Minnesota's Legacy

All Projects

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Recipient
U of MN - MAISRC
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$8,700,000
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$4,350,000

Aquatic invasive species pose critical ecological and economic challenges for the entire state and beyond. They can cause irreparable harm to fisheries and aquatic habitat as well as damage to infrastructure. The problems posed by aquatic invasive species continue to grow as existing infestations expand and new exotic species arrive, most of which are poorly understood. New ideas and approaches are needed to develop real solutions.

Statewide
Recipient
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Ecological and Water Resources
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$2,177,000
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$2,513,000

To address the problems caused by invasive species, the 1991 Minnesota Legislature directed the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to establish the Invasive Species Program. The program is designed to implement actions to prevent the spread of invasive species and manage invasive aquatic plants and wild animals (Minnesota Statutes 84D).
The three primary goals of the DNR Invasive Species Program are to:
1. Prevent the introduction of new invasive species into Minnesota.
2. Prevent the spread of invasive species within Minnesota.

Recipient
U of MN
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$200,000

Bees play a key role in ecosystem function and in agriculture, including more than one hundred U.S. crops either need or benefit from pollinators. However, bee pollinators are in dramatic decline in Minnesota and throughout the country. One of the potential causes appears to be a scarcity of bee-friendly flowers, particularly in urban areas, which is leading to nutritional deficiencies, chronic exposure to pesticides, and debilitating diseases and parasites.

Statewide
Recipient
MN DNR
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$140,000

Garlic mustard is a non-native, invasive plant species that is severely threatening native plant communities and degrading wildlife habitat in forest and riparian zones throughout the state. The plant is considered the highest priority species for development of long-term management solutions such as biological control, which involves using natural enemies of a non-native species from its native region to control or reduce the impact of the species in the areas where they are invasive.

Statewide
Recipient
Hiawatha Valley Resource Conservation & Development, Inc.
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$52,000

Terrestrial invasive plants such as buckthorn, wild parsnip, garlic mustard, and others are becoming widespread threats throughout many sites in Minnesota. Present chemical and mechanical control methods tend to be costly, effective only in the short-term, or have other negative environmental impacts. However, an alternative practice of using grazing animals for invasive species management is used successfully in many parts of the western United States.

Dodge
Fillmore
Freeborn
Goodhue
Houston
Mower
Olmsted
Rice
Steele
Wabasha
Winona
Recipient
MN DNR
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$540,000

Asian carp pose a real and serious threat to Minnesota’s aquatic ecosystems. While there are a few instances of individual carp being found in Minnesota waters, including the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers, it is not presently believed that there are significant established populations in the state. In order to quickly and effectively respond to threats posed by Asian carp in the future, though, detailed information about the fish themselves is needed.

Statewide
Recipient
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$350,000

New invasive plant species continue to emerge in Minnesota and will pose ongoing threats to Minnesota’s economy, ecology, and environment if able to spread across the state. It is cheapest, easiest, and least harmful to find and control small populations of invasive plants before they become widespread.

Statewide
Recipient
U of MN - Duluth
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$600,000

Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake by surface area, is amongst Minnesota’s greatest natural resources providing drinking water, shipping, recreation, and tourism. Recently the lake has been undergoing significant changes including increasing water temperatures, decreasing ice cover, increasing nutrient loads, decreasing biological productivity, increasing invasive species, and changes in species abundance and distribution. The reasons behind these changes and the interactions amongst them are not well understood.

Cook
Lake
St. Louis
Recipient
U of MN
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$200,000

Elms were once a very widespread tree in Minnesota and amongst the most common and popular in urban landscapes due to their size, shading capability, and tolerance of pollution and other stresses. Over the past five decades, though, Dutch elm disease, an exotic and invasive pathogen, has killed millions of elms throughout the state. However, scientists at the University of Minnesota have observed that some elms have survived the disease and appear to have special characteristics that make them resistant to Dutch elm disease.

Statewide
Recipient
The Trust for Public Land
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,500,000

The Frogtown area of St. Paul is a culturally diverse, low-income neighborhood having less green space per child than any other neighborhood in the city and was recently identified as an area in need of a new park. This appropriation is being used by The Trust for Public Land, in partnership with the City of St. Paul, to acquire a portion of twelve acres of a currently vacant space in the area to establish the multi-purpose Frogtown Farm and Park.

Ramsey
Recipient
U of MN
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$838,000

The Soudan Iron Mine near Ely, Minnesota is no longer an active mine and is now part of a state park, as well as the home to a state-of-the-art physics laboratory at the bottom of the mine. The mine has also been discovered to contain an extreme environment in the form of an ancient and very salty brine bubbling up from a half-mile below the Earth’s surface through holes drilled when the mine was active. Strange microorganisms – part of an ecosystem never before characterized by science – have been found living in the brine.

