Before and After: Ecological Restoration in Progress
See our Restorations from the beginning!
Ecological restoration usually involves detailed planning, long hours dedicated to site preparation, and then time spent in awkward positions, digging holes and installing plants. On top of it all, throw in a good deal of patience, because it can take time for a restoration project to mature and reach its full potential. However, the results are truly spectacular and well worth the effort. Transforming a shoreline or residential lawn can really be life-changing, both for you and the animal communities that benefit. Diverse native plant communities provide vibrant colors and textures, pollinators galore, and essential habitat for a wide range of animal species. 

Host Plant Highlight
90% of plant-eating insects use native plants to grow and survive. Without their native host plants, many butterflies and other insects cannot survive. Birds and other wildlife use caterpillars and other insects to feed their young. Over the last few years, we have seen major declines in both insect and bird populations due to a variety of factors, especially habitat loss and fragmentation. Rebuilding habitat with native plants is crucial in providing food for caterpillars, which in turn provide food for baby birds; making native plants the foundation of our food webs.
Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)
# of Larval species- 67
Wild strawberry serves as a host plant for 67 species of larval insects! It hosts the Isabella Tiger Moth, also known as woolly bears. Wooly bear caterpillars are generalists, meaning they can eat a variety of native plants. According to old folklore, the differing widths of the rusty colored band forecast the severity of the upcoming winter. The plants bloom with petite white flowers that yield small strawberry fruits in the early summer. These fruits are favored by wildlife, especially birds such as cedar waxwings, orioles, and warblers.
Isabella Tiger Moth caterpillar aka the Woolly bear
Wild Strawberry Flowers
Cedar Waxwing
photo credit- Carrie Mach
Retail Nursery:
Enjoy beautiful summer blooms in your yard!

Please visit our retail nursery open on these dates:

Friday and Saturday
July 16th-17th
Aug 13th-14th

For more information visit:
Non-native Species of the Month- Creeping Charlie
(Glechoma hederacea)

Creeping Charlie, also known as Ground Ivy, is a persistent perennial weed that many of us are quite familiar with. It arrived from Europe by immigrants who used it for medicine and food purposes. Found in disturbed habitats and shady areas, Creeping Charlie spreads vegetatively by roots that grow at every leaf node and creeps along the soil surface, often forming dense mats. As a member of the mint family, it has square stems and has a faint minty smell when crushed. Flowers are small, tubular, and violet-colored. Leaves are round and heart-shaped with scalloped edges. Control methods include pulling colonies and removing all plant fragments, raking, and planting shade-tolerant grasses in its place.

Native Plant of the Month-
Dotted Blazingstar
(Liatris punctata)

Dotted Blazingstar is the shortest of all the blazing star species we have in Minnesota. It grows 1-2 feet compared to other blazing stars that can reach up to 5 feet. It has beautiful purple flowers that bloom It has numerous linear grass-like leaves about 4 inches long and showy flower stalks about 10 inches long. This blazing star has multiple flower stalks growing from the base of the plant and the leaves have tiny white hairs. Flowers are visited by butterflies and bees, among other pollinators. Other common names are narrow-leaved blazing star and dotted gayfeather.

We love to read books about our natural world, and want to share our favorites with you! On the last Wednesday of each month we will feature a book discussion and review on our Facebook Page.
Here are next three!
Watch June's Book Review "Sedges of the Northern Forest" by Jerry Jenkins
Forager Fix

This month we are featuring watercress (Nasturtium officinale) for the next non-native plant to find and feast on. These easy-to-recognize plants love moving, cold streams and look just like the plants you see in the grocery store. They have a peppery taste that is a great addition to a lot of dishes. Click on our link for ideas on our Facebook!

Need tips on proper planting techniques? Here's Martina to show you how!
Natural Shore Technologies, Inc. |