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Neighbors, LICA, and City of Medina come together to solve an erosion problem

by Michael Garwood, PhD

As Minnesotans, we are very familiar with “mud season”.  In early Spring, as the frozen ground thaws and before vegetation has had a chance to regrow, soils are exposed. Spring rains erode these soils, and without proper management or barriers, these soils can end up in creeks and lakes. This is highly undesirable, because soils contain nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) that enhance aquatic plant growth and accelerate the process known as Eutrophication, which degrades water quality and fish and wildlife habitat. Moreover, the sediments and organic matter from soils contribute to the process known as lake succession, whereby a lake over time becomes a marsh.  



Curb Before.jpg


Curb after.jpg

For years, one such erosion problem existed along Lakeshore Avenue on the north side of Lake Independence, next to Dockside.  But this year, LICA worked with residents and the City of Medina to solve it.  The problem existed on a curve where the edge of the road is close to the shoreline. During Spring, vehicles would often run off the edge of the road, creating ruts and loosened soil.  During heavy rainstorms, water would channel into these ruts and pick up topsoil as it flowed downslope to a nearby storm drain that empties directly into the lake.  With the help of Steve Scherer, , a plan was devised to install a concrete curb, with 50% of the cost covered by City of Medina and 50% by residents, Dockside Homeowners Association, and LICA. The project was completed in September 2021 and all parties seem happy with the result.  The soil erosion problem there seems to be solved, thanks to people working together. 

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