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Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources

M.L. 2001 Projects

M.L. 2001 Projects

MN Laws 2001, First Special Session, Chapter 2, Section 14 (beginning July 1, 2001)

NOTE: For all projects, contact us to obtain the most up-to-date work programs for current projects (project updates are required twice each year) or the final reports of completed projects.

The following documents are short abstracts for projects funded during the 2002-2003 biennium. The final date of completion for these projects is listed at the end of the abstract. When available, we have provided links to a project's web site. The sites linked to this page are not created, maintained, or endorsed by the LCCMR office or the Minnesota Legislature.


Subd. 03  Administration
Subd. 04  Fish & Wildlife Habitat
Subd. 05  Recreation
Subd. 06  Water Resources
Subd. 07  Land Use and Natural Resource Information
Subd. 08  Agriculture & Natural Resource Industries
Subd. 09  Energy
Subd. 10  Environmental Education


Subd. 03  Administration
03aLegislative Commission on Minnesota Resources
03bPass Through Administration
03cLAWCON administration
 
Subd. 04  Fish and Wildlife Habitat
04aForest and Prairie Stewardship of Private Lands
04bState Fish Hatchery Rehabilitation
04cEnhancing Canada Goose Hunting and Management
04dBiological Control of Eurasian Watermilfoil and Purple Loosestrife-Continuation - RESEARCH
04eRestoring Minnesota's Fish and Wildlife Habitat Corridors
04fEngineering Support for Public Lands Waterfowl Projects
04gMetro Greenways
04hAcquisition of Lands as Scientific and Natural Areas
04iBig Rivers Partnership: Helping Communities to Restore Habitat
04jAcquisition and Restoration of Eagle Creek's Last Private Land
04kNeighborhood Wilds Program
 
Subd. 05  Recreation
05aMetropolitan Regional Parks Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Development
05bLocal Grants Initiative Program Outdoor Recreation Grants
05cRegional and Local Trail Grants (Part of Local Grants Initiative)
05dOutdoors for Everyone: Accessing Recreational Trails and Facilities
05eWater Recreation:Boat Access, Fishing Piers and Shorefishing
05fGrays Bay, Lake Minnetonka Public Water Access
05gMcQuade Small Craft Harbor
05hLand Acquisition at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
05iGateway Trail Bridge
05jState Trail Projects
05kGitchi Gami State Trail
05lForest History Center Interpretive Trail
05mMesabi Trail Facility
05nRegional Trailhead Building
05oDevelopment and Rehabilitation of Recreational Shooting Ranges
05pState Park & Recreation Area Land Acquisition
05qLAWCON
 
Subd. 06  Water Resources
06aAccelerated Implementation of Local Water Plans
06bGreen Infrastructure Design Strategies in Washington, Ramsey and Dakota Counties - GOVERNOR VETO
06cDenitrification Strategies for Minnesota's Contaminated Aquifers - RESEARCH
06dDetermination of Fecal Pollution Sources in Minnesota Watersheds - RESEARCH
06eMississippi Headwaters Board Environmental Economic Assessments
 
Subd. 07  Land Use and Natural Resource Info
07aHydraulic Impacts of Quarries and Gravel Pits - RESEARCH
07bGIS Management in Koochiching County
07cUpdating Outmoded Soil Surveys-Continuation
07dCounty Biological Survey-Continuation
07eLake Superior Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP)
 
Subd. 08  Agriculture and Natural Resource Industries
08aEvaluating Timber Harvesting and Forest Management Guidelines - RESEARCH
08bAgricultural Land Preservation
08cEnvironmental Practices on Dairy Farms
08dAccelerated Technology Transfer for Starch-Based Plastics - RESEARCH
 
Subd. 09  Energy
09Using Biodiesel in Generators
 
Subd. 10  Environmental Education
10aUncommon Ground: An Educational Television Series - GOVERNOR VETO
10bWaterScapes: Outdoor Non-Point Source Pollution Education
10cSustainable Inner- City Communities through Environmental Literacy
10dIntegrated Pest Management in Schools
10eBurn, Plant and Learn: Restoring Upland Habitats - partial RESEARCH
10fConnecting with Wildlife at the Minnesota Zoo
10gProject Green Start: Environmental Education
10hRaptor Propagation: Student Education
10iHennepin Parks Farm Education
10jResidential Environmental Education for Youth
 
2002 Appropriation
ML 2002, Chapter 220, Section 8, Subd. 1 Uncommon Ground: An Educational Television Series


Funding Sources: (**note: all projects are TF, unless otherwise noted)
Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (TF)
Future Resources Fund (FRF)
Oil Overcharge (OOC)
Great Lakes Protection Account (GLP)


Subd. 03  Administration


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Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources
Subd. 03a    $1,065,000 TF/MFRF

John Velin, Director
LCMR
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd.
65 - State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-2406
Email:  lccmr@lccmr.leg.mn
Fax:  (651) 296-1321
Web:  https://www.lccmr.leg.mn

The LCMR Administrative Budget, including budget for Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) expenses.


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Pass Through Administration
Subd. 03b    $150,000 TF/MFRF

Bill Becker
DNR, Office of Management and Budget Services
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-2406
Email:  bill.becker@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 296-1321

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
To administer this program DNR staff redesigned and improved LCMR agreement forms and related. Improvements include addition of an appendix showing required actions to acquire land with LCMR funds, an updated agreement conforming to statutes and revisions of confusing passages. DNR developed and delivered information to recipients ensuring recipients have the knowledge necessary to comply with LCMR and other state regulations. Staff reached sub-recipients, such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as initial pass through recipients. Staff met personally with each project manager and their fiscal staff, providing them with a draft manual. That manual reached final form in the fall of 2003.

A few recipients failed to comply with requirements. Improper claims for reimbursement were rejected. DNR acted to guarantee a clear hearing of recipient problems. When possible staff resolved the problem. Sometimes staff helped recipients articulate their issues with LCMR staff and cooperatively work out a solution. Examples include cash flow issue resolution, developing supporting materials enabling reimbursement of lumped expenses, and developing rationale to support stipend reimbursement. DNR implemented a program guaranteeing quick payment of requests for reimbursement that reimburse only allowable expenses. Generally expenses are reimbursed in a day or two.

Finally, DNR reconciled the expenditures in a major appropriation to enable the recipient's efforts to make the state whole regarding a number of LCMR and DNR program allocations to the recipient. In addition the staff reviewed other recipients' claims resolving issues regarding indirect and unsupported expenditures.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
The results of this project are used and disseminated through written materials such as manuals and forms. Staff meets personally with recipients, contacts them frequently by e-mail and phone and provides information at meetings arranged for by LCMR staff.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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LAWCON Administration
Subd. 03c    $320,000 MFRF

Wayne Sames
DNR, Office of Management and Budget Services
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-1567
Email:  wayne.sames@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651)296-6047

To the commissioner of natural resources for administrative expenses consistent with Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.14. See 5(q) below for details on the LAWCON project facilities funded.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


Subd. 04  Fish and Wildlife Habitat


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Forest and Prairie Stewardship of Private Lands
Subd. 04a    $545,000 TF

Doug Anderson
DNR
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4044

Phone:  (651) 296-4467
Email:  doug.anderson@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 296-5954
Web:  http://www.foreststeward.org/

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
This project was highly successful in providing management plans for 190 private forest landowners on 19,750 acres and 40 private prairie landowners on 4,166 acres. These plans are the foundation for protecting the forest and prairie resources on private lands in Minnesota.

The plans also provide direction for enhancement of these resources by cost shared management activities on the land. On the prairie lands, the landowners become eligible for prairie habitat assistance through the Landowner Incentive Program for Prairie Species at Risk, and other conservation programs.

The forest portion of the project included funding for cost share practices. This portion funded 3298 acres of tree and shrub planting and seeding; 1076 acres of forest stand improvement; 1167 acres of planting site preparation; 18 acres of grass seeding; 2739 feet of fencing; creation of 2 wetlands, 2 wildlife openings and 6 wildlife water facilities. 50% of this was funded by the owners as a cost share match. The plans also made this forested land eligible for additional cost share projects.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
This program involves private forestry consultants, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, forest industry, The Nature Conservancy, the US Forest Service, the Minnesota Forestry Association and other conservation groups. Information about it has been disseminated through forestry publications, brochures handed out at fairs and events, and through web sites. Considerable information travels by word of mouth as well.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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State Fish Hatchery Rehabilitation
Subd. 04b    $145,000 MFRF

Linda Erickson-Eastwood & Darryl Bathel
DNR
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-0791
Email:  linda.erickson-eastwood@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 297-4916
Web:  http://www.dnr.state.mn.us

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
This project resulted in the improvement and maintenance of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife's Lanesboro Hatchery so that rainbow trout and brown trout can continue to be stocked in trout waters statewide. The work that was done included the following two projects.

  1. Design and construction of a cover and sides to enclose the brood stock raceways. This provided the State's rainbow trout and brown trout brood fish low light conditions for a more comfortable environment and protection from predators. This structure also provided a much improved work environment for employees for handling and spawning these brood fish.

  2. Design and construction of eight new concrete raceways. This project allows for better employee access to these raceways making feeding, cleaning and fish removal chores more efficient. The raceways also facilitate public viewing of the fish held in the raceways.

The hatchery rehabilitation program exists to improve and maintain statewide facilities for fish culture, rearing, and holding. There are 17 fish hatcheries statewide including 5 coldwater hatcheries that provide trout and salmon and 12 warmwater hatcheries that provide walleye, muskellunge, channel catfish, and smallmouth bass. Approximately 1,333 lakes and 125 streams are stocked with fish raised at these facilities.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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Enhancing Canada Goose Hunting and Management
Subd. 04c    $340,000 MFRF

**Bill Becker
DNR, Office of Management and Budget Services
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-2406
Email:  bill.becker@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 296-1321

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
This project piloted the notion that paying people who own land near concentrations of nuisance geese to allow hunters on their land to hunt the nuisance geese would be a good way to thin nuisance goose flocks and provide recreation opportunity. The key resource management problem addressed stems from the fact that farmers near goose concentrations suffer economic harm from crop depredation by geese. The project also included measuring willingness to pay for the hunting experience, so as to ascertain whether this could be self-financing.

The project was conducted during two early season nuisance goose hunts and included landowners statewide, but concentrated near nuisance flocks in the Grand Rapids area, west central Minnesota, and southeast Minnesota. Landowners were paid to allow hunters on their land to hunt geese, and to leave forage crops for geese. Over the two seasons an estimated 2,000 to 2,700 nuisance geese were taken. Hunters surveyed were willing to pay $11.50 per day per hunter to gain access to the land. The leases paid the landowner $500 per season per set-up area for a hunting group. All in all the hunters were moderately satisfied, rating their hunting experience as medium to good (2.4) on a five point scale where 1= very poor and 5 = excellent.

Anecdotally, DNR field representatives found this to be a positive way to work with landowners suffering crop depredation by geese.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
The pilot project is complete. The legislature was contacted about continuing the program using other funds. No additional funds were appropriated.

Project completed: 06/30/2004 ** as amended in ML 2003


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Biological Control of Eurasian Watermilfoil and Purple Loosestrife-Continuation
Subd. 04d    $90,000 TF

Luke Skinner
DNR
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4025

Phone:  (651) 259-5140
Email:  luke.skinner@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 296-1811

RESEARCH

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
The purpose of this research was to evaluate biological controls for Eurasian watermilfoil, Myriophyllum spicatum, and purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, two exotic aquatic plants that are degrading Minnesota's aquatic resources statewide. Researchers found that the milfoil weevil, Euhrychiopsis lecontei, can cause sustained declines of the invasive, non-native Eurasian watermilfoil if sufficient densities of the insect are maintained throughout the summer each year. Unfortunately, in many lakes, weevils do not reach adequate densities, or their densities do not persist through the summer over several years, to sustain control. In many lakes, sunfish appear to limit densities of the milfoil weevil, and so prevent sustained declines in Eurasian watermilfoil. Also, sustained control of this non-native plant is likely to require an increase in rooted native plants following reductions in the amount of the invasive species. For a complete description of the Eurasian watermilfoil research, see Newman (2004).

Evaluation of purple loosestrife biological control found that the leaf-beetles, Galerucella spp., can provide long-term control of purple loosestrife. As purple loosestrife populations were reduced, the diversity of other plant species increased (Skinner et al.2004). Galerucella ssp. populations fluctuate over time in response to purple loosestrife abundance. At some sites, the leaf beetle populations declined and have not rebounded, suggesting control may vary depending on a number of factors Galerucella spp. did not impact two native Lythrum species. Although Galerucella larvae were present and some feeding observed on swamp and winged loosestrife, plant growth or reproductive parameters were not affected (Stamm Katovich et al. 2004). Galerucella spp. can readily disperse and colonize purple loosestrife infestations within wetlands and across landscapes. Galerucella spp. on average, dispersed 5 km to new purple loosestrife infestations within 3 years. The maximum dispersal distance recorded was 20 km. Beetles were found in 85% non-release sites visited (McCornack et al. 2004).

