Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Minnesota Private Lands Office Partnering with Local Communities to Provide Habitat and Outreach
Midwest Region, July 31, 2017
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Pollinator plug planting effort on a city park in Anoka County, MN
Pollinator plug planting effort on a city park in Anoka County, MN - Photo Credit: USFWS MNPLO

Over the past several years the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has developed initiatives to positively impact the general public as well as the natural environment. The Minnesota Private Lands Office (MNPLO) has put forth an effort to support those initiatives. More recently, the MNPLO utilized the Urban and Monarch initiatives to make an impact on several urban communities surrounding the greater twin cities area. The staff worked closely with the city of Lindstrom, Ramsey, Elk River, Becker, and Andover Minnesota to create a series of wildlife habitat projects on publicly accessible properties throughout the area. Additionally, several other partners came to assist which included but were not limited to: Friends of the Mississippi, Great River Greening, Minnesota Native Landscapes, Sherburne County Soil and Water Conservation District, Chisago County Volunteer Fire Department, several Boy Scout groups, and Lindstrom Middle School to make these projects a reality. The goal of these habitat restorations is to first provide habitat for monarchs and native pollinators along the “monarch corridor.” To accomplish this we are restoring approximately 200 acres of degraded parks and agricultural fields to diverse native prairies and oak savannas. The second goal was to utilize these habitats as a means to reach out to the public of these local communities and teach about the problems that many species including the iconic monarch butterfly face today. An additional benefit is that these communities now have spaces for several youth groups and schools to utilize as an outdoor classroom. These benefits have been very popular and in fact have helped to encourage the mayors of Lindstrom and Ramsey to sign the Mayors for Monarchs pledge at the request of the community. The benefits such as the pledges are just the beginning of what these areas can accomplish for local urban communities that often times, have limited access to natural outdoor spaces.

Contact Info: John Riens, 320-253-4682, John_Riens@fws.gov
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