Lake Cornelia Vegetated Buffer Project

The City intends to restore the shoreline and plant a natural buffer on parkland adjacent to Lake Cornelia this year. View a map of the project area here.

The project benefits include:

Clean Water. Lake Cornelia is polluted with excess nutrients that fuel algae, including harmful blue-green algae blooms. Vegetated buffers promote clean water by filtering nutrients from water before it enters the lake.

Habitat. Native plants support wildlife, including pollinators. The project includes management of invasive buckthorn.

Sustainability. Native landscapes require less mowing which means savings in labor and equipment costs, fewer carbon emissions, and a more resilient landscape in a changing climate.

The City intends to restore the shoreline and plant a natural buffer on parkland adjacent to Lake Cornelia this year. View a map of the project area here.

The project benefits include:

Clean Water. Lake Cornelia is polluted with excess nutrients that fuel algae, including harmful blue-green algae blooms. Vegetated buffers promote clean water by filtering nutrients from water before it enters the lake.

Habitat. Native plants support wildlife, including pollinators. The project includes management of invasive buckthorn.

Sustainability. Native landscapes require less mowing which means savings in labor and equipment costs, fewer carbon emissions, and a more resilient landscape in a changing climate.

Q&A

  • As a Master water steward, I am supportive of the city creating these buffers. Lawns do a poor job of infiltrating water as they are so compacted and the roots are shallow. Only about 25% of rain soaks in and we (MWS) tend to call turf "green concrete". Not only do vegetated buffers help to prevent water flowing off of lawns (often with fertilizer added), they create habitat for quite a few species. This one project will not do the job of cleaning the lake but many actions together can. If every storm drain that empties into Lakes Cornelia were "adpoted" and kept clear of leaves, grass clippings and trash, this would help to improve the water quality also. You can go to Adopt-A-Drain.org and find one near you and then encourage your neighbors to do the same (you can print out a door hanger). I believe many small actions make a big difference.

    LouannWaddick asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your note. 

  • Why not focus on the real issue of the south basin? Most pollutants are filtering in from the north basin, there is an abundance of invasive species along the north basin and 66th street which need to be controlled. This way the home owners and neighborhood can continue to use and enjoy the park land along the west shore of the south basin.

    EjVining10 asked 2 months ago

    The concept design will be available starting tomorrow on this website and at the Open House at the Rosland Park Pavilion, June 18th from 4:30-6:30PM so that we may gather specific concerns and questions. Staff will address questions and provide a summary of what we heard before asking City Council to approve a finalized concept design in July.

    -Jessica Wilson

  • Your proposed plan seems to eliminate neighborhood access to Lake Cornelia? How will neighbors access the lake?

    mtamte asked 2 months ago

    The proposed plan hasn’t yet been shared – it will be available at the Open House meeting tomorrow and posted online here earlier in the day. We look forward to gathering your concerns and questions upon your review.

    -Jessica Wilson

  • How will the city control the insects (especially ticks) and rodents that will thrive in the buffer? Families, pets and homes are exteremly close to this buffer.

    EjVining10 asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your question.

    The vegetated buffer will invite a variety of wildlife typical of natural areas. 

    Insecticides to control insects (including ticks) would not be used.

    -Jessica Wilson

  • Shouldn't the City wait to get the Completed Nine Mile Creek Watershed District’s report that describes the sources of pollution and potential management strategies before it proceeds with an expensive vegetated buffer that likely won't improve the water quality, will cost more money to maintain, and eliminates neighborhood access to Lake Cornelia?

    mtamte asked 2 months ago

    We can restore the shoreline and implement recommendations of the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District's report. 

    The shoreline buffer has a small, albeit positive clean water benefit. Other reasons for the change in land management include improved wildlife habitat, sustainability, and efficiencies in park maintenance operations.

    Check out the FAQ section of this page to learn about project funding.

    The scientific studies suggest that meeting the clean water goal at Lake Cornelia will be a challenge. It will take a combination of multiple projects and management practices to get close. Both the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District and the City of Edina have outlined funding sources for implementing recommendations of the study report and future Clean Water Strategy. 