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
Results of this project will be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and also in special publications and newsletters. Results also will be presented at national, regional and state scientific meetings to peers in the field, as well as to resource managers and planners who will use the results of this project. Currently, the research results are used in decision making for management activities in the state. For example, recent results provide guidance for releasing purple loosestrife control agents and what to expect after release. A list of future publications can be found in the final report.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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Restoring Minnesota's Fish and Wildlife Habitat Corridors
Subd. 04e    $11,745,000 TF

**Matt Holland
Pheasants Forever
679 W. River Drive
New London, MN 56273

Phone:  (320) 354-4377
Email:  ringneck@tds.net
Fax:  (320) 354-4377

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
The Habitat Corridors Partnership was formed to work together to restore, enhance, and conserve habitat corridors for the purpose of sustaining fish, wildlife, and native plant communities. The Partnership provides for statewide coordination of existing federal, state and private land and water conservation programs and focuses resources on identified habitat corridors.

Using land acquisition, conservation easements, and restoration, the 18 participating corridors partners used existing programs in eleven designated project areas to connect fragmented habitats, strengthen migration routes, and enhance species ability to reproduce and survive. The partnership expended $11,739,273 of ETF funds directly impacting 31,343 acres (23,841 acres restored or managed, 3,710 easement acres acquired, 3,792 fee-title acres acquired) and brought $39,480,571 in other funds to Minnesota through this partnership ($3.36 for every Environmental Trust Fund dollar) directly impacting 32,763 acres (3,093 acres restored or managed, 25,727 easement acres acquired, 3,943 fee-title acres acquired).

Lands acquired in fee-title by the partnership are open to the public for uses consistent with land management system in which they are enrolled (e.g. Wildlife Management Area System). The Partnership would like to acknowledge the numerous agency, NGO, and private partners who assisted with project accomplishments.

Partners include: Ducks Unlimited; MN Deer Hunters Association; MN Department of Natural Resources Divisions of Ecological Services, Fisheries, Forestry and Wildlife; Minnesota Land Trust; U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service; National Wild Turkey Federation; The Nature Conservancy; Pheasants Forever; The Trust for Public Land; U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs; Red Lake Band of Chippewa; Leech Lake Band of Chippewa; Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust, Inc.; MN Board of Water and Soil Resources; The Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. The Habitat Corridors Partnership website is at http://www.mnhabitatcorridors.org.

Project completed: 06/30/2005 ** as amended in ML 2004.


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Engineering Support for Public Lands Waterfowl Projects
Subd. 04f    $275,000 MFRF

Tom Landwehr
Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
5824 Churchill Street
Shoreview, MN 55126

Phone:  (651) 283-3838
Email:  tlandwehr@ducks.org
Fax:  (651) 765-9929
Web:  http://www.ducks.org

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
Ducks Unlimited (DU) staff provided survey, engineering design, construction management and other technical assistance services to DNR and US Fish and Wildlife Service on 24 wetland projects encompassing more than 4,500 acres. Additionally, DU worked with DNR and other partners to identify funding sources for completing most of these projects. To date, 8 of these projects have been completed (1,308 acres), 11 are in process for completion in the next 18 months (2,802 acres), and 5 are stalled indefinitely for a variety of reasons (410 acres). The projects are located throughout Minnesota. Since they are all on public land they provide several benefits, including: increased wildlife habitat, better public recreational opportunities, and increased management potential. Because funding for technical assistance is often a limiting factor - especially for projects in the feasibility stage - these funds helped catalyze many of these projects. At least $572,899 of additional funding for projects was secured by DU to date, and completion of these 24 projects will involve many hundreds of thousands of other dollars - all leveraged by the appropriation.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


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Metro Greenways
Subd. 04g    2,730,000 TF

Peggy Booth
DNR
1200 Warner Rd
St. Paul, MN 55106

Phone:  (651) 772-7562
Email:  peggy.booth@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 772-7977
Web:  http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/greenprint/metro-green.html

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
The goal of Metro Greenways is to protect, connect and restore a metro-wide network of significant natural areas and open spaces. Though administered and coordinated by the DNR, Metro Greenways relies on partnerships with a wide range of nonprofit conservation organizations, government agencies, and private landowners to achieve this goal.

Many local governments lack the staff, expertise, and resources to adequately assess and protect significant natural resources located within their boundaries. By focusing much of its effort on encouraging and assisting local conservation initiatives, Metro Greenways empowers communities to protect and improve the natural resources that are important to them. At the same time, the coordinated seven-county scope assures that individual projects contribute to a regional network of green spaces and natural areas.

The two primary components of this project were:

1. Natural Resource Planning Grants:

Metro Greenways awarded 11 planning grants to local governments to inventory and assess 241,474 acres of land for natural resource protection and restoration opportunities. Trust funds totaling $219,808 leveraged an additional $335,148 in local and other state funds.

The natural resources information, plans and partnerships developed through these planning grant projects engaged local citizens and government officials in natural resource planning and decision-making and built local support for the vision of a regional network of natural areas, parks, and other open space.

2. Land Protection and Restoration:

Metro Greenways also provided technical and financial assistance to augment other federal, state, regional and local efforts to protect and improve significant natural areas. Four parcels totaling 221 acres were acquired in fee, and six parcels totaling 178 acre were permanently protected with the acquisition of conservation easements. In addition, a 40-acre tract of rare sand prairie was restored. Metro Greenways funds of $2,509,443 leveraged an additional $6,954,294 of private, local, federal and other state funds to help complete these projects.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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Acquisition of Lands as Scientific and Natural Areas
Subd. 04h    455,000 TF

Bob Djupstrom
DNR
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 297-2357
Email:  bob.djupstrom@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 296-1811
Web:  http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fish_and_wildlife/sna/

Funding provided to acquire Scientific and Natural Areas (SNA) this biennium used to acquire critical lands with plant communities such as native prairie and rare species habitat. A total of 30 landowners were contacted concerning land protection. Of these, 8 agreed to have an appriaisal conducted resulted in approximately 179 acres of land being acquired as SNAs with the Trust Fund. These lands were acquired at Prairie Coteau SNA in Pipestone County (92 acres), Sedan Brook SNA in Stearns County (40 acres), Cottonwood River Prairie SNA in Brown County (approx. 2 acres), and Pine Bend Bluffs SNA in Dakota County (45 of 118 acres with funds provided to SNA).

At least 4 other appraisals are underway as a result of landowner contacts made during this project. One of the parcels appraised during this period will be acquired with new funds in the metro area this biennium. In addition, due to contacts made during this acquisition project, another 2 landowners have since agreed to have appraisals conducted.

In summary, funds provided through the Trust Fund have been successfully used to protect critical tracts of land as State Scientific and Natural Areas for nature plant communities and rare plant and animal species. In addition, contact made with landowners during this period are resulting in new land appraisals that in turn will result in the protection of additional parcels of land with rare and unique natural resources, in the future.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


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Big Rivers Partnership: Helping Communities to Restore Habitat
Subd. 04i    $910,000 TF

Deborah Karasov
Great River Greening
35 West Water Street, Suite 201
St. Paul, MN 55107-2016

Phone:  (651) 665-9500
Email:  dkarasov@greatrivergreening.org
Fax:  (651) 655-9404
Web:  http://www.greatrivergreening.org/

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
Led by Great River Greening, the Big Rivers Partnership is one of the first important restoration collaborations in the state, bringing together nonprofit, government and private landowners to restore river valley habitat in the Twin Cities. Guided by ecological and resource criteria, projects were located within the important and beautiful Mississippi River Gorge running through Minneapolis and Saint Paul; the Pine Bend Bluff Natural Area, a regionally significant ecological resource on the urban Mississippi; the Minnesota River Valley, a critical and unmatched urban corridor of wetland and associated upland habitat; and numerous native plant community remnants. Projects consisted of plant and animal surveys and restoration activities that regularly engaged volunteers. More than 3,600 volunteers participated in habitat projects, triple the goal. The partnership also leveraged over $1.3 million in non-state funds, almost double the goal, and implemented restoration on over 1,500 acres, 150% of the goal.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
Great River Greening lists projects and surveys on its website, promoting them to partners, cooperators, and landowners. Where possible, we work with cooperators to continue stewardship beyond state funding with volunteers or other community members. The Partnership also completed an ecological ranking of sites within the river valleys to complement the regionally significant areas identified by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and disseminated the ranking information through various conservation forums. The success of the project proves that multiple organizations can work together to achieve conservation goals.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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Acquisition and Restoration of Eagle Creek's Last Private Land
Subd. 04j    $910,000 MFRF

Ann Mahnke
City of Savage
13770 Dakota Avenue
Savage, MN 55378
Phone:  (612) 447-8333

Email:  mahnkea@ci.savage.mn.us

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
The City of Savage acquired 16.45 acres of land bordering Eagle Creek, one of the last naturally producing brown trout streams in the metropolitan area. This land was the last privately owned parcel within the Eagle Creek corridor and for over 35 years was the site of warehouse, shop, open storage and other industrial uses that were incompatible with the state designated trout stream. In cooperation with the DNR, who owns all other riparian parcels along the creek, the City of Savage deeded over approximately 11 acres of land for inclusion into the Eagle Creek Aquatic Management Area. The total corridor now consists of approximately 80 acres and includes the east and west branches as well as the headwaters of Eagle Creek.

The City of Savage contributed approximately $3.5 million for the purpose of acquiring the entire property. The city used condemnation proceedings to acquire the property along with two commercial buildings on site. The use of condemnation, although successful in meeting the ultimate goal, was much more costly than the city anticipated. Several businesses that were tenants on site had to be relocated and the city had to pay for those relocation costs. In addition, site improvement costs were bore by the city in order to bring the property into compliance with city and state codes. Although the city received $910,000 in support, it ultimately cost the city $2.6 million or $237,000 per acre to acquire this property.

The benefit of purchasing the property will be realized for years to come. The site has been cleaned up and is no longer an eye sore in the community. The previous commercial activity on site has been eliminated and is no longer a threat to the sustainability of the creek. Significant state and local resources have been spent to protect this state designated trout steam, a worthwhile cause now and for future generations to come.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
The result of this project has provided more awareness and action on the part of adjacent landowners and partners in the Eagle Creek AMA. Cleanup days, invasive species removal, planting projects and management plans for the entire corridor have been completed since the project has been underway. The DNR has been active in implementing management strategies for both in-stream and upland areas. The Eagle Creek AMA Advisory Committee has been meeting regularly and is working closely with the Mdewakanton Sioux Community to include the entire corridor in the National Register of Historic Places. Local and governmental media have cooperated in disseminating information on special events and also keeping the public aware of activities that occur throughout the year. A joint effort is currently underway for a special event some time in the fall of 2003, to publicize the fact that the entire corridor is now protected.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


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Neighborhood Wilds Program
Subd. 04k    $135,000 MFRF

Don Mueller
DNR
1200 Warner Road
St. Paul, MN 55106

Phone:  (651) 772-6148
Email:  don.mueller@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 772-7599

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
The purpose of the Neighborhood Wilds Program is to provide education and technical assistance to suburban property owners that will encourage them to manage their landscape in an ecologically rational manner. Sixteen neighborhoods that are adjacent to significant natural areas were targeted with a series of workshops. Information presented in the workshops was tailored for the unique natural resource challenges and opportunities found in that neighborhood. Each of the 300 participants received a notebook containing aerial photographs, publications selected for the neighborhood, and a Suggested Activity Plan that provided direction on landscape management for private residential lots as well as collectively-owned property. If participants would implement some or all of the items in the Activity Plan, it would make their property healthier from an ecological perspective and provide a buffer for the adjacent natural area. Acting collectively the participants could be much more effective than each of them taking a few small steps on their own.

