Landscape Ecology Awards Program (LEAP) winners recognized
Karen’s project was inspired by the need to address water problems at her home. After one storm, her son’s bedroom flooded with 6 inches of water on the floor. Karen began by installing her first rain garden about 10 years ago. Now most of the runoff from her yard (plus part of the neighbor’s) stays on her property and out of Lake Judy.
With the success of the original project, Karen has expanded to include other native plantings. Her yard has an impressive diversity of over 90 species of wildflowers. She appreciates that they attract bees, butterflies and birds for lots of photo opportunities. We do, too!
Rob and Elizabeth’s long shoreline on Lake Owasso was eroding and as Rob reports, “not super pretty.” He and Elizabeth wanted something nicer. Although Rob was a bit of a skeptic about native shoreland restoration, the Reinharts decided to try this technique to improve their shore. Working with a contractor, they placed blue flag iris, cardinal flower, joe pyeweed, blazing star and other wildflowers in masses, to incorporate a bit of traditional garden structure into the planting.
Today, their 110-foot shoreline is stable and attractive, providing color and habitat throughout the season. Rob has been converted and is now an advocate for the multiple benefits shoreline restoration provides. And if you are ever in search of monarch butterflies in Roseville, look no further than the Reinhart’s shoreline.
Janet and Harvey Bartz – White Bear Lake
Janet is a former employee at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency with longstanding interest in environmental issues. She and Harvey knew they wanted to do a shoreline project from the time they first purchased their home on Heiner Pond in White Bear Lake.
With help from a contractor, they began restoration work in 2014. The original plan called for planting part of the shore into native buffer and leaving part as turf grass. After a season of what Janet characterized as “excessive goose visits” to their lawn, they decided to expand the buffer in 2015. Today they appreciate the geese at a comfortable distance, while welcoming visits from songbirds and swallowtail butterflies.
Teresa and Mike Radcliffe – North St. Paul
Mike and Teresa’s North St. Paul home has a yard with a significant slope. When they decided to take on the challenge of infiltrating rainwater on their property, a two-tiered rain garden design was suggested to work with this topography. The final design also included piping the downspouts underground directly to the upper basin.
The project is a great success; their lush rain garden now handles all stormwater from half of the roof and yard. In additional to helping to prevent water pollution, the rain garden provides wonderful opportunities for their five children (ages 9 months to 10 years) to learn about nature. This summer the family was able to observe the metamorphosis of monarch caterpillars into butterflies, hosted by the plants they provided! They are now interested in expanding the garden into the other side of the property, and pursuing a joint rain garden project with the next-door neighbors.
Mike and Michele Majeski – Maplewood
When the LEAP team pulled up to the Majeski’s Maplewood home, we let out a collective gasp of admiration. The dramatic slope covered with an abundance of native prairie plants is truly eye-catching. Upon closer inspection, the wooded backyard is equally impressive; a rolling expanse of native trees, shrubs and understory plants like sarsaparilla with an amazing absence of the usual invasive buckthorn and garlic mustard.