Living in Harmony

Tips for Living in Harmony with Nature at Innsbrook

In our Winter 2017 newsletter we asked readers how well they thought Innsbrook as a community did with practicing its motto of living in harmony with nature. We asked this question because we worry that as we grow we are starting to take for granted just how special and rare the many natural amenities are which we have to enjoy. If you didn’t participate yet but would like to, visit Here were the results as of April 2017:It appears most think we do pretty good, but have some work to do better.  We would like to hear what you think our collective community of property owners, residents, visitors, developers, and trustees needs to do better to help us live in harmony with nature. Send us an email to and we will report back our findings in future newsletters.

Here’s our collection of tips for living in harmony with nature, many of them we learned the hard way through our own experiences

Tip # 1 for Living in Harmony with Nature

Yum yum, perfect height for browsing by deer

Our first tip is well-known to long-time property owners. Don’t plant anything in your landscaping that you don’t intentionally want to be nibbled on by wildlife! We are not in the city, we are the intruders not the wildlife, and it’s a losing battle! Here’s a photo of the salad bar stop we provide our local deer each winter.  I admit, we were rather clueless when we first moved here and planted arborvitae, but soon discovered that the winter browse line always grew back each year. For wildlife friendly native planting tips visit the Garden Club of Innsbrook’s website at or download this MDC guide at MDC Native Plant Guide

 Tip # 2 for Living in Harmony with Nature: Don’t Denude!

In our Spring tip for living in harmony with nature we wrote about wildlife-friendly landscaping. A reader reminded us that a better tip is to avoid having to make any decisions at all on what to plant by leaving as much of your property in its natural state as possible. We know this from lessons learned the hard way while building our own home. We did an ok job of leaving much of the back lot undisturbed, but after mindful removal of trees for construction and boulders from the foundation dig, there was so much damage to the front there was little else to do other than to establish a yard that we wish we could have kept native.

Is this IBK lot an example of rural naturescaping or urban landscaping?

Long time IBK property owners will tell you that our back lots are more important that the front as they provide the million dollar view of nature and often reach down to the water’s edge. Removing too many trees or the forest understory will create erosion and runoff into our lakes that will make them less enjoyable for recreation. Many would agree that clear cutting or denuding your property makes IBK appear to be more of an urban subdivision than a rural resort.


Another previously wooded lot cleared and left barren.

Our Living in Harmony With Nature Tip #2 – By leaving as much as possible of your property as is, naturescaping instead of landscaping, you will be rewarded by a bounty of nature that reminds you why you are here instead of in the city!

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