Cultural Values

rysTom Hess and Arnie Linder, lakeshore owners, explain that, at first, there may be questions and concerns about your project.

When your neighbors discover what you've accomplished, though, they should be pleasantly surprised:

  • The return of native plants and animals to a habitat that can support them.
  • An effective and attractive solution to shore erosion.
  • A healthy alternative to lawn care that is also a low-maintenance and low-cost solution.
  • A splendid display of colorful flowers, grasses, and other plants that change over the season.

headphone icon, Tom Hess closeup Insights: What Tom Hess' neighbors thought.

headphone icon, Arnie Linder closeup Insights: What Arnie Linder's neighbors thought.

neighbors peeking over fence

The truth is your neighbors are going to know something is happening when they see you measuring, taking pictures of your shoreline, and not fertilizing, watering, or mowing your green carpet. And if you are removing turf, planting, or placing wattles, the neighbor's curiosity may be at a dangerously high level.

The best bet? Talk to them beforehand, because what you do will affect them and their shoreline. Let them know what you are trying to achieve and what it will mean.

You may find some of your neighbors willing to join you. This can benefit the restoration process, and you and your neighbors may even be able to share expenses.

The Neighborly Thing

  • Discuss changes with neighbors.
  • Explain concepts to lake owners or homeowners association.
  • Seek support from state and local resource professionals, extension educators and agents, master gardeners, and other community leaders.

Shoreland Habitat Restoration Project sign - to use in creating signs for your projects.

An Aesthetic With A History


historical manor with sweeping lawnsWe can blame our European forefathers - or at least the royal folks they envied - for the lawns we labor over today. The origins of our mowed lawns are traced to late 18th century aristocratic France and England.


historical yard with manicured garden and large lawn


Early colonists in America used land-changing practices as they transformed the wilderness. Later, as American settlers moved across the continent, a sign of encroaching civilization was the passion for green grass - tamed and maintained.


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