Funding for this project is provided by the MN DNR Outdoor Heritage Fund. Great River Greening received the grant and is the lead for the restoration. VLAWMO, Saint Paul Regional Water Services, Ramsey County Parks and Recreation, and Minnesota Native Landscapes (MNL) also serve as local project partners.
Wetland connections between waterways are important for treating water and improving water quality in lakes. Areas of the wetland system within Vadnais-Sucker Lake Regional Park are a priority because they are identified by the MN DNR as containing pre-European settlement plant communities, which are important for Minnesota’s natural and cultural history.
Invasive buckthorn encroaches into the park’s wetlands, limiting ecosystem function. Buckthorn is widely established in the Vadnais-Sucker Lake Regional Park. Buckthorn creates dense, heavily shaded stands that crowd out native vegetation and chemically alter the soil composition. As the dense shade and changes to soil chemistry expose an open ground layer, the soil becomes more susceptible to erosion, particularly during rain events and spring snowmelt.
Project began in winter, 2023.
The restoration is conducted in phases:
Restoration will support native plant communities, improve habitat quality, and increase climate resiliency in the local area.
A series of education signs are placed on-site at the park for late summer and fall, 2023. The signs cover the importance of the restoration effort, wetlands, watersheds, and also include local history of the park and the region from pre-European settlement. The series concludes with an invite to contribute to the community reflection with our Sense of Place survey. VLAWMO will share these findings on its social media (Facebook, Instagram @VLAWMO) at the end of 2023.