Statewide
Recipient
Dept. of Agriculture / U of MN
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$360,000

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive insect that has been decimating ash trees throughout the Great Lakes states. It was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009 and is now found in four counties (Hennepin, Houston, Ramsey, and Winona). EAB poses a particularly serious threat to Minnesota because it is home to nearly 1 billion ash trees that occur throughout the state - the second most of any state.

Hennepin
Houston
Ramsey
Statewide
Winona
Recipient
Dept. of Agriculture / U of MN
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$240,000
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive insect that has been decimating ash trees throughout the Great Lakes states. It was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009 and is now found in four counties (Hennepin, Houston, Ramsey, and Winona). EAB poses a particularly serious threat to Minnesota because it is home to nearly 1 billion ash trees that occur throughout the state - the second most of any state.
Hennepin
Houston
Ramsey
Statewide
Winona
Recipient
U of MN - Landscape Arboretum
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$2,000,000

The University of Minnesota’s Landscape Arboretum is the largest and most diverse horticultural site in Minnesota. It features gardens and natural areas representative of Minnesota and the upper-Midwest that can be explored using several miles of trails. Additionally it conducts fruit and plant breeding research to develop cultivars that have particular desired characteristics, such as cold hardiness or disease resistance. The arboretum has a long-term goal of protecting the entire watershed of which it is a part.

Carver
Recipient
Red Lake Watershed District
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$400,000

Since 2000, a diverse group of partners has been collectively working in northwestern Minnesota on one of the largest prairie-wetland restorations in the world. Spanning 22,000 acres and adjacent to an additional 16,000 acres of public and private conservation land, the goal of the Glacial Ridge Project has been to demonstrate whether large-scale habitat restoration is a viable way to reduce flooding and improve water quality. Prior to beginning restoration efforts on the project, a comprehensive baseline hydrologic study of the area was completed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Statewide
Recipient
Friends of the Mississippi River

Friends of the Mississippi is using this appropriation to permanently protect six acres through fee title acquisition for addition to Fish Creek Natural Area near Maplewood, MN, and to restore and enhance approximately 134 acres of permanently protected prairie, savanna, wetland, and forest habitat in Dakota, Washington, Ramsey, and Hennepin counties. Specific restoration and enhancement activities will include updating management plans, soil preparation, prescribed burning, native vegetation installation, woody encroachment removal, and invasive species control.

Dakota
Hennepin
Ramsey
Washington
Recipient
Great River Greening

These funds will enable Great River Greening to restore approximately 90 acres of permanently protected forests, savanna, prairie, and wetland habitat and 0.18 miles of shoreland habitat while engaging hundreds of volunteers in the stewardship of the Metropolitan area's remaining natural areas. Specific activities include invasive species control, seeding/planting, prescribed burning, and other associated activities.

Anoka
Chisago
Dakota
Goodhue
Hennepin
Isanti
Ramsey
Scott
Sherburne
Washington
Recipient
Dakota County

Through this appropriation Dakota County plans to permanently protect approximately 27 acres of shoreland and contiguous upland in the Marcott Lakes area of Inver Grove Heights by securing a conservation easement from a willing landowner. For all acres protected, natural resource management plans will be prepared to ensure their long term stewardship. Additionally, restoration and enhancement activities are expected to occur on approximately 40 acres.

Dakota
Recipient
The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land is using this appropriation to purchase approximately 24 acres of land and 0.2 miles of shoreline with high ecological value and then convey the land to state or local governments for long-term stewardship and protection. Lands being considered for permanent protection in this round of funding include an areas around the Rum River in Anoka County, Lindstrom Natural Area in Chisago County, and Carnelian Creek and Keystone Woods area in Washington County.

Anoka
Chisago
Scott
Washington
Recipient
Minnesota Land Trust

With this appropriation, the Minnesota Land Trust plans to protect 100 acres of high quality forest, prairie, wetland, or shoreline habitat by securing permanent conservation easements and dedicating funds for their perpetual monitoring, management, and enforcement. Lands being considered for permanent protection in this round of funding are located in Chisago, Goodhue, Hennepin, Isanti, and Washington counties.

Anoka
Carver
Chisago
Dakota
Goodhue
Hennepin
Isanti
Le Sueur
Nicollet
Ramsey
Rice
Scott
Sherburne
Sibley
Washington
Wright
Recipient
MN Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust Inc

The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust is using this appropriation to purchase a total of approximately 100 acres of land and donated to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to expand the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Many benefits are anticipated from this project, including improved habitat connectivity, protection of native species, improved water quality in the Minnesota River, and increased public access to natural lands for activities such as hiking, hunting, and fishing. Restoration and management plans will be completed for all acquired lands.

