We are so happy the lodge deck project finished! We were grateful to be able to use underlying joists/structure of old deck as it had been holding up just fine (the boards on top were what needed replacing.)
While replacing deck boards, we decided we'd like the deck to be all one level (instead of stair-stepping down to lake.) We thought this would eliminate stumbles and be easier to navigate. While we pondered the one-level idea, we decided to just eliminate the outer deck piece (approx. 6' x 40'.) Not only did this idea open up some extra shoreland, we took 10 row boats away (which had been stored in a line along that now-defunct shoreline deck piece.)
Having new shoreland begged the question, "what do we do with this area?" The soil hadn't seen light of day for many years. It was quite sandy. Instead of rip-rap rock or other non-living solutions or erosion control, we decided to attempt some native Minnesota plant species re-integration.
With lots of help from our local Soil & Water Conservation District for planting suggestions (thanks Julie Kingsley, Will Lee - plus others in office e.g. intern Aria), and coordination efforts from University of Minnesota extension (Hubbard County office, Sally Shearer), a workshop was planned to teach local community members about how a natural shoreland restoration project could work. It was a bit of a challenge to organize and plan just as summer was revving up at the resort, but the effort was well worth it. The video above encapsulates the day.
Sharing wisdom as we planted was awesome - I learned some new tricks in how to tell the differences between grasses, for instance:
“Sedges have edges, rushes are round and grasses have nodes all the way to the ground.”
We hope guests enjoy the native Minnesota plants and shrubs many years. We invite the public to check on how the plantings are growing, how well the erosion blankets are working and ask more questions about perhaps restoring THEIR shoreland back to a more natural manner.
I can't wait for the purple and pink blooms to attract butterflies and other pollinators!