Lake Nokomis Gardens

A prairie restoration and wildflower garden in the park.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

This project was driven by the desire of the Lake Nokomis Community to address the water pollution problems in Lake Nokomis and also in the entire chain of Lakes. It was determined that most of the non-point pollution in the lakes was coming from lawn runoff and yard waste upstream.

The goal for this project became one of demonstration gardens that utilized native plants that do not need fertilizer. Another benefit of working with Native plant communities was the educational and ecological opportunities for residents to learn about plants native to their place and the associated butterflies and birds that come along with it.

The project incorporated several planting methods with a range of costs-from four acres of seeded prairie to formally designed native perennial gardens along the bike trails. Maintenance was provided by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board combined with the efforts of the Lake Nokomis Neighborhood Association (NENA).

Interpretive signs along the Lake Nokomis trail help to designate prairie gardens as well as inform the public of their ecological benefits for water, wildlife, and humans. Benches are located along the pathways to take advantage of views toward the lake and the naturalized prairie.