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Robinson Park Shoreline Restoration

Those who spent summer days at at Robinson Park years ago remember a sandy beach, lifeguards and lots of traffic on the lake.  It’s been many years since such an idyllic scene could be found in Lake Crystal, but significant progress has been made in beautifying the park, updating the facilities and making the area accessible to all.   Much of the work done  ensures that the beach area is no longer subject to erosion, and runoff flowing down the hill to the lake will be slowed and absorbed before it reaches the water. A pollinator garden is a vibrantly colored habitat for birds, bees and other wildlife. An accessible fishing pier extends out into the water, the restrooms are new and an ADA-compliant asphalt trail extends from both parking lots to the lake.

These photos, taken in March of 2017, show the erosion of the shoreline at Robinson Park. Runoff from above and wave action fro the lake have have damaged the shoreline. 


2017 was a big year for lakeshore restoration at Robinson Park. Nearly 2,000 native plants were planted along the lakeshore, covering 1, 290 square feet. Erosion buffer was installed at the water’s edge and the area was covered a biodegradable mat to reduce weed growth. Netting was added to deter geese.  Students from LCWM High School assisted in the planting, as did many other community members. Dustin Demmer of Blazing Star Gardens designed the restoration and lead the work crew.

Community members, under the direction of Dustin Demmer of Blazing Star Gardens, helped to plant rushes at the water’s edge and native grasses and flowering perennials along the shore. A buffer was added to reduce erosion while the plants were getting established.


In 2017, the City of Lake Crystal, in cooperation with Crystal Waters Project, was awarded a $59,000 DNR grant to be used for projects at Robinson Park. In 2018, the work began! 

The list of park improvements to be undertaken was lengthy. A new restroom building was constructed. A pollinator garden was planted, and included 6,920 square feet of sedges, grasses and flowering natives. A 36′ accessible fishing pier was a joint effort supported by Crystal and Loon Lake Recreation AssociationHewitt DocksNicollet Conservation Club and Crystal Waters Project. In addition,  an ADA-compliant asphalt trail connecting the parking lots to the pier and pollinator garden was installed. 


The new restroom facility was completed, and the interpretive signs were installed. In June, a park rededication ceremony was held, complete with a ribbon cutting, speakers and coverage by local media.The shoreline has been stabilized and erosion has been reduced. The native plantings are thriving, and bees and butterflies congregate there.