, beebalm, coneflower, and more.  Shoreline protection methods such as coir logs (rolls of natural woodchips and twine) and erosion blankets were installed. The shoreline is maintained and weeded regularly to ensure the plants are successful. 

Results:  

The shoreline and its new plant community are stable and thriving. Active maintenance is performed by Natural Shore Technologies to ensure the success of the plants. A small space with a steep slope is still experiencing erosion, likely due to foot traffic in areas outside of the designated stone path. Overall the site is full and provides stabilization and protection of the shoreline. providing habitat for pollinators, birds, and other aquatic species.

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