Easter Lake Southwest Shore Woodland Restoration
Easter Lake Southwest Shore Woodland Restoration Project 2023 - 2025
Polk County Conservation plans to implement timber stand improvement (TSI) on 41 acres of hardwood timber on the south shore of Easter Lake. This area is overgrown with multiple invasive species (Honeysuckle, Asiatic bittersweet, and garlic mustard) and may begin losing biodiversity if left unattended. The 2-year project will consist of a combination of mowing, spraying, grazing, and prescribed fire.
The objectives of this practice include:
• Restoration of woodland to historic oak-hickory component by removal of invasive (honeysuckle, multiflora rose, autumn olive, etc.) and less desirable, shade-tolerant native species (elm, ash, hackberry, etc.)
• Improved infiltration of storm water due to increased herbaceous understory
• Reduction in nutrient loading into the lake via infiltration and soil processes
• Improvement in wildlife habitat and subsequent increases in wildlife use and opportunities for public to view wildlife
• Improvement in aesthetic properties and opportunities for public use of the woodland (wildflower viewing, mushroom hunting, etc.)
• Opportunities for public education – sustainable landscaping, etc.
This project will include several practices to restore this woodland including removal of invasive species, modified crop tree release, and prescribed fire. This restoration plan supports the Easter Lake Watershed Management Plan in that it will help improve water quality by increasing the amount of desirable herbaceous vegetation, which will increase water infiltration, reduce runoff, and remove excess nutrients from the watershed. In addition, the aesthetic and educational value of this restoration will help reconnect residents and visitors to the natural amenities of Easter Lake and its surroundings.
Stay tuned for real-time updates as this project begins and progresses!
Tentative Project Timeline
- Winter 2022 - Spring 2023
- Forestry mow invasive and undesirable species under 6" dbh.
- Spray stumps immediately post mowing.
- Spring 2022 - Summer 2022
- Utilize goats by "Goats on the Go" to graze resprouts.
- Winter 2023 - Spring 2024
• Hand removal of invasive species not mowed
• Begin crop tree release based on stand prescription.
- Summer 2024
• Mow and/or spray resprouts
- Winter 2024 - Spring 2025
• Continue crop tree release.
• Prescribed burn of project site (conditions permitting).