MSU Extension offers lakefront property restoration workshop

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | C&G Newspapers | Published February 13, 2014

 Lakefront residents along Orchard Lake are invited to participated in MSU Extension’s shoreline landscaping class, which teaches about protecting shorelines from soil erosion.

Lakefront residents along Orchard Lake are invited to participated in MSU Extension’s shoreline landscaping class, which teaches about protecting shorelines from soil erosion.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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OAKLAND COUNTY — The Michigan State University Extension is sponsoring a workshop for Oakland County lakefront property owners to create, restore and manage natural shorelines at the Cranbrook Institute of Science 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. March 8.

“This is an educational program to help homeowners that live along lakes … to understand the importance of a natural shoreline,” said Bindu Bhakta, extension educator with the MSU Extension.

Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes, according to the press release, and the purpose of the workshop is to educate lakefront property owners on natural erosion control methods and techniques used for natural landscaping along the shoreline to provide erosion control and habitat value.

Bhakta said that because a large number of lakes in Oakland County have excess nutrients, re-establishing the shoreline to a native state will help prevent a bounty of unnecessary nutrients and pollutants from entering the lakes.

“I think lakefront homeowners often struggle between how to have a really nice looking landscape and … what’s good for the environment,” said Michele Arquette-Palermo, program director with the Clinton River Watershed Council. “This workshop will definitely offer that for them.”

Arquette-Palermo is familiar with the lakes in the Bloomfield area and said residents will benefit from the workshop because it will introduce skills and resources necessary to keep what they love about their lakefronts along the local lakes — like Cass Lake and Sylvan Lake — while also having landscaping that’s aesthetically pleasing.

“A lot of these lakes have goose issues,” Arquette-Palermo said, explaining that there isn’t anything more attractive to a goose than green grass that extends to the water edge. “That’s how doing a natural shoreline landscape can really help decrease the geese that go onto people’s property.”

Workshop topics include healthy lake ecosystems, designing and maintaining natural landscapes on lake shorelines, bio-engineering techniques to address high-impact shorelines, using native plants in shoreline landscapes, attracting fish and wildlife to a shoreline, and state rules and regulations. Local examples of natural shoreline projects will be displayed.

The workshop is sponsored by the MSU Extension, Cranbrook Institute of Science, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Oakland County Parks and Recreation, the Oakland Conservation District, the Clinton River Watershed Council, the North Oakland Chapter of Wild Ones and the Oakland County Water Resource Commissioner’s Office.

Preregistration is required and costs $50 per person before Feb. 24 and $60 per person after Feb. 25. The registration fee includes light morning refreshments, lunch, educational resources and a copy of MSU Extension’s “Natural Shoreline Landscapes on Michigan’s Inland Lakes: Guidebook for Property Owners.”

Registration is available at www.events.anr.msu.edu/2014 ShorelineLandscaping/ or by calling (248) 858-0887 until March 4. A $25 per person cancellation fee will be assessed for those requesting a refund on or after March 5. Refunds will not be given after March 7.

For more tips on landscaping, visit http://msue.anr.msu.edu/.

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