Restore Your Shore

Want to make improvements to your lakeshore? Great! There are several benefits to having a natural lakeshore management approach (also known as creating a buffer zone):

  • Erosion reduction
  • Increase of wildlife and fish habitat
  • Enhance water storage and infiltration
  • Reduce lawn maintenance

The Minnesota Department of National Resources (MN DNR) shares additional benefits here.

The MN DNR has also put together a “Restore Your Shore” program that can guide you through this process. This guide is helpful when wanting to restore and protect your lakeshore.

Steps and Techniques

Ready to get your hands dirty and begin your lakeshore restoration? Follow these steps and techniques to help you get started.

Lakeshore Alterations: Natural Buffers and Landscaping >

Native Plants

It’s important to carefully consider the types of plants you’ll use when restoring your lakeshore. There are native plants that are suitable for Minnesota, as well as plants that are not local and shouldn’t be on natural Minnesota lakeshores.

The MN DNR has created a Plant Guide that contains information on the following topics:

Before and After

Want some ideas on how your lakeshore will look after creating a natural lakeshore management approach?

Here is one before and after example from the Clitherall, MN area:

Check out additional before, during, and after examples of others that have gone through this process

After planting is done, there will be some upkeep during the first few growing seasons. This will help ensure the desired long-term results of improved water quality, more diverse habitat, and that it looks great!


Check with your local Soil and Water Conservation District office for lakeshore restoration funding opportunities.

Crow Wing County – Water Quality Protection

Crow Wing County of Minnesota offers additional great tips for water quality protection. Check out these additional resources: