Native planting project approved for shoreline at Lumbering Hall of Fame site

Approximately 325 feet of Rice Lake’s northeast shoreline will be prepped and seeded with native plants in a joint funding effort by the county and lake district.

More than a football field’s length of shoreline at the Lumbering Hall of Fame Park is the focus of a native planting project that kicked off with a $2,039 donation.

Christina Solie, lake coordinator with Rice Lake’s Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District, said she was approached last fall with a question about reintroducing native plants. She thought Rice Lake’s Lake District reimbursement program might be the place to start.

She explained the next steps in a letter to the Property Committee members:

“We then set up an initial site visit with Matt Swank from Lupine Gardens to give us an estimate of what could be planted. Stan [Bergum] informed me that even with the Lake District’s assistance, the project cost was still too high. We are reaching out to Barron County to ask for assistance with the funding to have native plants planted at the Lumbering Hall of Fame.”

A summary of the proposal states: “The northeast shoreline of the Lumbering Hall of Fame will be prepped, seeded and planted with native plants by the Rice Lake LPRD’s consultant Lupine Gardens. This planting will be maintained until growth is stable on its own. For a better view of the lake, bushes will be trimmed back. There has also been discussion on placing an educational sign near the planting to explain the benefits of native shoreline plants to park visitors.”

The project has two objectives — to reduce runoff and increase public awareness.

Long-term benefits are expected as a result of the project. Native plants should help stabilize the shoreline, boosting water quality and reducing runoff. That, in turn, should benefit both animals and plants in the vicinity.

With the county funding two-thirds of the project and the lake district one-third, the project is expected to begin this month. The plants should be established and self-sufficient after a month, but will require watering every few days for the first month after planting.

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