Carver
Hennepin
Le Sueur
Scott
Sibley
Recipient
MN DNR
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$2,650,000

The Minnesota Biological Survey (MBS) is an ongoing effort begun in 1987 by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that is systematically surveying, county-by-county, the state’s natural habitats. The effort identifies significant natural areas and collects and interprets data on the status, distribution, and ecology of plants, animals, and native plant communities throughout the state. To date, surveys have been completed in 81 of Minnesota’s 87 counties and nearly 20,000 records of rare features have been recorded.

Statewide
Recipient
U of MN - Duluth NRRI
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$200,000

Moose, one of Minnesota’s most iconic wildlife species, are dying at increasingly higher rates in Minnesota and there is uncertainty as to why. Estimates suggest the population declined 35 percent just between 2012 to 2013, and projections suggest moose could be nearly gone from the state by 2020 if this trend is not halted and, ideally, reversed.

Cook
Koochiching
Lake
St. Louis
Recipient
MN DNR
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$750,000

Prior to European settlement more than 18 million acres of prairie covered Minnesota. Today less than 1% of that native prairie remains, and about half of those remaining acres are in private landownership without any formal protection currently in place. Through this appropriation the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will work with private landowners of high quality native prairie sites to protect remaining native prairie using a variety of tools. Approximately 200 acres are expected to be permanently protected through Native Prairie Bank conservation easements.

Norman
Otter Tail
Pennington
Pipestone
Polk
Pope
Red Lake
Redwood
Renville
Rice
Rock
Roseau
Stearns
Stevens
Swift
Traverse
Watonwan
Wilkin
Yellow Medicine
Recipient
Saint John's University
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$772,000

The Avon Hills area is a unique 65,000-acre glacial moraine landscape located in Stearns County just west of St. Cloud. It has been identified as having statewide ecological significance and includes the highest concentration of native plant communities in the county – including oak and maple-basswood forests, tamarack and mixed-hardwood swamps, and wet meadows – and several rare plants and animal species, including American ginseng, cerulean warbler, red-shouldered hawk, and Blanding’s turtle. This appropriation is being used by the St. John’s Arboretum at St.

Stearns
Recipient
MN DNR
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,500,000

Minnesota’s Scientific and Natural Areas (SNA) Program is an effort to preserve and perpetuate the state’s ecological diversity and ensure that no single rare feature is lost from any region of the state. This includes landforms, fossil remains, plant and animal communities, rare and endangered species, and other unique biotic or geological features. These sites play an important role in scientific study, public education, and outdoor recreation.

Statewide
Recipient
MN DNR
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,000,000

Minnesota’s extensive state park and trail system, the second oldest in the country, is currently comprised of a total of 76 state parks and recreation areas and 13 state trails scattered throughout the state. Some of Minnesota’s state parks and trails have privately owned lands within the designated park boundaries or trail corridors. Purchase of these lands from willing landowners for addition to the state park and trail system makes them permanently available for public recreation and enjoyment and facilitates more efficient management.

Crow Wing
Kandiyohi
Olmsted
Otter Tail
Wabasha
Recipient
MN DNR
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,200,000

Minnesota’s environment is changing in response to a variety of stressors – including population growth, residential development, industry, agriculture, invasive species, and climate change – and the state’s iconic lakes, and the goods and services they provide (e.g., fishing and water recreation), are an important part of what’s being impacted. To manage effectively for these changes it is important to understand how the state’s many lakes respond to these stressors.

Statewide
Recipient
US Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$600,000

Zebra mussels are an aquatic species that are invasive in Minnesota and severely threaten native fish and other aquatic species by disrupting food webs and damaging spawning habitat. Their range continues to expand within Minnesota lakes and rivers, where they are spread through the transporting of water, vegetation, or equipment from an infested water body. Once established zebra mussels are very difficult to control and there is an immediate need for safe and effective control measures to reduce their impacts in the state.

Statewide
Recipient
Minnesota Zoo
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$18,708
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$101,375

The Minnesota Zoo’s site – 485 acres of land in Dakota county – is a state treasure that includes a diverse array of habitants including vernal pools, sedge meadows, oak woodlands, and northern rich fens. More than half of this is undeveloped wildlife habitat which, thanks to Legacy funding, is now being explored by zoo staff and guests in order to educate citizens about the wild animals and wild places native to our state and the importance of caring for and conserving these resources.