Mary T. helps preserve local riverbanks

Mary T. Inc.’s passionate care of the elderly and the disabled is deeply rooted in the local community. That passion and those roots have now extended to help preserve area riverbanks.

This image is a before picture, showing the exposed tree roots and other evidence of erosion along the Rum River in Ramsey. Cedar trees – some of them donated by Mary T., Inc. – are being anchored along the riverbank by the Anoka Conservation District as an erosion prevention project. Photo courtesy of Anoka Conservation District

This image is a before picture, showing the exposed tree roots and other evidence of erosion along the Rum River in Ramsey. Cedar trees – some of them donated by Mary T., Inc. – are being anchored along the riverbank by the Anoka Conservation District as an erosion prevention project. Photo courtesy of Anoka Conservation District

Mary T., Coon Rapids, has recently partnered with the Anoka Conservation District, donating 90 cedar trees from property it owns in Andover for use in the conservation district’s Cedar Revetment Project.

That project has the district working with landowners to implement conservation practices to improve water quality, enhance wildlife habitat and reduce flooding.

Toward that end, rows of cedar trees are anchored into the riverbank and since cedar trees have many fine branches and are slow to decompose, those trees provide many years of protection against the action of waves and flowing water.

Typically, anchoring cedar trees along the riverbank allows the banks to re-vegetate themselves over time.

“Cedar Revetments are a low-cost, environmentally-friendly option to stabilize eroding streambanks,” according to a document provided by the Anoka Conservation District.

Different trees and types of brush can also be used, but tend to deteriorate more quickly than cedar trees, which are naturally rot-resistant. Revetments will collect sediment and allow the bank to naturally repair itself, the document states.

“I’m not sure many people within Anoka County are aware of this important work being done by the Anoka Conservation District,” said Kim Neal, director of property services for Mary T., Inc.

“As an organization we are very excited for the opportunity to take part in our community’s conservation efforts of preserving riverbanks and supporting our fellow Anoka County residents.”

“It has always been our mission to utilize land in such a way that best serves our customers, community and the people of Mary T. Inc.”

The trees donated by Mary T. have been anchored on a small section of open channel just upstream of where the Oak Glen Creek meets the Mississippi River in Fridley. More cedars are being anchored on the Rum River in Ramsey.

“For this year, we focused on installing the most upstream section of the plan (approximately 70 feet), which is also the most crucial portion of the project,” said Nate Zwonitzer, conservation specialist for the Anoka Conservation District. “We will likely work with this landowner over the next few years to continue installing the revetment.”

To learn more about the Anoka Conservation District Cedar Revetment Project, visit www.anokanaturalresources.com and search for “Cedar Tree Revetments.”

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

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