Nine of the neighborhoods that hosted workshops were selected to also receive funds to implement portions of the activity plan. These neighborhoods would serve as demonstration projects to encourage others to manage their landscape in a similar fashion for the protection and enhancement of remaining natural areas. Approximately 100 acres of land was treated directly by restoring native plant communities, removing exotic species, and buffering streams and wetlands. Indirect benefits can be attributed to a much larger area because the projects protected significant natural resources like the Seminary Fen, the St. Croix River, the Vermillion River bottoms, and the Maplewood Nature Center.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
The primary dissemination of information occurred during the series of neighborhood workshops. However, the workshop format and materials are now available to DNR staff and partner organizations so that future workshops can be organized with a minimal amount of effort. The master list of publications from which the notebooks were created will be available on the DNR web site. Most of the demonstration sites are readily accessible by the public so they can be used to educate other property owners who are interested in changing their landscape management practices.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


Subd. 05  Recreation


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Metropolitan Regional Parks Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Development
Subd. 05a    $5,645,000 TF

Arne Stefferud
Metropolitan Council
Mears Park Centre, 230 East 5th Street
St. Paul, MN 55101-1360

Phone:  (651) 602-1360
Email:  arne.stefferud@metc.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 602-1442

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
Funds from the Trust Fund appropriation were matched on a 60/40 basis with bonds issued by the Metropolitan Council, which were then granted to regional park implementing agencies as subgrants. The subgrants financed the following capital improvements:

  1. Partially finance the acquisition of the 699-acre St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park in Washington County.

  2. Acquire 1/2 acre, replace a play structure, plant 300 trees and construct a trail between the East and West Bush Lake areas of Hyland-Bush-Anderson Lakes Park Reserve in Bloomington.

  3. Partially finance the acquisition of 37.5 acres in Lake Waconia Regional Park, Carver County.

  4. Acquire about 50 acres of land within approved boundaries of regional parks, park reserves, and trails in Dakota County.

  5. Partially finance the acquisition of a 400-acre parcel for the Doyle-Kennefick Regional Park in Scott County.

  6. Finance the first phase construction to rehabilitate the Como Conservatory's fern room and the growing house in St. Paul.

  7. Continue rebuilding trails and restoring the shoreline of Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park.

  8. Construct a campground visitor center building, related parking lot and utilities, relocate the equestrian center, build 1.5 miles of paved trails and install signs at Bunker Hills Regional Park, Anoka County.

  9. Partially finance the rehabilitation of 7 miles of paved trail originally constructed in 1978 at Baker Park Reserve, Three Rivers Park District.

  10. Rebuild 9.3 miles of paved trail and boardwalk originally constructed in 1978 at Elm Creek Park Reserve, Three Rivers Park District.

  11. Begin to replace the beach bathhouse, seating terrace at the beach, a boardwalk trail, and path connections at Theodore Wirth Regional Park, Minneapolis.

  12. Reimburse Dakota County for a sewer connection to picnic areas at Lebanon Hills Regional Park the county installed in 1996 and for youth group camp improvements at Spring Lake Park Reserve the county constructed in 1994.

  13. Develop a part of three sections of the North Hennepin Regional Trail, Three Rivers Park District: 1) Elm Creek Park Reserve to Fish Lake Regional Park, 2) U.S. 169 to Theodore Wirth Regional Park, 3) Luce Line State Trail to West Medicine Lake.

  14. Build 650 ft. of a historic plank road, a pedestrian path system within the lower tailrace area, and stabilize/restore exposed historic ruins in the "Mill Ruins Park" portion of Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park, Minneapolis.

  15. Begin building a picnic area at Sucker Lake in Grass-Vadnais-Snail Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
The parks that received capital improvement funds from the Trust Fund appropriation hosted 12,837,400 visits in 2003, or 42% of the total visits to the Metropolitan Regional Park System (30,500,000).

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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Local Grants Initiative Program Outdoor Recreation Grants
Subd. 05b    $5,080,000 TF/MFRF

Wayne Sames
DNR
500 Lafayette Road, Box 10
St. Paul, MN 55155-4010

Phone:  (651) 296-1567
Email:  wayne.sames@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 296-6047

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
Local Initiative Grant programs provide matching grants to local governments and private organizations to acquire and develop land for outdoor recreation and open space; to implement fish, wildlife and native plant habitat improvement projects; and for conservation projects to protect and enhance the environment.

Project funds were divided among the programs as follows:

Natural and Scenic Area grants $1,630,360
Regional Park (Outside Metro) grants $799,640
Local Park (Outdoor Recreation) grants $1,000,000
Conservation Partner grants $601,229
Environmental Partnership grants $298,771
Legislatively Designated Projects $750,000
Total $5,080,000

For the Local Parks, Natural/Scenic and Regional Park grant programs a total of 34 projects were completed. A total of 953 acres of land was acquired, including Mississippi River and Cannon River shore land and bluff land, big woods remnants, native prairie, a tamarack bog, and shoreline on two lakes and a trout stream. Numerous outdoor recreation facilities were developed, including campgrounds, nature trails, picnic shelters, beach improvements, athletic courts and fields, playgrounds, boat and canoe accesses, and rest rooms.

For the Conservation Partners/Environmental Partnerships grant programs about 100 projects have been completed (several projects have balances that must be claimed by August 30, 2004). A variety of habitat projects have been completed, including prairie and forest restoration and replanting; fish habitat restoration; shelterbelts; shoreline/wetland restoration; beaver control; wood duck box construction and placement; wild rice bed protection; installation of buffer strips; buckthorn and other exotic plant removal; resource inventory, assessment and mapping; GIS data base development to guide restoration and promote research; water quality assessments; runoff control measures; erosion control; and several research projects related to habitat improvement.

The three legislatively designated projects resulted in improvements to a nature center in St. Louis Park and a paved bicycle trail in Chanhassen. The Lake Links Trail project period was extended to June, 2006 and results will be reported then.

Project Results, Use and Dissemination:
Information from those Conservation Partners/Environmental Partnership projects involving research or information development has been disseminated in various ways. Information on specific projects can be provided on request.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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Regional and Local Trail Grants
Subd. 05c    $1,000,000 MFRF

Tim Mitchell
DNR
500 Lafayette Road, Box 10
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651)297-1718
Email:  tim.mitchell@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (65)297-5475

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
Every year the department solicits grant proposals from local governments for local trail connections, and regional trails outside the metro area. Project proposals for all of these programs are evaluated and ranked on a competitive basis. The LCMR approves a priority ranked list presented by the DNR. If one or more approved projects subsequently are dropped from the list, the DNR is authorized by the LCMR to reallocate those funds to the next highest ranked project.

Descriptions of the grant programs are as follows:

Local Trail Connections Grant Program - helps link communities to trails and parks through development of connecting trail segments. The maximum grant amount of $50,000 was established administratively and is not defined in statute.

Regional Trail Grant Program - provides grants of up to $250,000 to cities, counties, and townships for development of regionally significant trails funded with local or federal funding. Primary determinants of significance include length, expected use and resource quality and/or attractiveness.

Projects funded through this appropriation are listed below:

RecipientProjectCostGrant MilesProject Name & Status
City of Brainerd$100,000$50,0001.0Boom Lake Trail Completed
City of Oakdale$100,000$50,0000.5Hadley Avenue Trail Completed
IRRRB$120,000$50,0000.0Highway 53 Underpass Completed
City of Warroad$120,000$50,0000.4Warroad Trail Connection Completed
City of St. Francis$45,000$21,9130.6Seeyle Brook Trail Completed
City of St. Francis$75,620$36,3411.3Rum River Trail Completed
City of Mountain Lake$87,350$43,6750.5Mountain Lake Trail Completed
City of Duluth$200,000$20,0000.1Lincoln Park Trail Completed
City of Osakis$79,380$39,6901.6Central Lakes Trail Completed
City of Hill City$360,000$30,0000.0Hill Lake Trail - Phase 2A In Progress
City of St. Michael$100,000$50,0000.8School Creek Trail West Completed
City of Northfield$77,963$38,9000.5Sibley Swale Park Trail Completed
Stearns County$1,140,000$250,0009.3Lake Wobegon Trail - III Completed
Stearns County$468,000$113,0003.6Lake Wobegon Trail - IV In Progress
Mille Lacs County$1,656,400$90,0000.0Soo Line Bridge - T.H. 169 In Progress
Totals$4,729,713$933,519*20.2miles

* Funds granted to not equal appropriation due to projects that were given grants but failed.

This project due to be completed approx. June 30, 2006 (the availability of the financing for this project is extended to equal the period of the federal grant).


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Outdoors for Everyone: Accessing Recreational Trails and Facilities
Subd. 05d    $230,000 TF

Mike Passo
Wilderness Inquiry
808 - 14th Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone:  (612) 676-9400
Email:  greglais@wildernessinquiry.org
Fax:  (612) 676-9401
Web:  http://www.wildernessinquiry.org

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
Wilderness Inquiry has conducted Universal Design / Accessibility Consultations in 71 different agencies, comprising approximately 181 separate recreation areas. Following is a summary of the outdoor elements surveyed as compared to those proposed in the original grant:

Outdoor Developed Element# Proposed# Actual% Accomplished
Trails and Access Routes (miles):130108.683%
Picnic Areas:40170425%
Camping Areas:2037185%
Beaches and Swimming Ponds/Pools:1012120%
Playgrounds:50112224%
Fishing Piers / Sites:n/a56n/a
Visitor Centersn/a12n/a

In comparison to the stated goals for this grant, these numbers constitute an average of a 200% increase over the original proposed number of elements estimated to be assessed under current funding levels.

Wilderness Inquiry conducted research and completed a report on the viability and means of sustaining the Outdoors for Everyone program beyond the current funding cycle. This final report fully outlines the means by which the program can be sustained in the future and provides an action plan that Wilderness Inquiry will follow to further develop this program.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
WI has calculated, compiled, and sent reports of the findings from each park's Universal Design Consultation to all 71 agencies served.

At the close of the Outdoors for Everyone project, 109 recreation areas have agreed to post the findings of their Wilderness Inquiry park assessments on Minnesota's Accessibility Guidebook. By upgrading the existing web site to a database-driven website, we have the capacity for all surveys to be continually updated by park managers, park users and WI staff. This creates a progressively better information source as time goes on with little additional outlay of money outside of the Outdoors for Everyone Project.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


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Water Recreation: Boat Access, Fishing Piers and Shorefishing
Subd. 05e    $910,000 TF

Michael Markell
DNR
Trails and Waterways Division, 500 Lafayette Road, Box 52
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-6413
Email:  mike.markell@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 297-5475

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
This project provides the public with access to lakes and rivers statewide. Access includes boat access, fishing piers and shore fishing improvements. Access opportunities are provided to people with or without a boat, to people of all ages and race, and to people with a diverse range of physical abilities.

Throughout various regions of the state, five water access sites were developed, three parcels of land were purchased to provide new or expanded access, fifteen fishing piers were purchased and installed, three existing piers were modified, and two shore fishing sites were constructed. Access sites are treated with best management practices to protect shorelines, uplands and wetlands.

Minnesotans greatly appreciate public access to the state's lakes and rivers as evidenced by the large number of boats registered and fishing licenses sold. It's no secret that our lakes and rivers are an integral part of the social and economic fabric of the state. Studies have shown that water access sites are not just for boaters, but are used by birdwatchers, people who want to view the lake, or as a place to stop and relax. Fishing piers are popular places for children to recreate and to pick up a life long interest in fishing and the outdoors. Boaters benefit by having additional access to water through high quality boat launch facilities that are safe and convenient. Local units of government gain benefit via grants and technical assistance for providing new or improved access.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
The public water access sites, fishing piers and shore fishing areas will be identified on the DNR's system of water access maps and the DNR website. Signs will be posted on each access site, fishing pier and shore fishing project giving attribution to the environment and natural resources trust fund.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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Grays Bay, Lake Minnetonka Public Water Access
Subd. 05f    $2,850,000 TF/MFRF

Michael Markell
DNR
Trails and Waterways Division, 500 Lafayette Road, Box 52
St. Paul, MN 55155-4052

Phone:  (651) 296-6413
Email:  mike.markell@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 297-5475

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
The DNR acquired over 5 acres of land on Lake Minnetonka and constructed the Gray's Bay Public Water Access in cooperation with the City of Minnetonka. The Trust for Public Land was instrumental in negotiating the acquisition and donated $10,000 toward the project. The acquisition cost was $6,000,000 with $4,000,00 appropriated from state bonds and $2,000,000 from this appropriation. The City ran the public process, which included a task force that met for over 2 years. The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District were active partners providing funding and/ or support. The City of Minnetonka as part of the overall Access plan, is converting the former small boat accesses on the Gray's Bay Causeway to a shorefishing site and the Dam site to a canoe launch for Minnehaha Creek and shorefishing on the lake. The City of Minnetonka also operates a public gas dock and provides for site maintenance on all the sites.

