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 has completed a draft update to the Natural Resources Master Plan. The plan, last updated in 2007, lays out the vision and goals for 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 engagement priorities related to natural resources.
Visit the Reports & Plans section to learn more about the plan, including a public open house event and public comment opportunity.
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 November 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, The first step of the project, removal of invasive species (like common buckthorn) and thinning of weedy tree species, will occur during the winter of 2021-2022. This will involve the use of some heavy equipment and require the temporary closure of portions of the cross country ski trails at the park. Following winter of 2021-2022, additional tasks like mowing, invasive species control, seeding and controlled burning will go on for several years to fully establish an understory of savanna grasses and wildflowers. Click here to see a map of the 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.