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With the encouragement of the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation district, Lake Forest subdivision embarked on a plan to naturalize their detention basin in 2002.
The pond had originally been landscaped with lawn grass reaching all the way down to the waters edge. This is difficult and expensive to maintain as it requires frequent hand trimming. It also encourages use by Canada Geese which prefer a mowed landscape where there is little opportunity for predators to hide.
The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation district offered the homeowners association a significant cost share if the site could be utilized for outreach to the public on the benefits of installing wetland plants around detention basins. The installation was approved in April 2002.
Installation commenced shortly after the approval. Prior to installation of the plants and seeds, the existing lawn grass was killed with a glyphosate herbicide approved for use around water. Plugs were installed on one foot centers in the shallow water emergent community. The bank of the waterline was sown with sedge meadow and wet mesic seed mixes.
As is usually the case, the emergent plants developed fairly quickly. The sedge meadow and wet mesic seeding, however was set back by overspray of a broadleaf herbicide by a lawn maintenance firm. Overseeding was required to repair this damage. The seeded areas finally matured to the thriving community of flowering plants, grasses and sedges that we see today.
As you can see, the installation has matured to provide an attractive, low maintenance border that serves to eliminate wave action erosion, absorb nutrients, reduce usage by Canada Geese, and eliminate frequent trimming around the pond.