Lakeside garden dedication Sunday

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The newly planted Boyne City Shoreline Demonstration Gardens will be dedicated Sunday June 9, beginning at 2 p.m.


The dedication will take place at the garden site, the shoreline of Sunset Park, located at the foot of Water Street.

The gardens are the result of a two year collaboration between the City of Boyne City, the Boyne Valley Garden Club and the Lake Charlevoix Association.

There will be a short dedication ceremony and simple refreshments will be served.

Representatives of the sponsoring organizations and the five local landscaping companies whose work is on display at the gardens will be present to answer questions about the gardens.

Plugs of Little Bluestem Grass will be presented to the first 30 visitors.

Anyone interested in lake-friendly property management techniques is invited to attend.

The Shoreline Dedication Gardens began as an idea which emerged from a meeting two years ago attended by members of the Lake Charlevoix Association and the Boyne Valley Garden Club. Together with the Michigan State University Extension Service, these organizations had been trying different methods of illustrating shoreline landscaping that was both pleasing to the eye and protective of Lake Charlevoix water quality.

Why not, thought these gardeners and community leaders, install lake friendly planting on a stretch of publicly accessible shoreline, where it could easily be seen?

This concept soon found a pair of advocates, Joel VanRoekel and Tom Darnton, who were looking for a project they could adopt that would satisfy the requirements of a course they were taking.

Tom and Joel recruited three additional team members Nancy Cunningham, a Master Gardener who had extensive experience working with Boyne City government, Gow Litzenberger, a retired landscape architect and Jason Brabbs, a landscape designer working with North By Nature.

These five individuals, frequently assisted by Dan Mishler and John Hoffman, past and current LCA presidents, began working together in August of 2017.

The Demonstration Gardens were first planted in September of 2018.

Key to the success of the gardens was the recruitment of local landscaping companies willing to install and maintain an example of an approach to shoreline landscaping.

Five area landscape companies answered the call to create a shoreline plot that was aesthetically pleasing and focused on the use of native plants species.

North By Nature of Petoskey, Ryan’s Landscaping of Boyne City, Charlevoix Landscape of Boyne City, Vidosh North of Petoskey, Water Paw of Boyne City and the volunteers from the Lake Charlevoix Association installed their garden plots last fall.

The importance of these gardens rests in the fact that thoughtful design of shoreline property provides protection against two major threats to lake health.

Well designed shorelines help protect against the erosion caused by wave action.

Left unchecked, erosion degrades the shoreline and allows increased sediment to enter the water, decreasing water quality.

The majority of the shoreline of Lake Charlevoix has experienced some development.

When native species are planted in the buffer zone between land and water, they capture much of the runoff.

This runoff often contains nutrients like fertilizers and pollutants from human activity upland from the shore.

The Shoreline Demonstration Garden is the result of the successful collaboration among citizens, non-profit environmental groups, city government, and civic minded businesses.

The lake and its inhabitants will benefit from this endeavor for years to come.


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