Urban natural areas promote well-being, according to studies by the World Health Organization. They also play a critical role in cooling cities and provide space for community building.
With 75% of Minnesotans living in a city, these benefits are substantial. That number is projected to grow by 2040 – creating more need for accessible, healthy parks and public lands, wetland buffers, and greenbelts on the edge of towns.
Yet, many cities struggle to protect their parks and public lands from invasive plants, erosion, and biodiversity loss. Some lack the expertise on staff while others simply don’t have the financial resources to protect against further decline.
Great River Greening fills the gap for many of these communities. For more than 50 sites, annually, we provide resources, expertise, and engagement opportunities to transform degraded habitat into healthy, vibrant areas.
This year, we began a partnership with Rosemount to restore Carroll’s Woods/Schwarz Pond Park. The city’s population has grown from 8,700 to 21,000 in 20 years, and is expected to reach 30,000 by 2040. As Rosemount looks to its future, preserving its existing natural areas is a top concern.
Carroll’s Woods/Schwarz Pond Park is an important community park. It features 107 acres of secluded woodland with trails, a pond, and family-friendly play areas. But this treasured space is severely threatened by invasive species, diminishing plant diversity, wildlife, and the hiking experience.
Great River Greening ecologist, Becca Tucker, says the buckthorn is so established, the plants are tree-like and dominate the understory. Removing it will give new life to the area, bringing with it birds, pollinators, and healthy soil that will protect the pond from storm water runoff.
An Arbor Day volunteer restoration event is planned at this site. Learn more and register >
The Carroll’s Woods/Schwarz Pond Park project is made possible with support from the City of Rosemount and Outdoor Heritage Fund