    -Jessica Wilson

  • Is the city concerned about installing bee pollinators only feet away from people's homes where adults and children play?

    mtamte asked 2 months ago

    The University of Minnesota Bee Lab provides a lot of information on supporting bees. Check out their website. https://www.beelab.umn.edu/

    If you are worried about bee stings, check out this great Pollinator Nation brochure, "No Fear of Stings" with facts about bees, safety tips and more.

  • Sorry for asking so many questions but I would like to understand with your expertise at the council... If you could only do one thing, what is the one action you could take that would have the biggest impact on the water quality in Lake Cornelia? Would that be a form of water treatment? And, what support could we give you to get that done?

    Greg Sullivan asked 2 months ago

    Thanks for the question.

    The scientific studies suggest that meeting the clean water goal at Lake Cornelia will be a challenge. There is no one thing that will get us there. Instead it will take a combination of multiple projects and management practices to get close.

    Nine Mile Creek Watershed District’s study report is nearly final. It will describe the sources of pollution and potential management strategies. A copy will be shared here when it becomes available. Both the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District and the City of Edina have outlined funding sources for implementing recommendations of the study report and future Clean Water Strategy.

    -Jessica Wilson

  • Lake Cornelia is unsafe for water activity and my children have been warned to to be involved in activities on the lake. Wouldn't the best priority first step be to spend whatever funds are available on improving the water quality rather than on a buffer that will have little to no impact?

    Greg Sullivan asked 2 months ago

    The clean water impact of the buffer will be small; it will be positive. Maintaining mowed turf to the water’s edge is an outdated land ethic. In addition to demonstrating good shoreline owner land management, the reasons for the change include improved wildlife habitat, sustainability, and efficiencies in park maintenance operations.

    The City will be developing a Clean Water Strategy focused on the Lake Cornelia watershed in 2020. This syncs up with efforts of our partners. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has completed a study to determine how much pollution is reaching Lake Cornelia and the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District is preparing a final report for their study to determine how the lake will respond to various management strategies.

    There is a lot of interest and activity around Lake Cornelia and much more to come. Check out the online Water Resources Library to view studies and reports. Also consider signing up for Edina Water Resources emails through City Extra to stay informed on future projects.

    -Jessica Wilson

  • This winter I noted that the heavily salted snow from the road clearing was piled high into the carpark of the Aquatic center. As it melted late Spring, did all of that contaminated snow melt and drain into lake Cornelia? The run off from that one season of snow and salt melting in an uncontrolled way into the lake would cause gross contamination and this vegetated buffer would not help. What can be done next season to prevent this?

    Greg Sullivan asked 2 months ago

    Thanks for your question. The best way to manage chloride pollution from deicing salt is to use the least amount necessary to accomplish the goal of public safety. Check out this City Extra newsletter from January 2019 to learn more about the problem and how the City of Edina is leading in salt reduction. It also includes tips for individuals and businesses to curb their salt use.

    -Jessica Wilson

  • How will the City maintain the proposed vegetated buffer when its current maintenance has flooded Lake Cornelia with the very buck thorn it is proposing to remove? Do you realize that buck thorn returns?

    mtamte asked 2 months ago

    Although native restoration areas require fewer inputs, we’ve learned that they still require maintenance to be successful. A recent example of a successful transition from buckthorn infestation to thriving native restoration would be the Academy 9 course at Braemar Golf Course. Since the restoration in 2016, the space has been managed by native landscape professionals. The vegetated buffer at Lake Cornelia will be included in the native areas maintenance program. Funding for natural areas maintenance has been approved through the City’s Capital Improvement Plan.

    -Jessica Wilson

  • How about adding canoe and kayak storage for non-lake residents in the public space along Laguna Drive? Minneapolis does this by their lakes. It would be a great way for more residents to enjoy Lake Cornelia.

    lolson01 asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your suggestion. This is not part of the scope at this time. Parking on Laguna Drive would have to be investigated. 

    Thank you. - Tom Swenson