The Natural Resources Department provides the following services:
- Habitat management and ecological restoration in natural areas
- Surface water management and monitoring programs
- Wildlife management programs
- Urban forest management
- Natural resources public education programs
- Participation in local Watershed Management Organizations
- Review of Development Plans for environmental impacts
Natural Resources Master Plan Update
The Natural Resources Department will be working on an update to the Natural Resources Master Plan throughout 2021. The plan, last updated in 2007, lays out goals and priorities used by staff to guide the stewardship of local natural resources. This includes the management of natural areas in City parks, programs that support private property land management and public education priorities related to natural resources.
Public input will be sought throughout the plan update process, including through a public survey and opportunities to comment on the draft plan. More information will be provided on the plan update timeline and process as the official schedule is developed. The 2007 Natural Resources Master Plan or other City environmental plans are available in the Reports and Plans section.
Terrace Oaks Park Savanna/Woodland Restoration
The City began large-scale restoration activities at Terrace Oaks Park in 2014 with a 19-acre project in the northwest corner of the park. This project was conducted in partnership with Great River Greening, with funding for the second phase of the project contributed by the Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) grant (a MN Department of Natural Resources program). In 2018-2019, the restoration project was expanded by 26 acres in the north central section of the park with additional grant funding through the CPL grant program.
As of February 2021, the City has obtained another CPL grant which will be used to restore an additional 22-acre area in the northeast corner of the park during the winter of 2021-2022. This restoration work will be ongoing for several years, and will include invasive species removal (like common buckthorn), thinning weedy tree species and establishing an understory of savanna grasses and wildflowers. Click here to see a map of the planned or current restoration areas at the park (PDF). To learn more about the goals and benefits of the projects, please check out the savanna showcase page.