Ecosystem enhancement projects planned for summer

The City is taking measures to create more resilient and endurable natural areas through ecosystem enhancement. This summer, two projects will launch to improve water quality and other ecosystem services in areas prone to water quality issues. The work will take place on a portion of a road median at 98th Street West and Nesbitt Avenue, and on a strip of City-owned land at Bogan Pond by West Bush Lake Road. Buckthorn, turf grass and other nonnative plants will be removed and replaced with native ecosystem types such as meadowlands. The projects will take three years to complete, but the bulk of the work will occur this year. 

The goal is to make plant communities resilient enough to thrive on their own with little or no maintenance in the future. 

“We live in an urban ecosystem and in the long run, natural landscapes should save money and provide more ecosystem services to residents,” Water Resources Specialist Jack Distel said.

Ecosystem enhancement can go beyond City-owned land. The choices that residents and businesses make for the upkeep of private lands contribute to the overall quality of the environment and its ecosystem services. Examples of ecosystem services can be found throughout the city. Trees provide shade. Flowers support pollinating insects. Neighborhood parks provide respite and serenity. Raingardens filter water. For more information, contact Water Resources Specialist Jack Distel at 952-563-8748 or