Natural Resource Management

The Natural Resource Coordinator oversees and implements land stewardship activities throughout the 4,400 acre park system.

Below is a list of information on current and upcoming projects.

  1. Current
  2. Upcoming Projects
Year Partners Location Project
2018-Present Washington County and Partners All Washington County Parks Natural resource planning effort to help guide and prioritize natural resource work across the entire county park system.
2013 - Present Friends of Mississippi River Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park Restoring over 62.5 acres of Oak Savanna, Dry Prairie within the Southern half of the park.
​-Most recently in the winter of 2019, they removed over 23 acres on the west side of ravine lake.
​-In the winter of 2020, FMR is expanding the Oak savanna restoration areas. More information will be posted.
2018/19 Pollinator Friendly Alliance Pine Point Regional Park Helping with restoring a 17 acre prairie known as Butterfly Landing. PFA and their volunteers have aided with Citizen science surveys, purchasing and spreading seed to increase floral diversity for pollinators, and planting over 2000 plugs.
2014 - 2019 Outdoor Heritage Fund Lake Elmo Park Reserve, Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park Washington County received a $430,000 grant from the Outdoor Heritage Fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature and recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC) to enhance and restore habitat at: Lake Elmo Park Reserve, 141 acres of oak forest, wetland, Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, 53 acres of oak forest, St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park, 55 acres of oak and mesic forest providing an overview of the project.
2018 - 2019 Great River Greening/Butler Family Foundation Lake Elmo Park Reserve Butler Family Foundation in partnership with Great River Greening helped establish 24.5 acres of prairie production plots at Lake Elmo Park Reserve, south of the barns. The fields were planted in spring, fall and winter of 2018, mowing is occurring during 2019 to help natives establish.
2019-2022 Outdoor Heritage Fund, Washington County, Washington Conservation District, United States Fish and Wildlife Service Lake Elmo Park Reserve Washington County received an expedited conservation partners legacy grant for a prairie restoration for the Rusty patched bumblebee SW of the North barns in Lake Elmo Park Reserve. Due to partnership with Washington Conservation District and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. We were able to expand the original planting from 32 acres to 48 acres. The prairie was planted in the spring of 2020 and was mowed throughout the growing season. Mowing is anticipated through 2021.
2019-2023 Outdoor Heritage Fund
​Washington County, Pollinator Friendly Alliance
Lake Elmo Park Reserve 17 acre Oak Savanna Restoration along the North half of Eagle Point Lake. In the Winter of 2019/2020, buckthorn was initially removed with no chemical used, goats are being used to graze re-sprouts, with Pollinator Friendly Alliance contributing seed to enhance the savanna. These species will be interseeded in the winter of 2020. In the winter of 2020, thinning of box elders will also be completed in the project area. Maintenance mow/graze will be done in 2021
2020 - 2023 Outdoor Heritage Fund, Washington County Lake Elmo Park Reserve Washington County received a Outdoor Heritage Fund grant to restore 166 acres of oak savanna and prairie in Lake Elmo Park Reserve. Project areas are on the west and north half of Eagle Point Lake.
​For the oak savanna restoration areas, in the winter of 2020/2021, buckthorn will be initially removed, followed by follow-up (goats and spot treatment of herbicide), thinning of box elder and interseeding.
​For the prairie restoration areas, Amur maple, honeysuckle and buckthorn are being forestry mowed in the fall/winter of 2020. In these areas, there will also be herbicide treatments ,mowing and burning.
2019 - 2021 Washington Conservation District/St. Croix River Association/South Washington Watershed District St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park In partnership with Washington Conservation District and St. Croix River Association, over 10 acres of former Ag field and turf grass was recently planted to native perennial vegetation in June of 2019. In addition to using a native seed mix, plugs were planted as part of the project. Areas will be mowed throughout the 2019 growing season.

​- In partnership with WCD, SCRA and SWWD, WC will be planting over 18 acres of prairie at SCB in fall of 2020/spring 2020.
2019, 2020 South Washington Watershed District Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park South Washington Watershed District brought in goats to help control garlic mustard and buckthorn within the Central Draw Overflow Storage Project area through the ravine.
2019 Xerces Society Lake Elmo Park Reserve Utilizing the Xerces Society Organic Site Preparation Methods resource manual, the parks is utilizing a soil inversion method on 4 acres of former cool season grass north of the Rustic Campground. Grasses are expected to be planted in July of 2019.  
2019 University of MN St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park A beetle bank research project is underway in the prairie restoration north of the main road at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park. For more information, stop by the park office for a 1 pager on the habitat being restored and what has been found to date.
2019 Washington County Sentence to Serve All Washington County Parks Washington County Sentence to serve program helps out with natural resource based projects through the county park system each week. These tasks involve undesirable shrub and diseased tree removal, fuel load reductions within oak savannas/oak woodlands, prairie plug and seed collecting, rain garden maintenance, tree planting and preparing temporary fence for the use of goats.