Pfiffner Park combats erosion with native perennial garden

Wild One’s volunteers planted 1,400 deep-rooted native plants to hold the soil together, reduce erosion and deter geese.
Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 10:52 AM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - The Stevens Point Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department has teamed up with the Wild Ones, a non-profit in Stevens Point to restore areas of shoreline at Pfiffner Park with native plants.

The park’s shoreline suffers from erosion issues, a large nuisance goose population, and is difficult for park staff to keep mowed. Every year, small areas of mowed grass and soil collapse into the river, impacting water quality, smothering fish habitat, and encroaching on the Green Circle Trail. To combat shoreline issues, Wild One’s volunteers planted 1,400 deep-rooted native plants in a trail native plant garden. The plants have been known to hold the soil together and reduce erosion and will deter geese from dense vegetation.

“We put in probably 70 to 80 hours of work here, at least, so it’s been a big project and it’s been fabulous to see how many people have turned up to help,” Paul Skawinski, the President of the Wild One’s Central Wisconsin Chapter said.

The plants which are set to bloom in a month or so are all native perennials that will return year after year and create a more wild natural environment that will require less upkeep.

“This is a park. It’s a natural place. People come down here to watch the wildlife, to see the sunset. Having it on a manicured lawn takes something away from that,” Mayor Mike Wiza of Stevens Point said.

If all goes well, the city plans to add more perennial gardens around parks and add more plants, possibly mushrooms.

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