Big Island on Minnesota’s Lake Minnetonka features a 56-acre rustic park and a shoreline with steep, eroding banks up to 60 feet high. The city of Orono, Three Rivers Park District, and Minnehaha Creek Watershed District wanted to prevent further bank failure and loss of natural habitat without posing a significant threat to water quality.
The first stage of Barr’s shoreline stabilization and restoration involved creating a shore bench of fieldstone riprap and backfill slightly above normal water levels to protect the toe of approximately 3,000 feet of extremely steep or near-vertical banks around the island. Our bioengineering techniques were installed within areas of backfill and along other more gradual banks during the second stage of the project for an additional 1,200 feet of stabilized shorelines and slopes.
Since its completion, the project has renewed life on Big Island by protecting the littoral zone where fish lay eggs, insects hatch, and plants grow; improving the water quality around the island; and protecting the shoreline for wildlife habitat.