Owning waterfront property is a wonderful privilege. Having the ability to enjoy your morning coffee while looking out over the lake and listening to the loon calling out off in the distance.  Such a relaxing way to kick off your day or weekend. When all of a sudden, the silent, tranquil morning comes to an abrupt end as a family of geese come ashore to dine at the breakfast buffet that is your lawn. With all that honking going on, the rest of your family starts to stir from their slumber. And with that, the kids are up, they’re hungry, and they’re raring to get their day started. Luckily you have a waterfront property and access to the lake, which opens the door to a bunch of recreational opportunities to keep everyone busy for the day. With the kids all fed, sunscreen is slathered, and lifejackets strapped on, it’s time to head down to the dock for some family fun: swimming, paddling, boating, and fishing. But, just as suddenly as your tranquil morning came to an end, the excitement of a family fun day ends too. Little Timmy was running down to the dock and took a wipe out on the fresh meadow muffins that were left behind by the flock of geese that visited earlier. Eeeeww gross.

I’m sorry to tell you that flat level lawns with armour stone is very inviting to a flock of geese! You’re simply ringing the dinner bell for them.

Goose Fact – An adult goose poops about every 20 minutes and will produce roughly 2 pounds of poop per day.

So how can you deter geese from coming ashore to feast on your lawn? One of the best known methods is to provide a less inviting shoreline, by removing the bird’s sightlines from the water to your lawn and vise versa. A clear sightline for a goose provides an escape route when they feel threatened by potential predators. By keeping a dense strip of natural vegetation (naturalized shoreline) you are breaking up that sightline.

The term shoreline naturalization isn’t tightly defined, it can carry many different meanings.

For some it is a low maintenance garden. For others it is a manicured garden of unique wildflowers and berry producing plants. And for others it is a combination of stone and plants. All three methods or a combination of them not only helps you with those pesky geese, it also helps prevent erosion by stabilizing the shoreline soil, and acts as a natural filter by absorbing fertilizers, other nutrients and sediments carried down to lake in surface water runoff (rain). It also means that you have less grass to look after. It’s a win-win-win situation. Your shoreline is now stabilized, you’re having a positive impact on the water quality of your lake – no more meadow muffins –  and you can enjoy that peaceful morning routine again. Maybe now it lasts until your reach the bottom of your mug.

If the thought of a shoreline naturalization project seems like a daunting, expensive task, don’t let it scare you.

There are many local organizations that offer free technical advice, and in some cases grants for landowners wishing to implement projects on their property. The easiest call to make would be to me, I’d be happy to help steer you in the right direction.

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