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Lagoon Park Restoration
Lagoon park is a 30 acre park that straddles the outlet to Canandaigua lake. The park is protected as a conservation area allowing low imnpact recreational acitvites which includes walking, and fishing.
Prior to the creation of the park the land remained vacant and was lacking a healthy native plant community. The result is that during that time period one species of exotic invasive shrub, European buckthorn has thrived and overrun the park. Buckthorn, as the name impies has long sharp thorns making it a public hazard and it produces a dense shade that prevents other plants from growing near it. In several areas of the park European buckthorn has created an inpenetrable monoculture. As buckthorn has no beneficial value for widlife much of the park, although covered in green, was providing little habitat for birds and other wildlife.

A wall of buckthorn behind the park sign reveals the extent of the buckthorn invasion.

The goal of the restoration project was to cut and remove all of the non-native invasive plants and then replant with native species and allow the remaining native plants on site to grow without competition and spread naturally. The establishment of a diverse native plant community will provide enhanced habitat features that will support a higher diversity of birds species and a greater number of individuals. The proximity to water and the amount of shoreline habitat is an added bonus that will attract numerous bird species.

A trail bordered on both sides by a wall of Euopean buckthorn. Everything green in the picture is non-native and needs to be removed to allow native plants to take their place.

The picture on the right showing the density of buckthorn before the control effort was begun. The picute on the right is after the buckthorn was cut and the brush chipped.
The remaining plants are all native. Reducing the competition from the buckthorn will allow the native plants to set seed and spread naturally .

Local volunteers planted over 300 native trees and shrubs to help jump start the restoration of native vegetaion.


Picture on left was taken in spring of 2013 after clearing. Picture on right is during summer of 2013 after leaf out. All of the actively growing vegetation is native, that is now able to grow without interferance from the buckthorn.

With the removal of the buckthorn there are now unobstructed views of the outlet where before there was only a wall of buckthorn .
Public enjoyment of the park is enhanced. The native plants that will replace the buckthorn have many aesthetically pleasing features such as beautiful flowers, colorful fruits and stunning fall color.

This project was a collaboration between the City of Canandaigua, the Canandaigua botanical society, the Canandaigua lake watershed association and numerous volunteers who contributed their passion and commitment to preserve the natural world.

this page posted March 14, 2014