The development contains a 112 car/trailer parking lot, 3 launch ramps 21 car only parking spaces restrooms and accessible walkways to shorefishing. It is the largest boat access in the state. The design includes sophisticated stormwater management and native vegetation plantings. The boat access site is needed because from DNR and LMCD boating studies 27% of the boating in the metro area is done on Lake Minnetonka.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
The DNR and the City of Minnetonka held a grand opening on Jun 5, 2002 which was well publicized in the local media. There were feature article in the local newspapers over several months. The site has signing on County Road 101 and is identified by DNR and LMCD access maps.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


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McQuade Public Access
Subd. 05g    $500,000 MFRF

Michael Markell
DNR
Trails and Waterways Division, 500 Lafayette Road, Box 52
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-6413
Email:  mike.markell@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 297-5475

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
The project is construction of a small craft harbor on Lake Superior developed in cooperation with the DNR, US Army Corps of Engineers, and local governments. Other sources of funding totaling $7,350,000 include state bonding, county state aid road funds, and federal Corps of Engineers' funds. An agreement was signed between the Corps of Engineers and the DNR on March 10, 2004 for construction of the project. Under the agreement, the DNR was required to transfer state funds to the Corps and the transfer took place in late spring 2004. The Corps then bid the project in the summer of 2004 and is responsible for completion of construction which started in October. The protected harbor at McQuade Road will provide boat access and shelter from storms for a wide range of boating activities (primarily fishing). The facility includes a 3.1 acre harbor basin created by modified berm-like breakwaters, boat launch ramps, docks at the ramps, and 60 car/trailer and 23 car only parking areas. The project includes lighting, walkways, landscaping, and shore fishing structures. A bridge is being constructed on County Road 61 to allow boaters to access the launch ramps underneath. Future plans include restrooms and a fish cleaning station. The project is the result of a fourteen-year extensive planning process incorporating stakeholder and local communities' interests. Partners include the City of Duluth, Lakewood and Duluth Townships, and St. Louis County-all parties to a Joint Powers Agreement. Construction will be completed by fall 2006.

When completed, the project is intended to serve all citizens by providing both shoreline and boat access. The safe harbor will provide a park-like setting, and in addition to boating and shore fishing, citizens will be able to experience the lake from shore or by accessing the breakwater on an accessible route.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
The project will be identified on DNR maps and the DNR website. A grand opening will be planned upon completion and the media will be notified.

Project completed: 06/30/2004 ** as amended in ML 2003


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Land Acquisition at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Subd. 05h    $730,000 TF

Peter J. Olin
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum/ U of M
PO BOX 39
Chanhassen, MN 55317

Phone:  (612) 443-14712
Email:  peter@arboretum.umn.edu
Fax:  (612) 443-2521
Web:  http://www.arboretum.umn.edu/

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
The objective of the Arboretum's land purchase is to protect its watershed from development.

During this phase, the Arboretum purchased 10 acres from one property owner, and 7 acres from another property owner. Funds expended included $730,000 from the LCMR 2001 allocation, approximately $121,000 from the Trust Fund 2003 allocation, and approximately $851,000 in private match.

Arboretum research and education programs are recognized internationally, and over 250,000 people visit annually. A major part of the visitor experience is the ambience of woodland, prairie, wetlands, gardens, and model landscapes, all set in prime land in the western metro area.

Control of all lands within the roadways surrounding the Arboretum core will protect water quality and native plant habitat, and preserve the visitor experience. This land includes over 90% of the Arboretum's watershed.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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Gateway Trail Bridge
Subd. 05i    $530,000 MFRF

Tom Danger
DNR
Trails and Waterways Division, 500 Lafayette Road, Box 52
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-4782
Email:  tom.danger@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 297-5475

A trail bridge was constructed over Hwy 96.

Project completed: Summer 2004


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State Trail Projects
Subd. 05j    $910,000 MFRF

Tom Danger
DNR
Trails and Waterways Division, 500 Lafayette Road, Box 52
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-4782
Email:  tom.danger@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 297-5475

To provide matching funds for state trail projects eligible to receive federal TEA-21 funds.

Project completed: 06/30/2008 ** as amended in ML 2004


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Gitchi Gami State Trail
Subd. 05k    $1,000,000 TF

Kevin Johnson
DNR
1568 Hwy #2
Two Harbors, MN 55616

Phone:  (218) 834-6240
Email:  kevin.johnson@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (218) 834-6639

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
The Gitchi-Gami State Trail: Gooseberry to Split Rock Connector segment is a 3.5-mile non-motorized trail development project. When completed the Gitchi-Gami State Trail will be a contiguous 86-mile trail from Two Harbors to Grand Marais along the beautiful North Shore of Lake Superior.

This project completed the trail alignment, designed, engineered, and constructed 3.5 miles of trail between Gooseberry Falls State Park and Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. The addition of this segment will be making a contiguous trail of 15.6 miles through Gooseberry Falls State Park, Thompson Beach, Twin Points, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, and to the Beaver River in Beaver Bay. One mile of this 3.5 mile trail between Gooseberry Falls Sate Park and the Split Rock River were able to utilized existing public lands at Thompson Beach, Twin Points Public Water Access, and Iona's Beach (Scientific and Natural Area).

This project provided better access for trail users, fisherman, hikers, and other park visitors to these public lands. Trail users at the Split Rock River Bridge, and the Ryholite Cliff Bridge can experience spectacular view of Lake Superior, the mouth of the Split Rock River, and Iona's Beach (Scientific and Natural Area). This trail segment also connected two of the most visited State Parks in Minnesota. With the development of this trail system along the North Shore of Lake Superior recreational opportunities have improved for in-line skater, bicyclist, fisherman, hikers, and other park visitors. On the Split Rock River to Beaver Bay segment of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail an average of 1,500 trail users a month have been enjoying this trail each month during the summer.

Project completed: 06/30/2005 ** as amended in ML 2003


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Forest History Center Interpretive Trail
Subd. 05l    $90,000 MFRF

Robert "Skip" Drake
Minnesota Historical Society
2609 County Rd. 76
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Phone:  (218) 327-4482
Email:  skip.drake@mnhs.org
Fax:  (218) 327-4483
Web:  http://www.mnhs.org/foresthistory

The newly redesigned and re-engineered Forest of Today Trail at the Minnesota Historical Society Forest History Center makes this possible for all persons regardless of their physical limitations.

The one mile long, Forest of Today trail, an integral part of a 3-mile trail system, has been re-graded and resurfaced with class five aggregate to be fully ADA wheel chair accessible. It has been augmented with two Minnesota Historical Society funded learning stations designed to enhance the usability of the trail and to increase educational programming opportunities for all persons.

Twenty thousand people, including between 4000-5000 students visit the Center annually and experience how the Center connects people to forests through educational, meaningful and entertaining experiences so they appreciate and understand the importance of forests past, present and future to their lives. To fully integrate the upgraded trail and learning stations, new educational programs are being developed by forestry experts and exhibit professionals that will take students and the public into the woods for meaningful and memorable immersion experiences.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


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Mesabi Trail Facility
Subd. 05m    $190,000 MFRF

Bob Manzoline
St. Louis & Lake Ctny Reg. Rail Auth.
801 SW Hwy 169, Suite 4
Chisholm, MN 55719

Phone:  (218) 254-2575
Email:  bob.manzoline@ironworld.com
Fax:  (218) 254-7972

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
Mesabi Trail Central Facility was designed, land acquired and plans completed for road and utility accesses to the site at Rouchleau mine in the Hwy 53 trail corridor area. Cottage Creek Studios performed overall design of facility, DSWG Architects performed architectural functions and Benchmark Engineering civil engineering components. Plans are complete to proceed with construction of facility including roadway access and utilities.

Mesabi Trail Central Facility, or Trail Central, is integrated into a much larger Master Plan for the Mesabi Trail project. Trail Central is one component of the 132-mile long Mesabi Trail and will be an important point of access and departure for Mesabi and other trails systems in Northern Minnesota.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
Trail Central will serve trail users and guests to Mesabi Trail, other trail systems and visitors to Northeast Minnesota. It is an access point to information and more importantly a departure point for finding many resources in this region. This project completes the second step in this project with the third and final step being construction. Information from this design and planning process will assist moving forward into construction as we have a complete set of plans and information we can use to demonstrate how this facility will function.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


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Regional Trailhead Building
Subd. 05n    $135,000 MFRF

Roger Clark
Itasca County Land Department
123 NE 4th Street
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Phone:  (218) 327-7347
Email:  Roger.Clark@co.itasca.mn.us
Fax:  (218) 327-2848

Completed construction of the Itasca County Regional Trailhead Building located at the Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids, MN. The facility is approximately 5000 square feet in size and is designed to function as a multi-purpose trail user information center, including external and internal kiosks, a contact station, handicapped accessible restrooms, a multi-purpose meeting room for trail user groups, training needs, and other activities. The facility also provides an office space for the County Park System and the Itasca County Agricultural Association. Grand Rapids is a popular tourist area for thousands of visitors. Many visitors are including recreational trail use in their vacation plans. This facility is the starting/ending point for several well known and popular public recreational trails.

The State Taconite Snowmobile Trail running from Grand Rapids to Ely (170 miles), connecting hundreds of miles of snowmobile trail. External kiosk and bathroom facilities are available during daylight hours and internal information will be made available during special events.

The Itasca County bike trail running 6 miles north to Gunn Park located along the Highway 38 National Scenic Byway and,The Mesabi Bike Trail (bituminous), currently being developed from Grand Rapids to Ely, connecting 20 plus Iron Range communities (132 miles in length). As this trail gains more popularity, this facility will be made available to thousands of visitors to the Itasca County area. This facility is the first of several main trailheads which are planned to be located along the Mesabi Bike Trail.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


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Development and Rehabilitation of Recreational Shooting Ranges
Subd. 05o    $910,000 MFRF

Chuck Niska
DNR
500 Lafayette Rd.
St. Paul, MN 55155-4047

Phone:  (651) 297-2449
Email:  chuck.niska@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 297-3727

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
Key objectives of this project included:

To rehabilitate or start safely run rifle and pistol ranges. Forty total rifle and pistol ranges were worked with, including building 8 new facilities. To work with new trap and skeet facilities; 11 grants were for new trap and skeet facilities. To update and improve existing trap and skeet facilities; 20 facilities received rehabilitation grants. To address environmental concerns; nine grants were awarded to address these concerns. To improve shooting range site access, based on ADA Standards: 21 grants were awarded for this purpose. To provide utility upgrades, so that either lighting improvements, hand washing for lead removal, or ADA standard bathroom upgrades could be provide. Thirteen grants were issued for this purpose.

A total of 63 range operations received 81 grants. Fourteen recipients were original participants during the 1999/2001LCMR grant program, when 30 ranges received grants. So, since 1999, a total of 79 ranges have received $1,142, 600 in state match funding to make new shooting ranges, or range improvements.

The positive impact of the range development or improvement projects on Minnesota's shooting sports capacity varies locally for each range, based on parameters such as physical location, population (both local & regional), date of project completion, prior history and activities undertaken by the recipient organization. Three range groups receiving grants were approached for specific, detailed information regarding how their obtaining a grant improved their range. Each group was chosen for a specific reason: one group's range existed prior to 1999; another range was begun during the first cycle of the grant program, and the third during the 2001 grant cycle. These are best chronicled in an accompanying attachment. All other recipients have likewise been asked to return similar information.

A discussion of recommendations to improve the quality of the project will be included in the Final Report's Outline of Project Results. Accomplishments of the first four years are included in the booklet Outdoor Ranges: Best Practices.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


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State Park & Recreation Area Land Acquisition
Subd. 05p    $1,726,000 MFRF

Larry Peterson
DNR
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4039

Phone:  (651) 296-0603
Email:  larry.peterson@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 296-6532

Overall Project Outcomes and Results:
The purpose of this project was to acquire in-holdings from willing sellers within state park and recreation area boundaries. Approximately 1153 acres in the following locations were completed using the 2001 appropriation:

  • Big Bog SRA - 200 acres
  • Crow Wing - 115 acres
  • MN Valley SRA - 5 acres
  • Frontenac - 38.5 acres
  • William O'Brien - 55 acres
  • Nerstrand Big Woods - 6.2 acres
  • Cuyuna County SRA - 691 acres (partial divided interests)
  • Split Rock Light House - 42 acres
  • Mille Lacs Kathio - 0.27 acres

This appropriation is significant in that it continues the progress toward reducing the backlog of acquiring private in-holdings within statutory state park boundaries. These private in-holdings currently total about 52,000 acres.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
Parcels acquired have been shown on updated state park boundary maps, and have been described in the MN State Park Traveler newspaper and other publications.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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LAWCON
Subd. 05q    $740,000 MFRF

Wayne Sames
DNR - OMBS, Box 10
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4039

Phone:  (651) 296-1567
Email:  wayne.sames@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 296-6047

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
The key objective of the federal LAWCON grant program is to assist state and local governments in the acquisition, development and redevelopment of outdoor recreation areas and facilities. The FFY 00 and 01 LAWCON reimbursements were used to acquire, develop and redevelop 20 local park areas and one state park. The types of facilities funded included:

7 Picnic Areas
10 Trails
11 Playgrounds
9 Walkways/Parking
3 Beaches
5 Restroom/Shower Buildings
5 Athletic Courts
1 Ball Field
2 Landscaping/Lighting
1 Campground
1 Fishing Pier
1 In-line Skating Facility

In addition, 54.6 acres of new park land was acquired.

