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Soil and Water designing LEC landscaping

By Staff | May 18, 2009

Michele Stindtman, Shane Johnson and Jesi Matthew hold up the jail landscaping plan they created.

The landscaping at the new Faribault County Law Enforcement Center will have some innovative twists, thanks to help from a county agency.

The Soil and Water Conservation District office has designed the landscape plan for the new building and it includes ideas such as prairie grasses and a rain garden.

Commissioner Tom Loveall suggested Soil and Water get involved, and was promoting a rain garden at the facility.

Michele Stindtman and Jesi Matthew of the SWCD office were at a recent commissioners meeting and presented a drawing of their proposal.

Besides the 70-foot rain garden, it includes some areas of prairie grass, sod around the building, and a shelter belt line of trees on the north and west sides of the property.

Stindtman says the plan also includes a test plot for ‘low-mow’ grass. It will be located in the southwest corner of the building grounds.

“We have been looking for a place to test this grass,” she told the commissioners. “We have gotten a grant to put it in, so it will be at no cost to the county.”

The grass grows slowly and only requires mowing a couple of times per season. It is being used a lot in the Twin Cities area, Stindtman said.

“The trees for the shelter belt area and the prairie flowers are from our suppliers,” she said. “However, we will also be getting bids from local nurseries for trees and sod.”

The commissioners gave Soil and Water $800 to help pay for the trees for the shelter belt, and another $1,000 budget to start purchasing supplies needed for the rest of the project.

A phase two part of the landscaping will include another shelter belt along the south and east side of the property.