Nantucket Cove Homeowners Association
2,600 LF of Shoreline
2006 - Present
ROLE OF THE FIRM:
Native Seed & Plug Installation
Natural Areas Stewardship
Nantucket Cove is a standard 1980’s style retention pond in a suburban setting with turf to the edge of the water. There was as much as a six-foot vertical drop along sections of the shoreline. The shore had extensive infestation with Cattails (Typha speciosa), Cottonwood (Populus deltoids), and Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum). The pond has depths of 15-20 feet and has small populations of mollusks, reptiles, amphibians, as well as waterfowl and shorebirds. The existing lawn was sprayed in 2004. The shoreline was re-graded by hand in December of 2005. A small number of the existing large trees were saved where they did not interfere with the grading work; these remaining trees were structurally pruned for safety and aesthetics. The remaining trees were cut and dropped into the pond as habitat. Once grading was complete, 65 pounds of native seed, 35,000 native plants, 50 native trees & shrubs, and temporary erosion control blanket were installed. To increase habitat value Bluebird, Wood Duck, and Bat Nesting boxes were also installed. The site has had stewardship since installation with a constant program of activities designed to manage for any invasive species and move native seed around on site. The choice to utilize a naturalized shoreline solution was a bold step for the home owners association. It has paid off in an initial cost savings of over $450,000.00 compared to a Rip-Rap solution, the creation of wildlife habitat, and landscape maintenance cost savings.
The shoreline was converted to native habitat in order to prevent shoreline erosion and provide a healthy stormwater system. The conversion from turf to native plants ended up being significantly cheaper than the rip-rap option that was quoted to the HOA, making it not only a more beautiful, but also more sustainable and cheaper solution.
The project consisted of converting the slopes of the storm water basin to a prairie mix, with emergent plugs planted at the shoreline. The site has been maintained since 2005 using methods such as targeted herbicide applications, spot mowing, and hand pulling. The annual maintenance costs have decreased over time as the area becomes self-sustaining and invasive species are under control.