The state park project involved the construction of a new campground at Lac Qui Parle State Park.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
The projects resulted in acquisition, development and redevelopment of the above described facilities.

Project completed: 06/30/2004 ** as amended in ML 2003


Subd. 06  Water Resources


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Accelerated Implementation of Local Water Plans
Subd. 06a    $1,365,000 MFRF

Marybeth Block
Board of Water and Soil Resources
One West Water Street
St. Paul, MN 55107

Phone:  (651) 297-7965
Email:  marybeth.block@bwsr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 297-5615
Web:  http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
Grants were awarded to 23 projects identified as high-priority actions in water management plans of local government units, enabling them to carry out water protection measures beyond what their general budgets would have afforded. All grant monies were matched with cash at a minimum of one-to-one. Some examples of projects carried out by implementation category are cited below.

Eleven projects installed land or water treatment measures. Nobles County installed best management practices saving an estimated 32,000 tons of soil annually. Polk County repaired bank erosion in Crookston that had exposed sewer pipes posing a severe threat to the Red Lake River. Cover crops planted on canning crop acres saved an estimated 10,000 tons/yr of soil in Mower County.

Five projects focused on resource plans or environmental controls. Lake of the Woods developed a comprehensive wetland management plan and wetland ordinance. Olmsted and Dodge counties developed a stormwater management and capital improvement plan for the 297 square miles South Zumbro Watershed. This plan aims to protect natural stream corridors, drainages and other hydrologic features of this unique area.

Four projects carried out monitoring and assessment activities. North Cannon WMO monitored water quantity and quality, and macorinvertebrates in the Pine Creek and Trout Brook subwatersheds. Itasca County modeled the impacts of varying levels and types of lake development, and from that data developed specific recommendations to the county relating to present and future land use.

Three projects focused on inventory and mapping. Carnelian Marine WD inventoried the unique communities associated with the springs along the St. Croix River and prescribed long-term protection and management strategies. This plan is being used by WDs and WMOs in with their water management plan updates.

Each project disseminated the results in the manner most appropriate. Many used websites, newspaper articles and fact sheets.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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Green Infrastructure Design Strategies in Washington, Ramsey and Dakota Counties - Governor Veto
Subd. 06b    $275,000 MFRF

Mary Vogel
U of M
110 Architecture & Landscape Building, 89 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone:  (612) 626-7417
Email:  vogel001@maroon.tc.umn.edu
Fax:  (612) 624-5743
Web:  http://www.cala.umn.edu

To develop green infrastructure design strategies for incorporation into public works projects.


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Denitrification Strategies for Minnesota's Contaminated Aquifers
Subd. 06c    $230,000 TF

Paige J. Novak
U of M
122 Civil Engineering, 500 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone:  (612) 626-9846
Fax:  (612) 626-7750

RESEARCH

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
Nitrate (NO3-) is a common groundwater pollutant that has been linked to cancer and methemoglobinemia. We have developed a technology to stimulate biological NO3- reduction (denitrification) by supplying hydrogen (H2) to groundwater via gas-permeable membranes. Autotrophic bacteria consume the dissolved H2, converting NO3- to NO2- and then to N2. The purpose of this project was to investigate this technology at a field scale, determining whether it could be successfully scaled-up and if so, developing protocols for its use. The site that was used (in Becker, MN) was non-ideal, as it contained extremely high NO3- (22.81.98 mg- NO3--N/L) and dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations (71 mg-DO/L), and was very deep (48.20.5 ft to groundwater). Membranes installed in groundwater wells at the site were successful in delivering H2 to the groundwater over the two-year operating period. The added H2 stimulated DO and NO3- reduction, degrading up to 7 mg/L DO and converting up to 10.0 mg/L NO3--N to NO2--N when operated passively. Complementary laboratory and modeling studies showed that complete DO reduction and denitrification to N2 was possible with the aquifer material and groundwater from the site, but required phosphate addition (9.621.25 mg-P/L as a nutrient) and better contact between the membranes and the passing groundwater. Because of this, water was recirculated in the field from downgradient to upgradient membrane-containing wells to increase the number of times a parcel of water was exposed to H2. The depth to groundwater caused some difficulty with water recirculation, resulting in water reoxygenation. It was determined that this technology can be used at a field-scale to denitrify water that contains extremely high quantities of NO3- and DO, but it should only be used at shallow sites to avoid reoxygenation during water recirculation and to facilitate closer placement of membrane-containing wells.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
Results have been disseminated at several Minnesota Water conferences. In addition, two manuscripts are being written and will be submitted for publication this fall (2004), likely to the journal Water Research.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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Determination of Fecal Pollution Sources in Minnesota Watersheds
Subd. 06d    $275,000 MFRF

Dr. Michael J. Sadowsky
U of M
Dept of Soil, Water & Climate 1991 Upper Buford Circle 439 Borlaug Hall
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (612) 624-2706
Email:  sadowsky@soils.umn.edu
Fax:  (612) 625-6725
Web:  http://www.ecolirep.umn.edu

RESEARCH

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
We used a library of DNA fingerprints, created using the rep-PCR and HFERP techniques, in an attempt to define sources of fecal bacterial pollution, E. coli, in three Minnesota watersheds, Minneopa Creek (Blue Earth County), High Island Creek (Sibley County), and Vermillion River (Dakota County). Sampling from 10 sites per watershed took place in 2001 and 2002. Approximately 25 E. coli isolates were obtained from each site per sampling date. About 1,776, 1,651, and 1,762 E. coli were DNA fingerprinted from the Vermillion River, High Island Creek, Minneopa Creek Watersheds, respectively. The most reliable results from data came from bootstrap analyses of fecal bacteria segregated into Human vs. Non-human categories, or into groupings consisting of Humans, Pets (dogs and cats), Waterfowl (geese, ducks), Wildlife (deer), and Domesticated animals (chickens, cows, goats, horses, pigs, sheep, turkeys). Analysis of the Vermillion River showed that 93 and 6.1 % of the isolates identified were of Non-Human and Human origin, respectively. The greatest potential contributors to fecal pollution in this watershed were domesticated animals (23 %), pets (45%), and deer (19%). Similar results were found with the Minneopa Creek isolates, where 90 and 10% of the isolates were from non-human and human origin, respectively. Of these 23% were from Domesticated animals, 36% from Pets, and 21% from deer. In contrast, while 84 and 16% of High Island Creek isolates were Non-Human and Human sources, respectively, the majority came from domesticated animals (42%, mostly from cows), with the remainder contributed by geese, 14%, and humans 16%. It should be noted however, that our research showed that much larger database of DNA fingerprints is needed for more accurate assignments to the animal level. A reliable bacterial source tracking method would aid watershed managers tremendously, giving them another tool to efficiently direct efforts to clean watersheds of bacterial pollutants.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
Results from this project have been disseminated in reports made to the LCMR, in periodic update reports made to cooperators, in seminars given throughout the state, nationally and internationally, and in scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals. In addition, results from our studies are posted and will be updated on the E. coli rep-PCR web page (see http://www.ecolirep.umn.edu/) which is housed on computers at the University of Minnesota, Department of Soil, Water, and Climate. A Website specific for this project was developed as part of our previous LCMR projects. Data obtained from our studies will be utilized by cooperating agencies and the U.S. EPA to prioritize pollution abatement efforts, implement best management practices, and validate existing pollution prevention efforts in the three watershed areas.

E. coli rep-PCR web page (see http://www.ecolirep.umn.edu/) which is housed on computers at the University of Minnesota, Department of Soil, Water, and Climate. The website specific for this project was developed as part of the 1999 LCMR project and was updated throughout this project period.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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Mississippi Headwaters Board Environmental Economic Assessments
Subd. 06e    $100,000 MFRF

Jane E. Van Hunnik
Mississippi Headwaters Board
PO Box 3000
Walker, MN 56484

Phone:  (218) 547-7263
Email:  cass.mhb@co.cass.mn.us
Fax:  (218) 547-7376
Web:  http://www.mhbriverwatch.dst.mn.us

The project funding was for two main components: 1) accelerating the river watch watershed monitoring program and 2) assessing the relationship between water quality and lakeshore property price variability. A report was produced titled "Lakeshore Property Values and Water Quality: Evidence from property sales in the Mississippi Headwaters Region". by Drs. Patrick Welle and Charles Parson at Bemidji State.

The findings and implications of the "Lakeshore Property Values and Water Quality" report are:

Water quality was shown to be a significant explanatory variable of lakeshore property prices in all lake groups in both versions of the model. Water quality has a positive relationship with property prices.

Site quality, the other environmental variable used in the Minnesota (MN) model, was found to be significant in four of the six lake group and the relationship is negative in the other three lake groups.

Using the estimated hedonic equations from the MN model, the implicit prices of water quality were determined and calculations were made to illustrate the changes of water quality were determined and calculations were made to illustrate the changes in property prices on the study lakes if a one-meter change in water clarity would occur. Expected property price changes for these lakes are in the magnitude of tens of thousands to millions of dollars. The evidence shows that managements of the quality of lakes is important to maintaining the natural and economic assets of this region.

As of fall 2004, study results have been presented at over 40 meetings and conferences, including one international conference.

Link to the report: http://info.bemidjistate.edu/News/currentnews/lakestudy/lakestudy.pdf The report is also available on CD Rom.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


Subd. 07  Land Use and Natural Resource Info


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Hydraulic Impacts of Quarries and Gravel Pits
Subd. 07a    $320,000 TF

Jeffrey A. Green
DNR
2300 Silver Creek Road NE
Rochester, MN 55906

Phone:  (507) 285-7429
Email:  jeff.green@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (507) 285-7144

RESEARCH

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
Project results are documented in the final report entitled Hydrologic Impacts of Quarries and Gravel Pits, 2005, Pavlish, J.A.; Green, J.A.; Merritt, R.G. and Leete, J.L., Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Waters.

During the course of this project three sand and gravel mines and five rock quarries were evaluated in an effort to begin to quantify several aspects of the hydrologic impacts of aggregate mining. Climate monitoring was conducted at five of these sites and ground-water level monitoring networks were established at six sites, which included the drilling of nine wells with project funds. Project partners and other funding provided the remaining ground-water level monitoring wells for network buildout. Taken together, the research at these sites provides the first comprehensive look at aggregate mining impacts on ground-water systems in Minnesota. This information can be used for planning purposes at the state and local level. It can also be used to guide the siting of new aggregate mines and to more accurately assess their impact on local ground-water resources.

A foundation has been laid for identifying the natural resource impacts of pits and quarries, which will aid both state and local decision-making as we seek to avoid negative impacts on the resource and on neighbors in the vicinity of aggregate extraction sites.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
The project final report is available on the DNR web site. The results of this project will be used by DNR hydrologists as they make permitting decisions about aggregate pits and quarries, by local governments faced with the same types of decisions, and by responsible owners of pits and quarries as they plan their operations to avoid conflicts with neighbors and with resources dependent on ground water and surface water.

Report: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/publications/waters/quarries_impacts.html

Project completed: 06/30/2005


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GIS Management in Koochiching County
Subd. 07b    $70,000 MFRF

Jaci Nagle
Koochiching County
715 4th Street
International Falls, MN 56649

Phone:  (218) 283-1171
Fax:  (218) 283-1104

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
Several sources of information were utilized to create a parcel layer shapefile to assist with the GIS management in Koochiching County. This parcel layer will be an invaluable tool in the performing of GIS functions and data analysis within the county.

The final product contains 58,536 individual polygons . Of this total, 18,771 have data extracted from the AS/400 and are clearly identified as parcels from the property tax system; 213 polygons are miscellaneous in that they are identified by the local unit of government or agency identified as the owner; 7,587 polygons are identified as parcels owned by the State of Minnesota; 7,281 are identified as tax forfeited property (also State of Minnesota); and 2,806 are identified as Federal land.

This product contains information currently being sought under Hazard Mitigation and Emergency Response endeavors. It will provide for overall better land management including but not limited to planning and zoning, sales ratios, land use, timber harvesting, forfeited land sale, road construction, etc.

