Last year, the city of New Munich contacted the Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District regarding erosion and bank failure issues that were occurring along the Sauk River which borders their waste water treatment plant.
A plan was subsequently developed to address the immediate erosion concerns along the toe of the bank. The plan also addressed the adjacent upland areas which were vegetated by shallow rooted, non-native species. Replacing these species with deep-rooted native grasses, trees and shrubs would provide better protection and stability. The city agreed and felt this additional step, although not completely necessary, would add further long-term protection from the rising water levels typically associated with the spring melt or heavy rain events.
In and along the river, riprap and stream barbs were first installed in defined areas by a local contractor, Krotzer Excavating. Once the machinery was out of the project area, PRI crews installed cedar revetments at the toe of the slope. Cedar revetments are cedar trees that are anchored to the slope which help to deter further erosion as well as build up the bank through sediment deposition. The upland areas were then seeded with native species and stabilized with a natural net fiber blanket and straw mulch.
After soil stabilization was completed, approximately 70 potted trees/shrubs were planted to provide further bank stabilization. This project is a great example of multiple organizations working together to protect and enhance water quality.
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