Buffalo Lake: Changes Over Time and Lessons Learned

Changes Over Time

The Wagners, both gardeners, were delighted to see a variety of wildflowers and wildlife returning to their property.

In a way, as Mavis explains, the resurgence of new plants was like meeting new friends.

"No Mow, Let it Grow" is essentially "just getting out of the way to let nature take its course."

headphone icon, Ray Wagner closeup Ray Wagner tells of flowers and the orange hat.

headphone icon, Mavis Wagner closeup Mavis Wagner talks flowers.

Budget and Timeline

Ray Wagner mowing walking path to the dock

Normal project budgets and time lines do not usually apply in a "Prevent Disturbance" approach. However, it is important to remember that this approach still requires the commitment and oversight of property owners.

For the Wagners, and other property owners considering this approach, think about the following:

  • How much money and time am I spending now on maintaining more lawn than I may need?
  • Is lawn maintenance contributing to problems with erosion and water quality?
  • Natural recovery, or "No Mow, Let It Grow," does not mean benign neglect. It means you recognize what is important in your shoreline and how to protect it.

Lessons Learned

Mavis Wagner weeding her garden

Low maintenance does not mean there will be no maintenance. Invasive, non-native plants may appear along with the natives and the unwanted visitors will need to be removed or they may get out of control.

In the Wagner's case, reed canary grass returned along with the native plants. They needed to remove the reed canary grass to allow the natives to flourish. This usually requires herbicide use for complete removal.

Mavis describes how less lawn maintenance means more time for gardening and enjoying the lake.

headphone icon, Mavis Wagner closeup Mavis Wagner: It's a lot less work.