GIS users throughout the county departments can access the parcel layer and joined data via county purchased ArcView software programs/PC systems. Such access will facilitate prompt responses to taxpayer, realtor, state and local agency and other informational requests.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
The parcel layer has already been utilized for both tax forfeit land sale management and to provide information for a joint member economic development agency. The data resides on a file server and is available for access by several county departments. A concerted effort has been made to ensure that all county processes include dissemination to the GIS Technician, facilitating the maintenance of the product. The metadata for this product is available on the ARDC Data Clearinghouse.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


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Updating Outmoded Soil Surveys-Continuation
Subd. 07c    $500,000 TF

Greg Larson
Board of Water and Soil Resources
One West Water Street
St. Paul, MN 55107

Phone:  (651) 296-0882
Email:  greg.larson@bwsr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 297-5615

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
Existing soil surveys for three counties, Goodhue, Fillmore and Wabasha, were orthorectified by the University of Minnesota, Department of Soil, Water and Climate. About 75 percent of Dodge County, the fourth and final county in the project area, was completed. Dodge County will be completed by June 30, 2005 as part of final map finishing. These orthorectified products are being used to develop a legend for update mapping, editing soil lines and as an interim digital soil survey. The BWSR hired (from county funds) a student intern-GIS graduate student-to assist the NRCS staff with line editing. Two private sector soil scientists worked under contract with BWSR (using county funds) to collect soil data for legend development and soil interpretations. Through June 30, 2003 seven hundred eighty transects (780), including over 7,800 soil cores to a depth of 80 inches, have been described. These data are providing essential information concerning the use and management of soil, and will assist in the update of soil interpretations. Development of a legend to guide update mapping is about 90 percent complete. Update mapping is underway in areas that have a legend. About 1,400,000 (of 1.65M) acres has been addressed in the four county project area. Research at the UM focused on the investigation of methods to incorporate remotely sensed imagery into the making of soil maps, including interactive delivery of soil survey information over the Internet.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
As data is certified as accurate, it is made available to the public. Interim digital products, including soil lines, will be available before June 30, 2006. Members of the project team make frequent presentations to local government staff and officials in the project area.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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County Biological Survey-Continuation
Subd. 07d    $800,000 TF

Carmen Converse
DNR
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-9782
Email:  carmen.converse@dnr.state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 296-1811
Web:  http://www.dnr.state.mn.us

Overall Project Outcomes and Results:
The Minnesota County Biological Survey (MCBS) is a systematic survey of rare biological features that began in 1987. The goal of MCBS is to identify significant natural areas and to collect and interpret data on the distribution and ecology of rare plants, rare animals, and native communities.

MCBS has completed surveys in 57 of Minnesota's 87 counties since 1987. In this biennium, field surveys were completed in Aitkin, Carlton, Crow Wing, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, and Pope counties and continued in Douglas and Itasca counties. In Cook, Lake and St. Louis counties, surveys, continued in North Shore Ecological Subsection and expanded into the Laurentian Highlands and Toimi Uplands subsections. They began in Todd County and the un-surveyed portions of Becker and Otter Tail counties.

In this biennium, new records of 1,324 locations of rare features were added to the DNR Rare Features Database. Since MCBS began in 1987, 14,105 new records have been added by MCBS. Since July 2001, 453 vegetation samples (releves) were added to statewide Releve Database, for a total MCBS contribution of 3,219 samples of the over 7,400 records now in the database. These vegetation data have been analyzed resulting in a revision of MN Native Plant Community Classification. Since 1987, 16 species of native plants and two species and 1 hybrid of amphibians not previously documented in MN have been recorded by MCBS.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
Published maps of MCBS results in 24 counties are available upon request. Digital files of native plant community and MCBS sites of biodiversity significance are available on the DNR "Data Deli" for 32 counties. (See the Division of Ecological Services on the DNR website www.dnr.state.mn.us.)

A report, Minnesota County Biological Survey: Landscape Study Areas and Sites of Crow Wing County, MN was delivered to Crow Wing Cunty to assist with countywide planning.

A Compact Disk, Survey of Biological Features in the Glacial Lakes and Morraines Landscape of West-Central Minnesota. Biological Report No. 76 includes summaries and maps of results. Two high priority prairies identified by MCBS in this landscape have been protected as natural areas. Advice was provided to the US Fish and Wildlife Service regarding an important prairie in Meeker County.

Staff participate in DNR's Subsection Forest Resource Management Planning team for the three subsection, were members of DNR's area field teams, provided comments on the Chippewa and Superior National Forest plans, reviewed data layers for discussion of sustainable forest management as part of the Manitou Collaborative, provided vegetation mapping for the Lower St. Louis River Habitat Plan, and produced reports and vegetation maps for use in State Park management.

Aquatic plant data collected at 277 lakes are available for use in Itasca County's Lake Sensitivity and Classification project designed to provide analysis of lakes to help direct zoning and planning.

A DNR publication, Field Guide to the Native Plant Communities of Minnesota: the Laurentian Mixed Forest Province is in press and will also be available on the DNR website.

Project proposals for potential natural areas at Myhr Creek Ridge (Cook County), Ice Ramperts (Aitkin County) and 6 sites in Pope and Kandiyohi counties were presented to the Commissioners Advisory Committee resulting in their nomination as projects. Survey results were presented at 7 county board meetings.

MCBS results were featured in a series of "Case Studies of communities" (see DNR website).

Project completed: 06/30/2003


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Lake Superior Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP)
Subd. 07e    $87,000 GLPA

Cari Lohse-Hanson
PCA
520 Lafayette Road North
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-9134
Email:  carri.lohse-hanson@pca.state.mn.us

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
Manufacturing of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) has been discontinued but use of PCB bearing equipment continues. PCBs are one of nine toxic chemicals targeted by the Lake Superior Zero Discharge Demonstration. This project's objective was to assist owners of small quantities of PCBs to remove contaminated polemounted transformers in the Lake Superior watershed.

  • Four utilities shared their transformers' serial numbers with the MPCA. The agency compared their serial numbers to manufacturing serial numbers. 720 transformers (about 4%) were on the manufacturers' list of transformers that may contain PCBs.
  • The MPCA visited each of the suspect transformers in the Lake Country Power and Cooperative Power and Light districts within the Lake Superior watershed. The coordinates were entered in a GPS unit and the closest body of water was also entered. This allowed the MPCA to prioritize transformers using the distance to water.
  • Lake Country Power volunteered to remove all of their 292 suspect transformers, although the contract could cover only a portion of the cost.
  • Cooperative Power and Light contracted to replace 145 suspect transformers manufactured by GE that were closest to Lake Superior. (GE transformers are most likely to contain PCBs and are therefore a priority.)
  • The City of Grand Marais contracted to replace 14 suspect transformers and test others.
  • Summary: This project and voluntary actions by participants will result in the replacement of 82% of the transformers owned by the three facilities that participated and 64% of the suspect transformers originally identified.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
The project manager has been asked to assist the MPCA with PCB phase-out agreements per MN Stat. 116.07, subd. 2b. Results will be distributed to other Great Lakes states when the project ends at the end of the federal fiscal year.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


Subd. 08  Agriculture and Natural Resource Industries


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Evaluating Timber Harvesting and Forest Management Guidelines
Subd. 08a    $200,000 MFRF

Charles R. Blinn
U of M
1530 Cleveland Avenue North
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (612) 624-3788
Email:  cblinn@forestry.umn.edu
Fax:  (612) 625-5212

RESEARCH

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
The purpose of this long-term effectiveness monitoring study is to determinate the extent to which Minnesota's forest management guidelines, once applied, protect the site-level forest resources that are potentially impacted by timber harvesting activities. Within this biennium, the study objectives were to locate and establish treatment sites, harvest the sites, and collect pre-harvest and immediate post-harvest data.

Eight sites were established on public lands in northern Minnesota. Pre-treatment vegetation, stream, and breeding bird data were collected. Seven of the eight sites were harvested during the winter of 2003/2004 and immediate post-harvest data was collected.

Preliminary vegetation data suggest differences in canopy and regeneration biomass following harvest. Preliminary data for snag and coarse woody debris suggests that coarse woody debris volume increased following harvest treatments, but snag volume decreased slightly. Most of the increase in the volume of coarse woody debris was attributed to logging debris from harvest.

The streams represent the array of aquatic environmental conditions expected across northern Minnesota and can be broadly categorized as trout streams or mudminnow streams. There was much more variation in habitat and biota among streams than among reaches within streams.

Bird communities within the riparian area varied geographically and were related primarily to amount of coniferous and sugar maple vegetation on the sites. Breeding bird communities changed between years, with the riparian treatment plots showing a significant difference in community composition after the treatment was applied. More bird species that were associated with early-successional habitats occupied the treatment sites after they were harvested. This result is consistent with our previous breeding bird studies on riparian harvest that have been conducted in northern Minnesota over the past 10 years.

Additional project details are available through a separate report to LCMR.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
Because data collection is still taking place, data were only available for select variables at the time of project completion. As long-term data has yet to be collected or analyzed, it is too early to evaluate responses from the applied treatments. Most questions we are addressing need to be evaluated over the long-term and it may not be appropriate to draw conclusions even after all the first year post-harvest data is collected and summarized. Ongoing sampling will continue in the years to come and from this research we hope to better understand riparian forests and how timber harvests affect their function and productivity. We also hope to contribute to a greater understanding of how different silvicultural prescriptions applied within riparian zones can meet long-term ecological objectives of long-lived, diverse stands and healthy ecosystems.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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Agricultural Land Preservation
Subd. 08b    $205,000 TF

Robert Patton
Dept of AG/Dakota County
90 West Plato Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55107

Phone:  (651) 296-5226
Email:  bob.patton@state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 297-7678
Web:  http://www.mda.state.mn.us

Overall Project Outcomes and Results:
This project consisted of five results to implement agricultural land preservation plans and programs and rfine and demonstrate agricultural land preservation tools:

  1. The Development Impact Assessment Model (DIAMaTR) was used to study the local budgetary impact of alternative residential growth patterns, from compact to sprawling, in three cities (Oronoco, Pine Island, and Long Prairie), counties (Goodhue, Olmsted, and Todd), and townships (Oronoco, Pine Island, and Long Prairie); two water and sewer utilities (Pine Island and Long Prairie); and two school districts (Pine Island and Long Prairie-Grey Eagle).

  2. An outline of curriculum on fiscal impact analysis and a training manual were produced.

  3. A GIS-based agricultural land preservation model for identifying and prioritizing lands to be preserved for agricultural use was completed by Todd County.

  4. An implementation program was produced for the Dakota County Farmland and Natural Areas Plan, leading to a $20 million bond referendum to purchase easements for farmland and natural areas protection.

  5. Contacts were made with over 150 landowners and over 30 personal conservation proposals were prepared, resulting in 29 farmland protection and 22 natural area protection applications. The County identified top priority farmland and natural area applications; and hired a Farmland and Natural Area Program Manager to negotiate these landowners.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
Six individuals were trained in use of DIAMaTR at the City of Pine Island, Region 5 and Region 7E Development Commissions. Presentation were made on agricultural land preservation, fiscal impact analysis and DIAMaTR results to the Oronoco City Council and planning and zoning committee (approximately 20 people in attendance), Pine Island city staff (three people), and the Todd County Board of Commissioners (approximately 40 people in attendance). In Dakota County, workshops were held with 8 cities and 9 townships, and program guidelines were released and posted on the website.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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Environmental Practices on Dairy Farms
Subd. 08c    $245,000 MFRF

Bob Lefebrve
Minnesota Milk Producers Association
413 South 28th Avenue
Waite Park, MN 56387

Phone:  (320) 203-8336
Email:  mmpa@cloudnet.com
Fax:  (320) 203-8322
Web:  http://www.mnmilk.org

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
The Minnesota Milk Producers Association (MMPA) and project partners developed the Environmental Quality Assurance (EQA) program.

The EQA program assists dairy producers in complying with environmental quality regulations and certifies producer achievement of rigorous environmental quality standards in five major topic areas (Water Quality, Odor and Air Quality, Soil Quality and Nutrient Management, Habitat Quality and Diversity, and Community Image).

The EQA program worked with a total of 105 Minnesota dairy producers of which 52 achieved EQA "FIVE-STAR" Certification.

Steps in the Process to Achieve EQA "FIVE-STAR" CERTIFICATION:

Step 1: Send in Your Application.
Step 2: Develop Your Environmental Action Plan.
Step 3: Implement Your Plan.
Step 4: Achieve EQA Certification.
Step 5: Continue to be a Positive Example of Excellence in Environmental Stewardship.

Producers develop their farm's Environmental Action Plan based on how their farm scored on the EQA Assessment. The Assessment identifies levels of management practices in each of over 100 categories. The Assessment together with the farm's EQA Technician help the producer develop an Environmental Action Plan.

