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CUES: Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability

Gervais Lake Shoreland Project Purpose and Timeline


Why embrace sustainable management and native revegetation?

Sustainability means reducing chemical inputs and restoring native vegetation. We can create landscapes in our back yards which are sustainable. Native vegetation protects water quality and fish habitat, controls erosion, conserves native plant and animal diversity, and gives us beauty, privacy and a low maintenance landscape.

Native Shoreland Revegetation Demonstration Sites

These three sites were originally conventional turf grass and needed regular mowing, fertilizing and weeding. In summer of 1998, these demonstration sites were converted to sustainable landscapes. Naturalized shoreland will evolve here over time.

Restoration Timeframe:

Year 1: April - June 1998
Final Site design was agreed upon. Turf grass was killed using herbicide in spring and hardwood mulch was applied to reduce weed growth. Erosion control fabric was used in wetter areas. Wave breaks in water reduce effects of wave disturbance on plant survival. Several community groups helped plant approximately 3,500 native plant seedlings and shrubs.

Year 2: 1999
Perennial plants will mature and flower. Mulch will decompose and spaces between plants will begin to fill in. Shoreline aquatic vegetation will spread.

Year 3: 2000 and beyond
A mature prairie will become established attracting birds, and beneficial insects which control insect pests. Aquatic plants will stabilize the shoreline and provide habitat for fish, water birds, and aquatic insects.

Shoreland Revegetation

Getting Started

Plants for Sustainable Lakeside Landscapes

Choose plants according to zones along a line from the upland to the shoreland:
Zone 1 UPLAND prairie if sunny, or woodland if shady and soil is moist but not wet
Zone 2 WET MEADOW wet soil but rarely any standing water
Zone 3 EMERGENT shallow water most of the time
Zone 4 SUBMERGED aquatic; soil is never exposed

Trees and Shrubs
white oak Quercus alba
red oak Quercus rubra
bur oak Quercus macrocarpa
red maple Acer rubrum
wild plum Prunus americana
American elderberry Sambucus canadensis
American highbush cranberry Viburnum trilobum
common chokecherry Prunus virginiana
Prairie plants for sun
big bluestem Andropogon gerardii
sideoats grama Bouteloua curtipendula
little bluestem Schizachyrium scoparium
indian grass Sorghastrum nutans
prairie smoke Geum triflorum
gray-head. coneflower Ratibida pinnata
purple prairie clover Dalea purpurea
anise hyssop Agastache foeniculum
thimbleweed Anemone cylindrica
butterfly milkweed Asclepias tuberosa
bergamot Monarda fistulosa
prairie blazing star Liatris pycnostachya
purple coneflower Echinacea augustifolia
Culver's root Veronicastrum virginicum
Woodland plants for shade
common blue violet Viola papilionacea
wild geranium Geranium maculatum
mayapple Podophyllum peltatum
true solomon's seal Polygonatum biflorum
jacob's ladder Polemonium reptans
Canada wild ginger Asarum canadadense
Trees and Shrubs
red maple Acer rubrum
swamp white oak Quercus bicolor
black spruce Picea mariana
red osier dogwood Cornus sericea
pussy willow Salix discolor
cottonwood Populus deltoides
buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis
meadowsweet Spirea alba
saskatoon Amelanchier alnifolia
joe-pye weed Eupatorium maculatum
blue flag iris Iris versicolor
swamp milkweed Asclepias incarnata
cardinal flower Lobelia cardinalis
great blue lobelia Lobelia siphilitica
prairie cord grass Spartine pectinata
bottlebrush sedge Carex comosa
marsh marigold Caltha palustris
spike rush Eleocharis species
blue vervain Verbena hastata
Culver's root Veronicastrum virginicum
green bulrush Scirpus atrovirens
wool grass Scirpus cyperinus
river bulrush Scirpus fluviatilis
lake sedge Carex lacustris
pickerelweed Pontederia cordata
arrowhead Sagittaria latifolia
soft rush Juncus effusus
Can. bluejoint grass Calamgrostis canadensis
water plaintain Alisma plantago-aquatica
bur-reed Sparganium americanum
cattail Typha latifolia
Wet soils, always under water
American lotus Nelumbo lutea
spatterdock Nuphar advena
white water-lily Nymphaea odorata
wild celery Valisneria americana

The Gervais Lake Shoreland Project is a collaboration among the Gervais Lake Association, Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District, and the University of Minnesota's Department of Entomology. The cooperators are committed to the conservation of water quality and biodiversity.

For more information about the Gervais Lake Shoreland Project, including demonstration sites, bulletins, videos, posters and volunteer opportunities, contact:

Shoreland Best Management Practices

To plant or remove aquatic vegetation, contact:

  1. The DNR office nearest you, or
  2. The Ecological Services Section of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
    500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul MN 55155-4025
    612-296-2835 (metro area) or 1-800-766-6000
    homepage: or
  3. The University of Minnesota Extension Service (612-625-8173) and request the bulletin, "Managing Aquatic Plants in Minnesota Lakes" FO-6955-C.

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Gervais Lake Shoreland Project


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Last modified on March 06, 2013