Regulatory approval received and work expected to begin this summer

The United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) and the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) have completed review of the Lake Nokomis Shoreline Enhancements project. SHPO concluded the proposed improvements have no adverse effects to the Grand Rounds Historic District and USACE permitted the project for proposed bank stabilization measures.

Currently the project is out for public bid and construction is expected to begin this summer.

Project Design

The proposed design uses three different planting zones along the shoreline.

The Emergent Wetland Zone starts at the ordinary high-water level (OHWL) and extends into the lake. This zone while not be continuously planted. One area will be on the north side of the lake by the canoe launch and the other will be located on the east side of the lake, south of 50th Street Beach. Once established, new aquatic plants will reduce wave energy to help reduce erosion. A temporary fence will be installed to help plants establish.

The Shoreline Buffer Zone lies between the OHWL and wetland boundary. It will be planted with a seed mix that’s compatible with shoreline environmental elements.

The Upland Buffer Zone starts at the wetland boundary and extends away from the lake until four feet from the paved trail. It will be planted with a seed mix that’s compatible with upland environmental elements. Deciduous shrubs will also be planted, along with some Cottonwood, Swamp White Oak, Maple and Black Willow trees.

The four-foot strip will be mowed grass. Another temporary fence will also protect new planting areas and connect to the emergent wetland fence.

Other Design Notes

  • All zones will contain perennial plug plants for a more immediate impact and establishment.
  • Planted areas are designed to maintain a low profile and not block views of the lake.
  • A variety of access points will still remain so park users can still access the lake.
  • Follow the link below to view the project plans

Lake Nokomis Shoreline Project Plans

Tree Removal and Pruning

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board staff and design consultants recently walked the north and northeast shoreline to mark trees for removal or pruning. Trees marked with red paint are scheduled for removal and trees marked with white paint will be pruned up to a height of 15 feet.

The tree canopy needs to be thinned out in order to develop shoreline plants that will help restore the shoreline. Many trees in that area were not planted intentionally. Canopy overcrowding limits overall growth of desired trees and would block sunlight from reaching the new shoreline plants.

Balancing the shoreline canopy through selective tree removal and pruning will allow sunlight to reach new plants so they can develop and help protect the shoreline, as well as promote better growth of the remaining dominant trees.

Project Background

The Nokomis-Hiawatha Master Plan is a written and graphic document that sets a 25-year vision for Lake Hiawatha, Lake Nokomis, and the surrounding parkland. It was approved by MPRB Commissioners in March 2015 and amended in July 2017 to include a designated Urban Agriculture Area and a design concept for Nokomis Athletic Fields.

The Master Plan outlines a vision for improving the quality of natural settings in the park, which includes direction to enhance the Lake Nokomis shoreline. In 2016, the MPRB was awarded a Minnesota Legacy Outdoor Heritage Fund grant to fund this project.