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A new pollinator garden was installed at the north end of Valley Lake (16050 Garrett Path) during the first week of May 2021. The beach that had once existed there had to be removed due to the unfortunate effects that blue-green algae blooms had on the water quality. While staff continue to work diligently with consultants to manage the algae and overall water quality, they felt that installing a pollinator garden was a necessary step in helping to improve the water quality of Valley Lake.
Integrating a pollinator garden next to Valley Lake connects back to Lakeville’s larger mission of maintaining and restoring natural habitats. For the last 25 years, City staff have worked to ensure that the Lakeville area is continually improving its water quality and habitat diversity. Through integrating raingardens, restoring prairies and installing pollinator gardens on a year-by-year basis, City staff are slowly but surely repairing the Lakeville area’s biodiversity and sustainability.
However, the pollinator garden would have not been made possible without the continuous amount of time and effort dedicated from the Lakeville Lions Club. The Lakeville Lions not only initiated the project idea, but they also helped create a design and fund the grant for the pollinator garden. The grant amounted to over $16,000, making it one of the highest funded environmental projects the City of Lakeville has ever done. In addition to helping design and fund the project, the Lakeville Lion’s will also be rolling up their sleeves to help directly with the pollinator garden’s creation. On June 2, 16 Lakeville Lions members will be volunteering their time to help plant 650 plants around the shoreline and upland portion of the new pollinator garden. By creating a shoreline buffer, the area’s soil will be able to stabilize, allowing the inland plants the opportunity to better establish themselves.
From Black-eyed Susans to Golden Alexanders, a wide variety of native plants were selected for the new pollinator garden. These plants act as crucial components in the restoration of the environment as their deep roots help stabilize the soil, filter out nutrients and pollutants, and provide pollen and habitat for our local pollinators. As a result of using native plants, this garden will provide better infiltration, less runoff and pollutant reduction. Not to mention, it will provide park users with a greater educational experience as they can firsthand witness how pollinators interact with native plants.
City staff installed a walking path in the pollinator garden which will allow visitors the opportunity to enjoy the area up close. While the path will remain closed this season, it will be open to visitors in the summer of 2022. The site is also surrounded with plenty of walking trails, picnic shelters, a playground, a public fishing dock and another pollinator garden.