Anyone walking by the lakeshore residence halls will be surprised by how open its adjacent woodland now appears. Part of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve’s project list in summer 2007, a student restoration team helped clear out a large portion of the woody invasive species that once dominated the area and replant the hillside with native species to stabilize the soil.
Nearby parking Lot 34 is also getting an eco-friendly upgrade to fight erosion. Workers removed the lot’s old and deteriorating asphalt surface, concrete curbing and lighting. Three-quarters of the lot is now covered with conventional asphalt and the remaining one-fourth is covered with porous asphalt that will allow storm water to infiltrate the new surface. New curbs and gutters will channel remaining storm water into a bioretention basin that operates much like a large rain garden. It contains deep-rooted native plants that can help soak up the rainwater, reducing runoff and erosion problems. A few nonnative trees were removed to make way for the rain garden area, but several large oaks were saved and protected during the construction. The Wisconsin departments of Natural Resources and Transportation Services funded the project.