“The species we selected include some that are usually more southern grown,” said Chris Lord, the District Manager for the Anoka Conservation District.
Choosing trees that typically grow in a different zone is a climate change adaptation, he says. If the district wants these trees to live their entire life cycle here, they need to plan for what the climate will be like in the future.
Among the paper birch and other familiar trees, district staff also planted a shagbark hickory tree and a Kentucky coffeetree.
The planting is a part of a larger shoreline stablilization project to help minimize erosion on the riverbank. The project involved 1,500 linear feet of shoreline along the Mississippi River, and the district estimates that this project will reduce more than 500 tons of sediment from entering the river every year.
“We had to move the trail back, and do some regarding. We installed some pretty large rocks down at the bottom of the slope to prevent erosion,” said Mitch Haustein, stormwater and shoreline specialist with the Anoka Conservation District.
They are also planting some native vegetation to help stabilize the bank.