The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced today that it has received a 729-acre land donation from Trust for Public Land. The donated land stretches for 3 miles along the St. Croix River in Chisago County and will be managed by the DNR as part of the Chengwatana State Forest.
The donated land includes forests, grassland, and several creeks, streams, and ponds. Donating the land to the DNR safeguards the diversity of native ecosystems, improves connectivity between natural lands, protects drinking water, and provides public access for recreational activities.
“The benefits of public land projects like this are tremendous, providing clean water and air, high quality habitat, and recreational opportunities,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “We look forward to managing this land to meet Minnesotans’ recreation, conservation and economic needs into the future.”
Xcel Energy owned the land for roughly a century and TPL led the effort to purchase it using a grant funded by the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund. The Fund is part of the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy amendment passed in 2008 to increase the sales tax by 3/8 of one percent to, among other things, protect, enhance, and restore wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game, and wildlife habitat.
“For generations to come, this place will be protected and treasured by countless hikers, hunters, and wildlife viewers,” said Susan Schmidt, Minnesota state director for Trust for Public Land. “Spending time outdoors is critically important for our mental and physical health, and with about 3 million people in the Twin Cities an easy day-trip away, this is a big win for our people and our planet.”
Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 3 million acres of public land, created more than 5,000 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $84 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected more than 9 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit Trust for Public Land.