Metro Conservation Corridors

Ensuring that people and nature in the Twin Cities Area can grow together for generations to come.

Urgent need

The pressure on the Twin Cities Areas remaining natural lands is intensifying, with one million more people and 500,000 more households coming to the area in the next 30 years. Each day, nearly 60 acres of fields, forests and wetlands in the metro area lost to development. Protection and restoration of key natural lands will help maintain the quality of life in the region. And with land values rising dramatically in the metro area, investment today is critical.

Group hiking through a natural area in the Twin Cities metro area, Minnesota.

Accelerated, coordinated and efficient action

This project will accelerate protection and restoration of key natural lands in the metro area by:

  • Focusing pro-actively on strategic areas. (See the map of focus areas This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. (2,621 K) Note this is a large file and will take time to download on slower connections.)
    Download the GIS data.
  • Efficiently leveraging private and public partners and resources
  • Building upon prior investments in public lands, and
  • Enhancing the cost-effectiveness of conservation efforts by coordinating them within a regional framework.

Building a successful habitat network

This project will acquire and restore a habitat network in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area to protect and improve the health of native vegetation, fish and wildlife species. It builds upon important work already completed. The project will:

  1. Establish priorities, coordinate work by the partner organizations and focus on areas with greatest regional importance for habitat. Using state-of-the-art natural resource assessments and regional prioritization, we will work in core habitat areas, establish habitat corridors, create buffers for existing protected land and increase public access to nature-related recreation.
  2. Protect and restore priority natural lands in focus areas:
    • Restore habitat on up to 1,700 acres of private and public land.
    • Protect land by acquiring fee title and conservation easements from willing landowners on about 600 acres.

Private and public partners

  • Metro Greenways Program
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • The Trust for Public Land
  • Minnesota Land Trust
  • Friends of the Mississippi River
  • Great River Greening
  • Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust, Inc.
  • Pheasants Forever
  • DNR Fisheries
  • DNR Forestry
  • DNR Scientific and Natural Areas
  • DNR Wildlife

Potential partners in focus areas

Other agencies with capacity and interest in land protection and restoration, such as:

  • municipalities
  • park boards
  • counties
  • Soil and Water Conservation Districts
  • watershed management organizations

Funds approved by LCMR

$4,850,000
Restoration 1/4
Acquisition 3/4

For more information, please contact:

Sharon Pfeifer, 651-259-5790
Metro Greenways, sharon.pfeifer@state.mn.us

Cordelia Pierson, 651-999-5312
The Trust for Public Land, cordelia.pierson@tpl.org