Two primary tenets of good lakeshore stewardship are: Don't mow to the water's edge and don't remove weeds or other aquatic plants from the shallows.
By following these rules lakeshore property owners can curb erosion, provide fish and wildlife habitat and help keep lakes clean.
There's another benefit: Less time behind the lawn mower leaves more time to enjoy the lake and your property.
These and other tips are available on a new compact disc from the DNR. "Restore your Shore" helps property owners make wise land-use decisions through six main features:
"Restore your Shore," a compact disc produced by the DNR, shows lakeshore property owners how to manage their shorelines in environmentally smart ways. The CD is $29.95 and can be ordered from Minnesota's Bookstore by calling (800) 657-3757.
* Personal stories from lakeshore property owners who have taken steps to protect their shorelines.
* Solutions to common shoreland problems.
* Tips for dealing with neighbors' concerns.
* Worksheets that guide users through the restoration process.
* A list of more than 400 native plants suitable for shoreland planting.
* A list of plants to avoid and how to control them.
"There's nothing else like it anywhere," said Jan Wolff, the CD's project director. "By simply clicking on a button you can get a list of plants that are suitable to your property. It makes the whole process very simple."
The traditional methods for finding the right plants -- poring through cumbersome books and trial and error -- are too time-consuming for many people. This CD makes it simple. Select the county where your property is located, the type of plant you wish to plant (trees, shrubs, wildflowers, grasses, vines, etc.), your property's characteristics (shoreland, upland, sunny, shady, etc.) and a list of suitable plants pops up on the screen. Take the list to a nursery and buy what you need.
The CD expands on the book "Lakescaping for Wildlife and Water Quality" by Carroll Henderson, DNR nongame wildlife program supervisor. But the CD has the added benefit of pop-up windows, music, commentary and interactive graphics.
"There are literally hundreds of images," Wolff said. "It's jam packed with information, worksheets and forms that make the entire process much easier and fun."
The only drawback is that the CD is built for personal computers only. Macintosh users are out of luck. Wolff said the DNR is looking at a Mac-compatible CD, but that budget constraints might not make it a reality for some time.
The CD has sold briskly since its release Feb. 14. "We had a second printing of 1,000 and they're already gone," Wolff said.
"Restore your Shore" ($29.95) can be ordered from Minnesota's Bookstore by phoning (800) 657-3757, or by logging onto the Internet at www.minnesotabookstore.com.
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