Natural Shore Technologies |  www.naturalshore.com  612-703-7581 
January Article
Happy New Year!

new_years_fireworks.jpg Here at Natural Shore, we are really looking forward to an amazing 2019. In the midst of the holiday season, we take a few moments to reflect on the past year and think about how we can give back and be exceptional stewards of the environment. How can we do things a bit differently to curb climate change, support biodegradable products, and improve our natural habitats? Here are a few changes we are looking towards implementing in 2019.

 Besides being really noisy and smoky, gas weed whips  and leaf blowers produce carbon emissions. They are critical tools for both our installation and maintenance crews since they  use them  almost every day during the growing season . These implements are driven by small two-cycle engines which happen to be quite inefficient. We are taking the plunge this year and  switching over to electric weed whips and blowers, along with using bio-degradable weed whip 
string. We're researching
 options on how to power
 these tools with electricity from solar panels. In the next couple of years, our goal is to have solar power supplement our greenhouses and run our weed whips and blowers.

The amount of plastic that is ending up in our lakes, rivers, and eventually into our oceans is staggering. We want to do our part in reducing plastic consumption. Recycling may make us feel better, but this system is inefficient and we need to do more. We just conducted an inventory of where we use the most plastics and are looking into alternatives. Although it's really handy, we are going to resist the purchase of plastic bottles, whether it be for water or energy drinks. We will buy foods that  are free of packaging or placed in biodegradable wraps.

We already reuse most of our plastic plant pots in  our installations, but we will also be implementing a return program for customers who buy from our nurseries. Instead of throwing those pots away, they can be returned to us to  reuse. Can you think of any other ways we can reduce our plastic consumption? Are there strategies you have used in your office or home to reduce your plastic use? Please let us know and we will share your ideas!
We have never or will never use pesticides in our greenhouses, so no need to worry about neonicotinoids or  other pesticides when planting our native plants.

Each year, we make a conscious effort to reduce our herbicide use in our restoration sites. While we are of the opinion that careful and thoughtful use of herbicides is a necessary tool in our restoration toolbox, alternatives should always be considered. We are committed this upcoming season to again look for more sites where we can reduce or eliminate herbicide use.

Reducing paper consumption and looking for  environmentally responsible sources is on our list this year. When we can, we will send more emails and produce less hard copy correspondence. We will also use cleaning and bathroom paper that come from recycled sources.
recycle2.jpg

 We donated to the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, and the Minnesota Land Trust this last holiday season to help off-put some of our carbon emissions and to support natural areas preservation. We want to do this in honor of our clients who share the same beliefs. These organizations do great things locally, nationally, and internationally.

What are your environmentally friendly resolutions for
light_bulb_idea.jpg
 2019? Do you have more ideas for us? Feel free to share your ideas on our  Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. And follow us as we update our progress on our resolutions!  We will get the word out on how we all can make 2019 an exceptional year in conservation!
Native Plant of the Month
Woolgrass
Scirpus cyperinus

Moisture: Wet or Moist
Exposure: Full Sun 
Color: Green
Blooms: August- October
Height: 3-5 Feet

Woolgrass is an interesting looking shoreline plant that we love to install on our projects because of its deep root systems that help stabilize the soil and prevent erosion issues. It has a long green stem that ends with a tuft grouping of greenish brown flowers that turn darker brown and wool-like as the season progresses. They have long green leaf-blades and stay in tight clumps. It lives along shorelines, ponds, and wetlands and can tolerate living in shallow water. It is an important plant for wildlife as well. Insects, birds (ducks, swans, geese), and muskrats eat the leaves and flower parts. Birds and other wildlife also use woolgrass for nesting habitat. 
Invasive Plant of the Month
White Poplar
Populus alba

Moisture: Dry
Exposure: Full Sun or Partial Shade
Blooms: April- May
Height: 40-80 Feet

 White Poplar is an invasive tree species from Europe that is easily identified by the powdery white underside of its leaves. The top of their leaves are a shiny dark green color. Part of its invasive nature is how fast it grows, but it is a short-lived tree with weak wood that breaks off during storms or from heavy snowfalls. It suckers very quickly from the base of the parent tree. Management strategies include cutting and treating larger trees and continual mowing of younger saplings. 

Native plant alternatives include  Native Oak or Chokecherry
Pollinator of the Month
Eight-spotted Forester
Alypia octomaculata

Range: Eastern half of US
Habitat : Woodland edges or open areas with blooming flowers.
Identification : Dark black wings, antennae, body, and legs with big white or yellow spots on the back of their wings and smaller, orange hairy spots on their legs.
Pollination :  The Eight-spotted Forester is a moth that flies during the day, visiting native plants for nectar. Some of the plants they visit include goldenrod species, vervain species, coneflower species, black-eyed Susan, and other flowering native plants!

January 2019 Issue
Our Company
Visit our Photo Gallery
Retail Nursery News
  
Our retail nursery is closed. We will be posting our 2019 sale dates soon!

Our retail nursery address is:
1480 County Rd. 90  Independence MN 55359

Have any questions? Contact our greenhouse manager Jill at jill@naturalshore.com

Click and visit our website for current
Minnnesota Native Plant Brand ensures that plant species are native to Minnesota. 
5 Plants For...
Winter Interest!

Plant these flowers to have interesting features in the garden come winter! Make sure you don't cut them down in the fall!
1. Little Bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium
  
2. Pale Purple Coneflower
Echinacea pallida
 
 
3. Mountain Mint
Pycnanthemum virginianum


4. American Highbush Cranberry
Viburnum opulus var. americanum

5. Canada Wild Rye
Elymus canadensis

 Want to learn more about these native plants? Click Here to visit our website!

Mystery Plant of the Month!
Test your plant ID skills!

Can you identify this native plant that bees love?   
Here's a hint, it lives right next to the lakeshore!

Visit our Facebook page to see if you're right!