Fritz Loven Park trails close for storm damage cleanup
LAKE SHORE--Beginning late July or early August, the 1.86 miles of natural trails within Fritz Loven Park in the city of Lake Shore will be temporarily closed for tree removal.
LAKE SHORE-Beginning late July or early August, the 1.86 miles of natural trails within Fritz Loven Park in the city of Lake Shore will be temporarily closed for tree removal.
These lands were devastated in historic proportions by a high-wind event that occurred on Aug. 4, 2016, which left about 30 percent of the acreage with severe timber damage. In compliance with the city's new forest management plan, some timber is being removed to reduce the risk of bug infestation, disease, wildfires and stress on trees from future winds.
The storm-damaged timber will be harvested, including aspen, ash, basswood, jack pine and paper birch, while reserving healthy red oak, bur oak, maple and coniferous trees wherever possible. Based on the recommendation of a forester, the most severe areas of the lands will be clear cut because nearly all of the trees are tipped or snapped off. Trees will be processed on site and all slash will be chipped into biomass.
A buffer zone along Stony Brook, a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources-designated trout stream, will be protected.
The goal of the city of Lake Shore's forest management plan is to maintain and protect the scenic, natural habitat and riparian/aquatic values of the land and to restore the lands to continue to allow low-impact recreational and educational activities. The park lands, along with the adjoining property of Shea and Evan Johnson, are protected by a conservation easement through the Minnesota Land Trust. It is the intent of the conservation easement to permanently protect the natural, scenic and open qualities of the properties.
In addition to the city of Lake Shore and the Johnsons, this trail project impacts two other private landowners' properties-of which the trails also run through, and an additional two adjoining landowners' parcels-who have granted access to expedite the harvest.
During this tree harvest period, only the trail system will be closed. Lake Shore's Fritz Loven Park will remain open. The park encompasses 80 acres and offers an accessible fishing pier, a picnic pavilion complete with picnic tables, electrical outlets and outdoor grills, a playground and restrooms. The Lake Shore Park and Recreation Committee will re-establish and open the trails once it is safe and free of heavy equipment. When this is possible, signs and barricades at the trail entrances will be removed and Fritz Loven Park trails will again be available for hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
Those with questions about this upcoming project may contact the city of Lake Shore at 218-963-2148.