Producers were further encouraged to invest in environmental improvements by the EQA Incentive Fund which provided up to $5000 per farm (1:1 match required) for projects identified in the farm's Environmental Action Plan. An investment of just over $70,000 in EQA Incentive Funding resulted in more than $345,000 in total projects completed (21% incentive).

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
The EQA program has been recognized by USDA: NRCS in the EQIP docket for Minnesota and by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) as a valuable tool for achieving environmental results.

MPCA and MMPA have agreed to work together to continue to make the EQA program available to Minnesota dairy producers.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


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Accelerated Technology Transfer for Starch-Based Plastics
Subd. 08d    $90,000 OOC

Kim A. Stelson
U of M - Department of Mechanical Engineering
111 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone:  (612) 625-6528
Email:  kstelson@me.umn.edu
Fax:  (612) 625-9395

RESEARCH

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
A patented process, to make starch-based plastics has been developed University of Minnesota. U of M starch-based plastics are biodegradable and can be made from corn, wheat or soybeans. The purpose of this project is to help move this technology out of the laboratory and into everyday life. We will raise public awareness of biodegradable plastics by distributing spoons made of U of M starch-based plastic with milkshakes sold by the Gopher Dairy Club at the Minnesota State Fair. We will also distribute literature describing the benefits of this new technology.

Starch based plastic - a completely biodegradable material containing 70% Minnesota grown and renewable resource such as starch and proteins were injection molded into a milkshake spoons. The current polymer is a blend of natural and synthetic polymer and is completely biodegradable. It degrades in a compost as well as in soil and marine environments. The material can be processed into end products having acceptable physical and chemical properties pertaining to their end use. The increased environmental friendliness of the product may open an avenue for increased usage of farm commodities and other renewable resources. Melt processing (usually done in an extruder) is a continuous process with good controls and results in economic savings over batch processes. The blends proposed here are manufactured continuously in an extruder without using any solvents.

There are no deleterious effects during processing or product development. Also, none of the materials (polymers and processing aids) have any negative side effects that require special handling (other than proper ventilation). Therefore, the environmental impacts of production are benign.

The powders are mixed together with the necessary liquids, depending upon the specific formulation, and extruded into a resin which is then cooled and packaged in totes. The scrap produced at start-up and shut-down can be reground and used as rework without causing production or quality problems. This is also true for off-grade product produced through production error.

These spoons were used by the University of Minnesota Gopher Dairy Club, at their booth in the Minnesota State Fair during both 2002 and 2003. A total of 140,000 spoons were distributed over the two years. In addition, pamphlets giving information on the product was also distributed to interested individuals. One outcome of this project is that a venture capital company (Yankee Tech Ventures) have taken the lead in conducting market research to develop price structure for disposable cutleries.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


Subd. 09  Energy


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Using Biodiesel in Generators
Subd. 09    $90,000 OOC

Kenneth L. Bickel
U of M - Center for Diesel Research
111 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0150

Phone:  (612) 625-3864
Email:  bicke006@tc.umn.edu
Fax:  (612) 624-1578

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
The objective of this project was to evaluate biodiesel fuel for producing electricity, Laboratory testing and a field demonstration were conducted to determine generator performance and the change in emissions when biodiesel blends were used.

Initially, screening tests using a NOx- reducing fuel additive and biodiesel blends were conducted to see if the fuel additive could offset the increase in NOx emissions that normally occurs using biodiesel. The fuel additive was not effective at reducing NOx in the biodiesel blends. Full emissions tests of the biodiesel blends with charge-air cooling demonstrated that significant particulate, CO and gaseous HC reductions can be achieved using B20 or B85 while lowering emissions of NOX. Particulate emissions were reduced by up to 30 %, while NOx reductions of up to 19% were observed. The use of a catalytic convertor increased particulate emissions using B20, but reduced particulate emissions when used with B85. No significant change in generator performance was observed.

Based on lab test results, a B20 biodiesel blend combined with supplemental charge air-cooling was demonstrated on a standby generator at the School of Environmental Studies at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley. Comparable emissions reductions were measured.

Utilities, regulators, policy makers and others interested in producing power from renewable energy sources can use the results from this study, The use of biodiesel for generating electricity can benefit Minnesota by increasing the market for soybean oil and decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, reducing emissions from generators, and by helping utilities meet state goals for producing electricity form renewable energy sources. The project results are summarized in a separate report entitled "Using Biodiesel in Generators."

In addition, a brief project description and pictures from the field demonstration are available at the Center for Diesel Research Center's web page (http://www.me.umn.edu/centers/cdr/zooschool/).

Project completed: 06/30/2003


Subd. 10  Environmental Education


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Uncommon Ground: An Educational Television Series - Governor Veto
Subd. 10a    $455,000 TF

Barbara Coffin
U of M - Institute for Sustainable Resources (INSR)
250 NRAB, 2003 Upper Bufford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (612) 624-4986
Email:  bcoffin@forestry.umn.edu
Fax:  (651) 624-8701
Web:  http://www.cnr.umn.edu/ISNR

To complete production of a multipart televised film series of the history of Minnesota's natural landscapes.


Uncommon Ground: An Educational Television Series
Legal Citation: ML 2002, Chapter 220, Section 8, Subd. 1
$254,000 TF Match: $200,000

Barbara Coffin
Institute for Sustainable Natural Resources
College of Natural Resources, University of Minnesota
250 Skok Hall, 2330 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (612) 624-4986
Email:  bcoffin@umn.edu
Fax:  (612) 624-8701
Web:  http://www.cnr.umn.edu/CCE

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
Minnesota: A History of the Land (formerly titled Uncommon Ground: Minnesota's Once and Future Landscapes) is a four-hour documentary that chronicles changes in Minnesota's landscapes from the time of glaciers to the impacts of today's urban sprawl, providing powerful context for understanding the State's current environmental challenges. Viewers will learn that the best hope for the health of these lands rests with the people who live in them, and who care for them. The series is scheduled to premier on Twin Cities Public Televison in the winter of 2005. A companion website (www.historyoftheland.org) will provide extension materials including a teacher's guide with lesson plans (6-8 grade level), a viewer's guide (high school to adult audiences), and information for ordering DVD, VHS and other related series materials. Lesson plans and discussion questions associated with the teacher's and viewer's guides will be available for free in downloadable format from the project's website.

Minnesota: A History of the Land, a $2 million dollar project, has been sponsored by a partnership of public and private funding sources. The Minnesota Environmental Trust Fund as recommended by LCMR has played a critical role in bringing this innovative environmental education project to students and citizens of Minnesota through leadership funding in both Phase I and Phase II of this multi-year project.

Program Results Use and Dissemination:
There has been much interest in the Minnesota: A History of the Land series (to be completed December 2004) even though it is not yet fully completed and has not yet premiered publicly. The series has been featured in teacher workshops (spring 2004) held by the MN Historical Society, used as classroom material in three University classes over the last three years, featured in a keynote address at the MN Environmental Atlas Conference, and the subject of college seminars. Computer animations from the series have been incorporated in the new Forest Forecasting exhibit at the Forest History Center. A proposal is pending to create instructional DVD curriculum from the series' materials for a statewide Master Naturalist training program. Numerous additional requests have been made for use of footage (natural history b-roll, interviews and animated graphics) from the series' extensive digital library.

The programs will be disseminated to a diverse audience through a variety of venues including: a) the general public through broadcast on public television stations statewide; b) to Minnesota's middle school students in partnership with the popular Northern Lights Minnesota history curriculum; and c) to natural resource professionals, college students, policymakers; and interested citizens through University Extension and Continuing Education.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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WaterScapes: Outdoor Non-Point Source Pollution Education
Subd. 10b    $265,000 TF

Patrick Hamilton
Science Museum of Minnesota
120 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102

Phone:  (651) 221-4761
Email:  hamilton@smm.org
Fax:  (651) 221-4514
Web:  http://www.smm.org

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
WaterScapes is a key element of the Big Back Yard, the Museum's 1.2-acre outdoor science park. WaterScapes consists both of exhibits and landscape elements that call attention to non-point source pollution (NPS) and that model approaches intended to ameliorate NPS.

The primary results of the WaterScapes project were the development and construction of the Big Back Yard and the fabrication and installation of the NPS exhibits and landscape elements within it. The overall organizing framework for the WaterScapes portion of the Big Back Yard is 'source to sink' - sediment erosion, transport, and deposition.

Three of the nine miniature golf holes address NPS - urban stormwater runoff, rural drain tiling, and impervious vs. pervious landscapes. They are embedded in an educational landscape that highlights better management of runoff through native vegetation plantings, pervious pavement, and rainwater infiltration gardens.

Project Results, Use, and Dissemination:
The Big Back Yard opened on June 26, 2004. As of August 8,2004 over 16,000 children and adults already had played the nine-hole miniature golf course and explored the park. The park has received prominent print and broadcast coverage (e.g. the StarTribune, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Highland Villages, The Avenues, The Forum, MPR, KARE-11, WCCO, KMSP).

Dragonfly TV, a nationally-distributed science program for youth produced by Twin Cities Public Television, used the Big Back Yard in July as a location to shoot pieces for an upcoming episode about rivers and landscape processes. The exhibit developer and owner's representative for the Big Back Yard are now providing the expertise they acquired on the project to Putting Green, Inc, which is in the process of constructing an environmental education park on the banks of the Minnesota River in New Ulm.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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Sustainable Inner- City Communities through Environmental Literacy
Subd. 10c    $500,000 TF

Jim Cook
Sabathani Community Center
310 East 38th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55409

Phone:  (612) 821-2322
Web:  http://www.sabathani.org

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
The Sustainable Inner City Communities was a comprehensive environmental education, leadership and project with far-reaching impact. It increased citizen participation within inner-city communities We surpassed our original by serving roughly 30,000 people through 7 result areas (See Appended Table):

  1. School Environmental Education Outreach - More than 2,000 students in 7 urban schools studied topics ranging from Asthma to Sustainability.

  2. Community Environmental Health Outreach - Approximately 15,000 inner-city residents reached through community forums, media, local presentations, expos and by work with ethnic community trainers on such Issues as Lead Poisoning, Asthma, Pesticides.

  3. Teacher & Practitioner Training - For 30 professionals who work with inner-city youth. Trainings provided insights/tools for delivering culturally relevant science education.

  4. EnvironMentors, Youth Development - An Integrated approach introducing 80 innercity youth to careers in environmental, agricultural and science fields, field trips, Career Fair, guest speakers, mentors, workshops, urban gardening & landscaping Science Camp & clubs

  5. Youth Environmental Leadership Summit& Community Service Learning - In 2 spring/summer programs we introduced 75 urban teens to environmental issues and activism through direct experience, field trips and service learning.

  6. Summer Environmental Day Camp - Engaged 80 children ages 6 - 13 through the integration of performing arts with environment, science, field trips and service learning projects.

  7. Urban Agriculture & Community Gardening - Engaged inner-city families and students in intergenerational and peer gardens.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
Project report and portions of written curricula will be posted on Sabathani's website: www.sabathani.org. It has been featured in the Minnesota State Lottery's traveling exhibit and video. Components of our project, such as the youth leadership summit and the community environmental health & equity programs have served as springboards by other groups in Minneapolis such as the Urban League and Head Waters. Presentations have been made to cultural community groups as well as at schools.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


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Integrated Pest Management in Schools
Subd. 10d    $180,000 MFRF

Jeanne Ciborowski
Dept of AG - Agricultural Resources Management & Development Division
90 West Plato Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55107-2094

Phone:  (651) 297-3217
Email:  jeanne.ciborowski@state.mn.us
Fax:  (651) 297-7678
Web:  http://www.mda.state.mn.us/ipm/IPMinSchools.html

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) developed pest management informational materials and an integrated pest management (IPM) training workshop for K-12 public and private school personnel in maintenance roles. An IPM in schools trainer was hired in a full time temporary position. The MDA produced eight new IPM in schools facts sheets. These new IPM fact sheets along with eight previously produced IPM fact sheets were mass produced. The fact sheets included an IPM overview, eight for different insects, three for weed management, two on plant disease, one for rats and mice, and one for pesticide management. Fact sheets are available on the MDA web site at: www.mda.state.mn.us/ipm/ipmpubs.html In addition to fact sheets, IPM in schools resource materials and five IPM in Schools Power Point Presentations were developed for use in the workshops. The trainer completed a total of 22 workshops. A total of 414 Independent School Districts and 658 private schools were invited to workshops held state-wide of which a total of 327 individuals attended the workshops. This included individuals from 64 Independent School Districts, 15 private schools, and ten individuals from health and safety organizations who work with schools. Individuals who attended the workshops received an overview of how to use IPM in their school settings. Participants were satisfied to learn that if they have a pest problem, there are many management alternatives to the use of pesticides. The workshop information also helped them in understanding the Parents' Right to Know legislation. Additionally, the MDA completed a state-wide mailing of IPM in Schools informational materials to 2,830 school principals. The mailing included a cover letter, set of IPM fact sheets, head lice poster, and resource material handout.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


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Burn, Plant and Learn: Restoring Upland Habitats
Subd. 10e    $230,000 TF

Shawn Schottler
Science Museum of Minnesota - St. Croix Watershed Research Station
16910 152nd Street North
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047

Phone:  (651) 433-5953
Email:  schottler@SMM.org
Fax:  (651) 433-5924

RESEARCH

Overall Project Outcome and Results:

  • Overall, Burn, Plant and Learn has protected eight acres of habitat and directly assisted with the restoration of over 39 acres of prairie. Through outreach, technical assistance, and equipment lending, over 75 individuals, private landowners, or conservation groups have been assisted or educated in creating highly diverse prairie restorations.

