Landscaping with plants native to Minnesota helps maintain the floral diversity of the City. Native plants also provide shelter, food and habitat for the wildlife of Eden Prairie, including songbirds and flower pollinators, such as honey bees.
Native plant landscaping is less intrusive than hybrid or traditional landscaping because it requires less fertilizer and pesticide applications, and reduces the need for watering and irrigation.
Native plants can also act as filters and help minimize the movement of stormwater pollutants, thus minimizing the impact of surrounding land uses on local water supplies.
In order to understand the management of herbaceous vegetation, several definitions must be understood.
Refer to City Code 9.41 for full definitions and requirements.
A cultivated area dedicated to growing vegetables, fruits, flowers, ornamental grasses, groundcovers, shrubs and similar plants that were planted in a well-defined location.
Native Plant Landscape Area
An area where native plants are being or have been planted in a designated area. A native plant landscape area does not include gardens.
A natural area is an area that was purposely left to grow in a natural state and can maintain itself in a stable condition without human intervention. Natural areas contain trees, shrubs and native plants, excluding weeds and turf grass areas that contain more than 50-percent turf grass.
Native plants are those grasses (including prairie grasses), sedges (solid, triangular-stemmed plants resembling grasses), forbs (flowering broadleaf plants), trees and shrubs that are species native to or naturalized to the state of Minnesota, excluding prohibited exotic species. Native plants do not include weeds.
Weeds are noxious weeds defined in Minnesota Statutes, Sections 18.76-18.88. Weeds do not include dandelions or clover.
RESTRICTIONS AND EXEMPTIONS
An owner or occupant of a lot or parcel of land in the City of Eden Prairie cannot have any herbaceous vegetation growing over 10 inches in height.
Exemptions are where vegetation is located:
- On steep slopes
- In natural areas
- In a defined garden
- In a scenic or conservation easement
- Within 50 feet of natural area
- In a flood plain
- Within a drainage pond or ditch
Native Plant Landscape Area Guidelines:
- Setback not less than 20 feet from the front lot line. Corner lots have two front yards.
- Setback not less than 5 feet from the side and/or rear lot lines. No set back is required on the side or rear lot if (1) there is fully opaque fence at least five ft in height, or (2) the native plants abut a neighboring native plant landscape area.
- Native plant landscape is cut once annually between April 15 and July 15 to a height no greater than 10 inches.
- Turf grass is eliminated and the native plants, trees and shrubs are planted through transplanting or seed by humans or mechanical means.
The setback area required in the exemptions should be regularly mowed turf grass, garden beds, trees, shrubs, mulch, wood chips, rock and/or gravel.