Workshop set on buffering land


March 15, 2024

Are our local lakes and streams as clean and healthy as they should be? Is your shoreline or streambank eroding more and more each year? Would you like to beautify your yard while protecting water quality and attracting turtles, frogs, songbirds and beneficial pollinators such as bees and butterflies?

Whether you've lived on a lake or stream for 1 year or 20 years, we encourage you to think about what we call your "buffer zone." This area between your backyard and the lake is very important. A good buffer zone not only keeps the lake healthier and cleaner, but also adds beauty to your shoreline and provides habitat for birds, beneficial insects and other wildlife.

Buffers generally include deep-rooted native plants such as grasses, flowers and flowering shrubs. These native plants provide critical habitat for our bees, butterflies, songbirds and many other types of wildlife that use the vegetation for shelter and food. They also provide much needed shade and cool water down for our local trout. Low-cost and low-maintenance, native buffers do not require fertilizing, regular mowing or irrigation, and have a positive effect on the soil. Their extensive fibrous root systems, which can grow down to 15 feet, reduce erosion, restore soil health and filter runoff before it enters streams and lakes. They also hold your shoreline and streambank in place and minimize the impacts of ice heaves and wave action.

If this interests you but you don't know where to start, consider attending the Carlton Soil and Water Conservation District's free "Restore Your Shoreline" workshop 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, at the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, which will teach you everything you need to know. Plus, Carlton SWCD staff will schedule a free site visit with you, and may have funds to help cover up to 75 percent of your project. To register, visit

Do your part and keep our lakes and streams healthy. Even the smallest project helps our water quality, bees, birds and butterflies.

Contact Carlton SWCD conservation specialist Alyssa Bloss at 218-384-3891 or [email protected] to register, schedule a site visit, or relay any questions.


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