Eco-Friendly Land-Use Initiated by Best Western Premier The Lodge on Lake Detroit
The Lodge on Lake Detroit opened in May of 2006. Because of our development’s close proximity to Big Detroit Lake, we were concerned about protecting our lake from run off. A typical treatment for run off is a settling pond. That treatment would have involved creating large, unattractive, deep holes surrounded by rocks on our property to hold water. We decided to explore a rain garden alternative. Since that was a newer idea to our area, we had to consult with a Minneapolis engineer who had the expertise. While we investigated more ecological ways to enhance our property, I discovered a DNR Shoreland Habitat grant program. We were successful in securing a grant to help with the planting of our rain gardens as well as our shoreland restoration project.
Naturally Controlling Run-Off
The rain gardens were mostly completed in the summer of 2006 since they were needed to control our run off. The rain gardens cover 5700 sq. ft. of our property and contain several thousand plants.
Most of our plants are native to Becker County with the rest native to Northern Minnesota. The plants allow the water to seep into the ground through their root system. Where a typical settling pond holds water almost continuously, our rain gardens are dry within 24 hours of a rainfall. They also create a more visually interesting and appealing scenery for our guests.
Our Lakeshore Restoration project was started in June of 2007 and completed in June of 2008. It encompasses 400 feet of our total 550 feet of shoreline. There is a total of 11,250 sq. ft. of area that has been planted bringing the total native plants on our property to approximately 10,000.
Year-Round Blooming Offers Beauty in Addition to Utility
You will notice the difference two years makes in the stage of our plantings. They have been designed to have flowers blooming in all seasons for greater interest. The first couple years are crucial to the survival of the native plants. I have learned a great deal about what a good weed for our plantings is and what needs to be removed. As a steward of the land, there is a great satisfaction in knowing you are helping to preserve our past and future environment.
Thank you for visiting our gardens. We look forward to future opportunities to educate and help others with their rain garden and lakeshore restoration projects.
Please return again to our Rain Gardens and to tour the shoreline of Big Detroit Lake Lake as the plants continue to mature. Don’t forget to spread the word about this fabulous landscaping alternative to others you know with an interest in preservation.