Restoring Oak Savanna in Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Turning off a busy Cliff Road in Eagan, into Lebanon Hills Regional Park, brings visitors into a vast natural area with miles of trails, a dozen small lakes, swimming beach, horse trails, campgrounds, and an education center.

This is Dakota County’s largest park and people throughout the metro area rank it as a favorite for its beauty,  accessible location, well-marked trails, and family-centric programs. Its popularity endures year-round, with people currently enjoying the cross country ski paths that wind throughout.

This year the County’s Natural Resources program launched an effort to improve the environmental health of more than 1,100 of the park’s 2,000 acres.

Included in the plan is the Star Pond Savanna Expansion, which, in partnership with Great River Greening, involves restoring 75 acres of woodlands and savanna between Portage and Marsh Lakes, near the scenic equestrian trails.

In January, Great River Greening began removing diseased and low-quality trees and shrubs in order to increase diversity and improve wildlife habitat. Brush pile burns and seeding will occur as the season allows, and a large volunteer planting event will take place in the fall.

This work is made possible by support from the Outdoor Heritage Fund and Dakota County Natural Resources progam.