Louisville Swamp Restoration Project

Louisville Swamp Restoration 2017

Temporary trail closures along the Mazomani Trail and State Access Trail off 145th Street, Shakopee, MN may occur during work hours through 2017. Safety warning and closure signs will be posted during work to alert Refuge visitors.


In 2017 you may find some noise and temporary trail closures at the Louisville Swamp Unit of Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge near Shakopee, MN. Restoration work is taking place on 200 acres of the unit with the goal to improve oak savanna habitat. 

Savannas are some of the rarest and most threatened ecosystems in the United States. Most have been lost or degraded due to fire suppression and conversion to agriculture or development. Only about 0.02 percent of pre-European settlement oak savannas in the Midwest remain in scattered remnants.  

This project restores a degraded oak savanna on the Louisville Swamp Unit of the refuge by removing undesirable trees and shrubs and allowing sunlight to reach the ground. This aids native plant regrowth to improve wildlife habitat.  

Brush removal began in early February and may continue through March as long as the ground remains frozen. Felling trees, mowing brush, stacking woody debris into piles, and burning brush piles on-site may occur.

Temporary trail closures along the Mazomani Trail and State Access Trail off 145th Street may occur during work hours due to flying debris from mechanical brush removal (See attached map).  Safety warning and closure signs will be posted during work to alert refuge visitors.

The refuge will continue to manage the project area to maintain this valuable oak savanna habitat by conducting prescribed burns in future years that mimic natural processes. Refuge staff has inventoried plant species present before the project and will continue to monitor vegetation change and measure habitat enhancement.

Restoration activities are based out of the parking area at 3898 145th Street West in Shakopee, MN. A map of the restoration units can be found hereIf you have any questions about the project, please contact Dan Paulson at 612-505-4258. 

This project is made possible with funds from the Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) program in cooperation with the National Wild Turkey Federation. 

National Wildlife Refuges are part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which was established to protect and restore fish and wildlife habitat on behalf of all Americans.