Sugarbush Preserve, Livonia Township, Sherburne County


(Sanguinaria canadensis)

During survey work in Sherburne County in 1989, MCBS mapped a high-quality maple-basswood forest in Livonia Township (see map below). The county was experiencing rapid home development and soon afterward the forest was parceled into house lots by a land development company. Local citizens mobilized, and began working to promote acquisition of the site by the township as a park, christened "Sugarbush Preserve."


map of sugarbush Preserve in Sherburne County, Minnesota

A portion of the Sherburne County MCBS map, published in 1993, showing the Sugarbush Preserve forest.

In 2001, the township and residents approached The Trust for Public Land for assistance in saving the forest. The trust agreed to temporarily purchase the 38-acre site, preventing development and providing the township and residents time to raise money for acquisition and management. The money was raised—including matching grants from the township toward contributions and a Natural and Scenic Areas grant from the DNR—and Sugarbush Preserve is now a township park. In 2008 the township developed a master plan that features low-impact walking trails and a parking area to enhance use of Sugarbush Preserve for education and nature observation.

Dedication of Sugarbush Preserve.

Dedication of Sugarbush Preserve.