The Lake & Landscape
Grounds Ecology Vision
Creating an unusual but ecologically stable environment that is a joy to experience and reflects something of the process of working out the big picture of the gospel in the natural environment – for others to share and appreciate.
Note the evidence of a relatively barren shoreline. The building for The Crossing community was still emerging from the ground up.
A view of the vibrant and diverse native vegetation growing around the lake. The Grow Native concepts promoted by the Missouri Department of Conservation (grownative.org) and significant ecology and botany/plant science knowledge contributed to the planning and this outcome – much enjoyed by many young and not so young who frequent The Crossing.
All ponds and lakes need management – especially in an urban environment where lake life is challenged by surrounding intense land use. While the shoreline of the The Crossing’s lake was flourishing, the shallowness of the lake (partially due to silt buildup), and the degraded water chemistry were pointing to a shortened lifespan. Then a leak occurred – the path forward was clearer – fortunately all within the latest construction phase
The Crossing’s lake is in the watershed of one of the tributaries of the Hinkson Creek river system. As such it serves a vital role of biologically filtering runoff that enters the lake directly and via the associated bioswale.
The overflow from the lake enters the Hinkson Creek river system. The lake has enjoyed Best Management Practice (BMP) status by the City and has been visited by a number of City-organized tours of engineers and land and landscape developers.
MU professors and student groups have also visited the lake as part of their coursework. The biological ‘tools’ used to curb a previously prolific Canada goose population were lauded by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). The contributions of expertise by MDC is gratefully acknowledged.
Canada Goose Management
The successful management of the previously very large Canada goose population was guided by several publications. Perceiving what is most important to Canada geese is the route to be followed for their management.
Assuming their need for food is being met, hence their presence on a property, the next need to be assessed is their need to see oncoming danger from afar off. The inclusion of vegetation barriers in the shared environment is very helpful to making the environment less hospitable to Canada geese.
This is because their reduced vision due to vegetation barriers, results in them having less warning of oncoming danger within their needed flight path for escape. This simple change to the environment appears to unnerve their confidence. A useful resource for managing Canada geese is: Dan McMurtry (2002). Controlling Conflicts with Urban Canada Geese in Missouri
- The lakeshore environment is a relatively peaceful place for prayer, meditation, reading, painting, and conversations.
- Lots of families have enjoyed taking their kids around the lake to explore the diversity of flowering plants, frogs, turtles, insects, birds, rabbits. The rebuilding of the lake and the shoreline will enable much of this very enjoyable and educational environment to return.
- Kids Club has included the lake and the lake shore environment in its very popular summer program.
- Like and follow the Facebook group to find out more information about development plans, how you can be involved in periodic work groups that work around the lake or if you want to know more about how easy it is to grow native plant species that contribute to the health of the environment – visit Facebook
Much of the lakeshore is managed by a group of volunteers led by Leszek Vincent. The cultivation of plant species native to the mid-West enables the management needs to be relatively low – amidst the very variable Missouri weather – it’s a very environmentally friendly approach.
Andrew Baier oversees the overall needs of the landscaping of The Crossing Campus.