Sprouting Up With Shoreview Natives

Shoreview Natives Look to Showcase Natural Landscaping

DULUTH, Minn. – Many of you may be looking into landscaping projects this summer. One local company is looking to transition outdoor spaces into ecological hubs.

Shoreview Natives is stemming from a lesson taught in one Northland classroom.

For Duluth Woodland resident Will Bartsch, it’s common to have folks drive past his home, looking twice and stopping with a few questions.

“We generated a lot of interest when we were planting it. This is going to be our first full year of blooming,” said Bartsch. “It’s really minimal work!”
Lawnmowing isn’t this man’s forte.

“About a year and a half ago my wife and I started thinking we wanted to do something different with a large space in our yard,” said Bartsch.

“I started Shoreview Natives after working with kids at a public charter school,” said Dan Schutte, Owner of Shoreview Natives.

The Two Harbors resident is now taking a lesson he once taught in the classroom, to the lawn.

“We started growing plants in the class, second and fourth graders were involved,” said Schutte.

Gathering ideas, while educating students at North Shore Community School about the importance of water quality and pollination.

“The second graders were growing so many seedlings, I thought I should try this at home and see how many plants I can grow,” said Schutte.
So, he did just that.

“I wound up growing a couple thousand the first year and it’s just kind of grown since then,” said Schutte.

Finding a place to put the thousands of plugs came easy. Schutte decided his lawn would become a test lab.

“You know, we drive by these plants in the ditch or we run across them on a trail, and we might not know what they are,” said Schutte.

Native species, now growing in his yard in place of grass.

“Bee balm, hyssop or agastache, joe pye weed, so many different species,” said Schutte.

Schutte works for the Soil and Water Conservation District in Lake County. He’s passionate when it comes to pollinator protection and preserving our water.

“They have deep roots so they help infiltrate water and control the soil from erosion,” said Schutte.

“We did the first step last spring when we laid down a black plastic matt to kill the grass,” said Bartsch.

For Bartsch and his wife, killing grass, tilling ground and planting native perennials sounds much more attractive than spending hours mowing lawn. They also know, it’s protecting the world they live in.

“We thought it was a good opportunity to break up the monotony of a bunch of lawns in a row,” said Bartsch.

“It takes little bit of elbow grease and hard work,” said Schutte.

A simple DIY type of project, resulting in a lawn full of Shoreview Natives.

“Nobody likes mowing lawns, well some people love mowing lawns but I don’t!”

Schutte currently has around a dozen projects in the Northland. He says he would love to take on more, but it’s most gratifying to help those who want to try and tackle the job themselves.

Schutte also participates with the Duluth Monarch Festival, selling plants that attract butterflies and other critters in our environment.

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