Vadnais/Sucker Park Wetland Restoration

Status: Upcoming

Quick Facts:

  • Great River Greening is leading this restoration effort with essential support from project partners.
  • Sucker and East Vadnais Lakes are drinking water reservoirs for the Saint Paul Regional Water Services (SPRWS). This restoration project is made possible with SPRWS partnership as the landowners of the park.
  • Plants that have been spotted in the park include Tamarack, Bluebead Lily, Pink Ladyslipper, and a variety of native ferns. (Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas/U of M Bell Museum)
  • River otters are also documented using the area lakes and wetlands. Visit our Otter Spotter and Remote Camera StoryMaps for more info.
  • Habitats in the park include forested and open rich peatland, marsh, mesic and wet forest, and wet meadow-carr.
  • Ramsey County Parks is restoring a woodland area nearby including the removal of ash trees infected with emerald ash borer.
  • Past efforts at the Vadnais-Sucker Lake Regional Park include a Sucker Channel restoration, tracking of trumpeter swan deaths due to lead poisoning, and a lead drop box partnership with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Ramsey County.
  • Wetlands in general are often linked to other surface water and groundwater systems.

Funding:

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, SPRWS, and Ramsey County are anticipated local project partners.GRG_Sucker Lake acres draft 2 (1).png

Reason for Project:

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.

Scope:

Project is scheduled to begin in Fall, 2022.

Restoration will be conducted in phases:

  • Removal and treatment of invasive common and glossy buckthorn
  • Follow-up treatment of buckthorn regrowth
  • Note that restoration activities may temporarily impact trail access in the park during times when contractors are active on the site with machinery or spraying 
  • Reseeding and planting of ecologically appropriate species
  • Continuing with monitoring and maintenance

Results:

Restoration will support native plant communities, improve habitat quality, and increase climate resiliency in the local area.

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