  • Research conducted through Burn, Plant and Learn will have a significant impact toward advancing the commitment and techniques for creating more diverse prairie habitats.

  • Acquisition and permanent protection of eight acres of key habitat bordered by 160 acres of SCWRS preserved lands, adding to the existing the St. Croix Greenway Corridor
  • Restoration of 28 acres to high diversity prairie for four landowners within Washington Co.

  • Initiation of two major prairie restoration research studies encompassing six acres of the purchased site, and five acres of adjacent lands; serving as both restorations of native habitat and as study sites to evaluate techniques that increase floristic diversity in restorations.

  • Development of a restoration equipment lending program providing access to a tractor, harrow, disk, sprayer and burn equipment.

  • Leasing of equipment to eight different landowner/groups, assisting in the restoration of 22 acres, totaling over 145 hours of use.

  • Creation of a shared restoration-research internship program between Bethel college and the SCWRS; sponsoring three undergraduate interns assisting with field research and restoration

Project Results Use and Dissemination:

  • Results from the two restoration-research studies: 1) Techniques for maximizing diversity in prairie restorations, 2) Role of floristic diversity in improving habitat quality of grassland restorations, were presented at three major conferences.

  • Presentation by SCWRS staff on maximizing diversity in prairies were given to 7 local conservation organizations. SCWRS hosted three seminars/demonstration tours helping to educate over 60 participants on techniques to enhance habitat value in restorations.

Project completed: 06/30/2004


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Connecting with Wildlife at the Minnesota Zoo
Subd. 10f    $230,000 MFRF

Martha Caron
Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Blvd
Apple Valley, MN 55124

Phone:  (612) 431-9206
Email:  martha.caron@state.mn.us
Fax:  (612) 431-9452
Web:  http://www.mnzoo.com

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
This integrated system of interpretive graphics and activities maximizes the educational impact of the Minnesota Zoo's natural areas and plant and animal collections to promote environmental literacy and stewardship. The Connecting with Wildlife project creates interactive educational experiences and provides increased opportunities for dynamic interaction with wildlife. The project provides environmental education opportunities to 1 million annual Minnesota Zoo visitors.

Minnesota Zoo visitors should better understand the significance of natural resources, sustainability, biodiversity and efforts to conserve animal and plant species. These interpretive displays also present ecological, zoological, botanical and cultural information to emphasize the interrelationships between people and nature and to encourage environmental stewardship.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
The Connecting with Wildlife at the Minnesota Zoo interpretive graphics are a primary way for an estimated 1 million annual Minnesota Zoo visitors to interact with conservation-related information and better understand the positive and negative environmental consequences of their daily choices.

A follow-up evaluation of visitor and tiger reaction to the changes in the tiger exhibits is on-going. Preliminary results indicate that the interactives are being used by many visitors. Viewing times spent at the improved exhibits range from 1.5-4.5 minutes/visitor group which based on previous average times of 30 seconds to a minute show that our improved educational message is engaging our visitors. The new exhibits have also raised over $1500 to date for tiger conservation programs.

Other zoos across the country have shown interest in viewing photos and gleaning ideas about our new tiger interpretive displays for their own exhibits. A presentation on the new exhibits and preliminary results from the follow-up evaluation for tiger exhibits at the Minnesota Zoo was given to the Tiger Species Survival Plan meeting at the annual national meeting of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association in Fort Worth, TX in September of 2002.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


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Project Green Start: Environmental Education
Subd. 10g    $340,000 MFRF

Bette Schmit (org. project manager - Marcie Oltman)
Minnesota Children's Museum
10 West 7th Street
St. Paul, MN 55102

Phone:  (651) 225-6085
Email:  greenstart@mcm.org
Fax:  (651) 225-6006
Web:  http://www.mcm.org

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
Earth World is Minnesota Children's Museum's most popular permanent gallery. Earth World includes a series of Minnesota habitats that guide and encourage children to explore the seasons and cycles within wetland, forest and prairie. It is an immersive environment that allows visitors an opportunity to get an "inside" view of the wonders and mysteries of nature. More than 370,000 Museum visitors are introduced to Minnesota habitats and environmental concepts each year in Earth World. This includes 71,469 school age children (7,000 from a partnership with the St. Paul School District for K-2) and 1,616 Access members and their families (memberships given to lower income families through programs with Ramsey County RAP Headstart, Habitat for Humanity, Anoka County Headstart and the Museum Adolescent Parent Program).

With the funding the Children's Museum updated and strengthened two main habitats in the Earth World gallery - wetland and forest. In these areas, the following exhbits were designed and fabricated: a large freshwater aquarium that allows display and interpretation of native turtles and fish; an interactive turtle shell that supports dramatic play; a bouldering wall that allows children to "climb" laterally on a replicated stone surface, allowing practice and development of gross motor skills; a beaver den that allows children to "become a beaver" by putting on beaver costumes and entering the beaver den; a stream and water play area where children can explore the properties of flowing water using natural materials; and, a renovated ant hill maze. At the same time, educational activities were added to extend the learning experience about Minnesota habitats. The redevelopment includes new baby animal components and the Lodge, where staff conduct informal educational programs aimed at teaching children about the Minnesota habitats of wetland, forest and prairie.

Project completed: 04/30/2003


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Raptor Propagation: Student Education
Subd. 10h    $35,000 MFRF

Andrew Weaver
Stillwater Area High School
5701 Stillwater Area High School, Stillwater Blvd. N
Stillwater, MN 55082

Phone:  (651) 351-8240
Email:  weavera@stillwater.K12.MN.US
Fax:  (651) 351-8049
Web:  http://www.falcon.stillwater.k12.mn.us

Funding was provided to Stillwater Area High School to build a captive breeding facility for raptors and develop associated education activities. Three falcon breeding chambers were constructed. The live images are available on the web site.

Project completed: 02/01/2002


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Hennepin Parks Farm Education
Subd. 10i    $100,000 MFRF

Tom McDowell
Suburban Hennepin Regional Park District
3000 Xenium Lane North
Plymouth, MN 55441

Phone:  (763) 559-6705
Email:  Tmcdowell@threeriversparkdistrict.org
Fax:  (763) 559-3287
Web:  http://www.threeriversparkdistrict.org

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
An agriculture education program was developed at Hennepin Parks' newest facility, Gale Woods Farm, to create opportunities for K-12 students and the general public to develop a basic understanding of agriculture.

The Park District hired a program coordinator to oversee the planning and development of a working educational farm including:

  • 22 acres of pasture

  • 13 breeds of sheep, 5 breeds of chickens, 1 breed of beef cattle and a working sheep dog

  • 5 acres of gardens and orchards

  • Barn with a safe and enjoyable classroom and efficient livestock housing.

Learning stations were constructed to facilitate self-guided tours. These learning stations include:


  • Two-panel kiosk detailing the history of the land, the Gale family and farming on site.

  • Three-panel kiosk presenting information about contemporary agriculture and small-diversified farms.

  • Five trail signs located along the self-guided route explaining the elements of the farm.

In addition to establishing the farm elements, the program coordinator researched curriculum and developed meaningful ways to involve youth in farming. The groundwork and infrastructure were completed for The Community Food Project, a program engaging inner city and suburban youth and students from Augsburg College in growing produce for sale at farmer's markets. This project's funding helped develop the infrastructure and organization to initiate the Community Food Program.

Project Results Use and Dissemination:
This project's funding provided for the initial development of the program at Gale Woods. To date approximately 750 school students, and 500 public visitors have attended programs at Gale Woods. The park officially opens in August 2003. With the assistance of this grant, the facility now has the capacity to serve up to 10,000 school students per year in addition to unlimited visits from the general public.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


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Residential Environmental Education for Youth
Subd. 10j    $90,000 MFRF

Kurt Marple
Camp Courage
8046 83rd Street NW
Maple Lake, MN 55358

Phone:  (320)963-3121
Email:  eecccourage@yahoo.com
Fax:  (320)963-3698
Web:  http://www.courageelc.org/

Camp Courage provided 2,649 student contact days to 35 MN school groups. A student contact day (student day) is determined by the number of nights stayed at Camp Courage. It typically includes four class periods, three meals, evening programs and one night's lodging.

At an average calculated cost of $33.37 per student per day, Camp Courage reached students that have not had such an opportunity, within the past three years, due to geographic location or financial limitations. Camps normal range of groups includes 3rd through 8th grand and special needs students. The latter groups are often ungraded and can be housed in any school including high schools. This program was offered to students from the general school population, but Courage is highly experienced in integrating students with special needs and students from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Full scholarships were awarded to first-year schools during the 2001-2002 school year. Half scholarships were awarded to schools that retuned during the 2002-2003 school year and to first-year schools during the fall of 2002. From January to May of 2003 full scholarships were awarded to first year schools.

Schools realize the value of residential environmental education and renew their commitment for future years. Of the seven school groups that attended during the fall of 2002, six of them reserved dates for the fall of 2003. These schools have found the resources to continue the experience now that the grant is over.

Project completed: 06/30/2003


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Uncommon Ground: An Educational Television Series
Legal Citation: ML 2002, Chapter 220, Section 8, Subd. 01     $254,000 TF / Match - $200,000

Barbara Coffin
Institute for Sustainable Natural Resources
College of Natural Resources, University of Minnesota
250 Skok Hall, 2330 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (612) 624-4986
Email:  bcoffin@umn.edu
Fax:  (612) 624-8701
Web:  http://www.cnr.umn.edu/CCE

Overall Project Outcome and Results:
Minnesota: A History of the Land (formerly titled Uncommon Ground: Minnesota's Once and Future Landscapes) is a four-hour documentary that chronicles changes in Minnesota's landscapes from the time of glaciers to the impacts of today's urban sprawl, providing powerful context for understanding the State's current environmental challenges. Viewers will learn that the best hope for the health of these lands rests with the people who live in them, and who care for them. The series is scheduled to premier on Twin Cities Public Televison in the winter of 2005. A companion website (www.historyoftheland.org) will provide extension materials including a teacher's guide with lesson plans (6-8 grade level), a viewer's guide (high school to adult audiences), and information for ordering DVD, VHS and other related series materials. Lesson plans and discussion questions associated with the teacher's and viewer's guides will be available for free in downloadable format from the project's website.

Minnesota: A History of the Land, a $2 million dollar project, has been sponsored by a partnership of public and private funding sources. The Minnesota Environmental Trust Fund as recommended by LCMR has played a critical role in bringing this innovative environmental education project to students and citizens of Minnesota through leadership funding in both Phase I and Phase II of this multi-year project.

Program Results Use and Dissemination:
There has been much interest in the Minnesota: A History of the Land series (to be completed December 2004) even though it is not yet fully completed and has not yet premiered publicly. The series has been featured in teacher workshops (spring 2004) held by the MN Historical Society, used as classroom material in three University classes over the last three years, featured in a keynote address at the MN Environmental Atlas Conference, and the subject of college seminars. Computer animations from the series have been incorporated in the new Forest Forecasting exhibit at the Forest History Center. A proposal is pending to create instructional DVD curriculum from the series' materials for a statewide Master Naturalist training program. Numerous additional requests have been made for use of footage (natural history b-roll, interviews and animated graphics) from the series' extensive digital library.

The programs will be disseminated to a diverse audience through a variety of venues including: a) the general public through broadcast on public television stations statewide; b) to Minnesota's middle school students in partnership with the popular Northern Lights Minnesota history curriculum; and c) to natural resource professionals, college students, policymakers; and interested citizens through University Extension and Continuing Education.

Project completed: 06/30/2004

100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Room 65 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155