Looking at Minnesota’s heritage of land stewardship, preservation and restoration, Legacy funding is allowing the Zoo to use our 485 acres to demonstrate these practices and educate the public.
An overall site plan has been developed. We have accelerated our buckthorn removal on site. We are also in the process of developing a demonstration prairie plot which will provide the opportunity for Zoo guests to connect with this rare and important part of Minnesota’s natural history.
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.
In previous phases of work, a Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) model of the Zumbro River Watershed was developed to simulate hydrology and water quality for the 1995-2009 simulation period (Phase I), applied to evaluate various management scenarios for reducing sediment and nutrient loading (Phase II), and used to develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for impaired stream segments and inform development of a nutrient TMDL for Rice Lake (Phase III).
The Olmsted County Soil and Water Conservation District will assist the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) with water quality monitoring and pollutant load calculations at four sub-watershed sites in the Zumbro River Watershed. Approximately 25 grab samples per site between ice-out and October 31 of 2019 will be collected along with field measurements and observations. Samples will be collected using procedures described in the Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) Standard Operating Procedures and Guidance (SOPG).
Partners: Olmsted County Historical Society and Zumbro Watershed Partnership. The Zumbro River in Southeastern Minnesota is an important part of America's river history. This project seeks to collect and research historical and environmental data on the river to prepare for the creation of an environmental history. The project will observe and identify how human actions and policies have affected the Zumbro and its communities, and also how the river has shaped the human landscape.
The Zumbro River watershed HSPF model will be refined to include recent data and information as well as evaluate various management scenarios to inform the most effective actions for reducing sediment and nutrient loading and improving water quality. Specifically, to provide the foundation for the Lake Zumbro Phosphorus Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).
OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS This project identified and prioritized areas in the Zumbro River Watershed that were determined critical for restoring and protecting water quality. Studies suggested that small areas of the landscape contribute disproportionately to nonpoint source pollution. So implementation of conservation projects that focus on those areas will maximize water quality benefits and ensure efficient use of resources.
The goal of this project is to test the sensitivity of the Zumbro River Watershed Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) model management scenario results. Additional goals are to develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for impaired stream reaches and Rice Lake, which will be documented in a TMDL Report. The consultant will apply the existing calibrated and validated Zumbro River Watershed HSPF model to construct load duration curves to develop TMDLs.
This project will build upon the outreach and education efforts of the Zumbro Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS). The targeted area will be residents of the Zumbro River Watershed, specifically individuals and organizations that are not professionally involved in managing natural resources. This project will provide necessary outreach and education during the interim between the Zumbro WRAPS and beginning the One Watershed, One Plan process.