Location: Spring Lake Town Hall (northwest corner of Fish Lake)
Project Status: Initial restoration in 2019. Maintenance ongoing.
About this Project:
Fish Lake Park is at Spring Lake Town Hall on the northwest corner of Fish Lake and owned by Spring Lake Township. The project will enhance a section of shoreline along Fish Lake behind the town hall and create a prairie restoration on the north side of the property.
The restorations will improve habitat for wildlife and pollinators and act as a demonstration site for landowners interested in completing restorations on their own properties, giving them an opportunity to view an example of a rain garden (existing project), prairie and shoreline restoration all in one, easily accessible location. This project is a frequent site for events and is home to Spring Lake township’s main park. This project is a partnership between Spring Lake Township and the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District.
Spring-Fall 2019: Initial site restoration. Invasive species including reed canary grass and buckthorn along shoreline controlled and existing turf grass in prairie restoration area killed. Prairie and shoreline areas seeded with native plant species in fall 2019.
2020-2021: While the initial site restoration occurred in 2019, the first several years of a restoration project require more intensive vegetation management to keep unwanted invasive species at bay and allow the native plant species seeded at the site a change to establish themselves. Reed canary grass, buckthorn and other non-native invasive species don’t often give up after the first removal, management is required. As the native plants become more established on the site, they are better able to compete with the invasive species and less intensive maintenance will be required as time goes on.
The restoration project includes a prairie restoration and shoreline enhancement at Spring Lake Town Hall.
Prairie Restoration: Part of the underutilized turf grass field was converted to prairie to improve habitat for native species and pollinators. The cone-bearing cedar trees adjacent to the prairie area were removed to prevent cedar trees from moving into the prairie restoration area.
About 360 feet of shoreline behind the town hall was enhanced by removing and treating invasive species, including buckthorn, reed canary grass, smooth brome and Siberian elm. The site was burned in October 2019 before it was seeded with native species.
This excellent article from the St. Croix Research Station explains how removing buckthorn can improve both habitat AND water quality.
This project was partially funded through a Conservation Partners Legacy grant from the State of Minnesota with additional contributions from PLSLWD and Spring Lake Township. Grant funds come from the Outdoor Heritage fund of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment and grantees are recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC).
The Fish Lake Restoration Project will improve wildlife and pollinator habitat on Fish Lake and serve as an educational site which demonstrates a shoreline restoration, prairie restoration and a raingarden. It will allow the public to see these restorations and habitats firsthand and inspire ideas for their own properties.
Related News Articles
Stay updated with this project through the PLSLWD News and Events Blog.
Battling buckthorn to restore natural resilience. (Great article about a restoration project by the St. Croix Research Station; article does a great job of explaining why removing buckthorn is good for water quality)