Check out this video from the Rutgers Agricultural Experiment Station about how to create an artificial floating wetland. The RLA will be making our own floating wetland in the coming weeks!
The Restoration Project
The RLA has been working with a group called Hudson to Housatonic to restore the area to the eastern end of Crescent Beach. This area had become overgrown with weeds in particular the invasive phragmites. In restoring this area the RLA hopes to accomplish two aims. First, we will build a healthy lakeside buffer region that will improve the immediate area around the beach. Second, we hope that the plantings in the area will serve as a inspiration to other lakeside residents and that they will incorporate similar plants and features on their property.
The plan for the area that was proposed by members of Hudson to Housatonic is shown above. The RLA Board endorsed this plan and so has the wetland agent of the Town of Ridgefield.
The plan called for the removal the weeds by cutting them down. We then had The Pond and Lake Connection (the company that currently treats the lake) obtain the appropriate permits to apply a limited amount of herbicide to suppress the re-growth of the weeds.
The RLA acknowledges and thanks Lynn Amler for all the hard work that she put into initiating and driving this project. Thanks also to Cooper Mulch for the special pricing on the river stone and topsoil for this community project, and to all the community members who lent a hand in the garden's creation.
The Rainbow Lake garden will be a showcase of native plants that supports the birds, bees, butterflies, and wildlife found in a thriving ecosystem. Often people don’t realize that what they plant in their garden determines what can live in their garden. A flower or tree from another part of the world is rarely recognized as food by our local bugs, birds, and animals. Without food, wildlife disappears, the balance of nature is thrown askew, and the environment degrades and weakens. By using native plants in our backyards and along our lakesides we keep the outdoors healthy and alive with the sights and sounds we all enjoy.
--Donna Merrill, Hudson to Housatonic Regional Conservation Partnership
The above image shows the area at Crescent Beach where the restoration project will take place.
The plantings that were chosen for this area are excellent choices for incorporating in landscapes around the lake. Examples of some of the plants are shown below.
Fox Sedge is a wetland sedge which grows to form clumps two feet in diameter by two feet tall.
Cardinal Flower is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows up to 4 ft tall and is found in wet places, streambanks, and swamps.
Purple Lovegrass grows low to the ground in dense tufts, 8-18 in. tall. In late summer the fine-textured, stiff inflorescence appears like reddish-purple clouds hovering at ground level.
lowbush blueberry, is a species of blueberry native to eastern and central Canada (from Manitoba to Newfoundland) and the northeastern United States.
Swamp milkweed is an upright, (39- to 59-inches) tall plant, growing from thick, fleshy, white roots.
Viburnum Dentatum (or arrowwood viburnum) is a small shrub, native to the Eastern United States and Canada
Joe Pye Weed is a North American genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the sunflower family.
Wild Bergamot is a wildflower in the mint family (Lamiaceae) widespread and abundant as a native plant in much of North America.
Hay Scented fern is a species of fern native to eastern North America,