Event Title

Erosion Control Along the MNSU Fitness Trail

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

9-4-2012 1:00 PM

End Date

9-4-2012 2:30 PM

Student's Major

Geography

Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Mentor's Name

Forrest Wilkerson

Mentor's Department

Geography

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Description

A $7 million outdoor sports complex was constructed by Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2010. A new fitness trail occupies the perimeter of the complex. Through field observation, we noticed several areas where erosion threatens the integrity of the trail as it borders the edge of a ravine. Human land use changes induce gully formation and the erosion patterns present in gullies can be diminished with water retention obtained through bushes and trees. It is the goal of this project to employ such vegetative ground cover of indigenous, deep rooted, plants that will reduce water flow thus promoting slope stability and protecting the soil from erosion. Plants were chosen based on aesthetics and function such as abilities to mature quickly, spread easily, and thrive in shady conditions while requiring low maintenance. The Blue Star Juniper, with its weather tolerance and easy adaptation to well drained soils, provides a great example. Employment of a small, degradable, wooden grid may also be necessary for early soil fortification. In addition, more soil and mulch will aid in slope stability achievement that is necessary for the overall protection of the trail. We anticipate that this project will suppress gully forming soil erosion while adding beauty and protection to the trail as it was a significant investment for the University.

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Apr 9th, 1:00 PM Apr 9th, 2:30 PM

Erosion Control Along the MNSU Fitness Trail

CSU Ballroom

A $7 million outdoor sports complex was constructed by Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2010. A new fitness trail occupies the perimeter of the complex. Through field observation, we noticed several areas where erosion threatens the integrity of the trail as it borders the edge of a ravine. Human land use changes induce gully formation and the erosion patterns present in gullies can be diminished with water retention obtained through bushes and trees. It is the goal of this project to employ such vegetative ground cover of indigenous, deep rooted, plants that will reduce water flow thus promoting slope stability and protecting the soil from erosion. Plants were chosen based on aesthetics and function such as abilities to mature quickly, spread easily, and thrive in shady conditions while requiring low maintenance. The Blue Star Juniper, with its weather tolerance and easy adaptation to well drained soils, provides a great example. Employment of a small, degradable, wooden grid may also be necessary for early soil fortification. In addition, more soil and mulch will aid in slope stability achievement that is necessary for the overall protection of the trail. We anticipate that this project will suppress gully forming soil erosion while adding beauty and protection to the trail as it was a significant investment for the University.

Recommended Citation

Lassonde, Matthew; James McKay; and Katherine Dettmann. "Erosion Control Along the MNSU Fitness Trail." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 9, 2012.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2012/poster-session-B/12