2011 Accomplishments by Project

Seven-Mile Creek Watershed – Great River Greening began work on the first of several partnerships demonstrating that conservation impact can be made in agricultural watersheds. At Seven-Mile Creek (Nicollet County), a tributary of the Minnesota River and the only designated trout stream in the southern Minnesota region, Greening is working with several partners including the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Fishers & Farmers Partnership, Nicollet County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Major awards from the McKnight Foundation, RBC Blue Water Project, and Xcel Energy Foundation will help support this multiyear work targeting several watersheds.

Metro Conservation Corridors Partnership – Through this partnership, Greening has restored 1,100 acres across 37 sites over the past nine years. Among other 2011 projects, more than 100 volunteers removed invasive species at Ike’s Creek, one of the few native trout streams in the metro area, adjacent to the Minnesota Valley Natural Wildlife Refuge. Major funding from the Minnesota Environmental Trust Fund.

Anoka Sandplain Partnership – Rice Area Sportsmen’s Club Wildlife Management Area, Cedar Creek Ecosystem System Reserve, Rice Lake Savanna Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) and Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge were among the projects initiated in a major push for this 20-partner collaboration targeting restoration of natural habitat on public lands throughout this ecological region of east-central Minnesota. A total of 2,500 acres was restored, with at least another 1,000 planned for 2012. Over the past three years, we have raised nearly $2 million for restoring and enhancing Minnesota’s key natural assets in the region. Major funding from the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund through the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. Other funders includeBuuck Family Foundation, Centerpoint Energy, Great River Energy, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Rathmann Family Foundation, and Xcel Energy Foundation.

Metro Big Rivers Habitat Partnership – Work started in this newly formed Partnership to elevate conservation within habitat corridors along the Minnesota, Mississippi and St. Croix rivers in the Twin Cities Metro Area. 2011 projects included invasive species removal within calcareous fens at two state-owned SNAs. Major funding from the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund through the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.

St. Croix Blufflands and Floodplain – We are nearing completion on this collaboration with Audubon Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Washington Conservation District and other partners to improve migratory bird habitat throughout the lower St Croix River Valley. Five private landowners are in various stages of woodland restoration projects in selected focal areas and (72 acres); and three public lands projects (two sites at Franconia Bluffs SNA, and Lost Valley SNA) are in progress (140 acres). Major funding from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Other funders include Anderson Corporation, Bailey Nursery, Gordon & Margaret Bailey Foundation, and Hardenburgh Foundation.