Marsh Restoration 2010
Above: The marsh in the 1970's. No cattail can be seen in the marsh. Area appears to be dominated by broadleaf arrow-head and sedges/grasses.
In June of 2010, the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes received a two-year, $78,665 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency through the Cuyahoga County Surface Water Improvement Fund.
Left: 1979, first appearance of narrow-leaved cattail. Most of the marsh still appears to be free of cattails.
Over the next two years the green experts at the Nature Center, along with a corps of volunteers, will work to remove invasive plant species that have taken over the marsh located in the northeast and northwest quadrants of the Center’s 20-acre property. Many visitors to the marsh don’t know the cattails that blanket the area, specifically the narrow-leaved cattails, are an invasive species with astounding reproductive power that are considered one of the worst in northeast Ohio. They not only compete with native plants for water, sunlight, and nutrients, but also drastically reduce biological diversity.
Right: 1997, marsh viewed from the bridge that can be seen in the background of previous photos. Marsh appears to be dominated by cattail. Natives are still dense along the water's edge.
In the first year of the project, the invasive species, including cattails, will be removed from the main area of the marsh, while during the second year the focus will be on the marsh perimeter. Several methods will be used to treat the invasive plants, including cutting, hand pulling, and spraying with a low-percentage herbicide that is not harmful to aquatic life.
Below: 2009, cattail dominates all of the marsh including water's edge. The majority of the trees visible in this photo are non-native crack willow.
To get the latest information about the Marsh Restoration Project and to discuss what's happening in the marsh visit our blog.