By Mayor Tim Busse
In September, the City Council approved Bloomington’s first Natural Resources Prioritization Plan. Whether it’s the banks of the Minnesota River or the native prairie lands in Bloomington parkland, there are many wonderful natural resources to maintain and restore in Bloomington.
During the work surrounding the Park System Master Plan, community voices came out loud and clear in favor of enhanced restoration of local natural resources, enhanced programming and enhanced volunteer efforts. The new Natural Resources Prioritization Plan will help City staff work through restoration that needs to happen.
Plans like this aren’t very common. The City of Bloomington really dug in and did something impressive. We have thousands of acres of parkland, much of it is developed, programmed and used for traditional recreation, but there’s much more that has been left as natural areas.
Over the years, invasive species have moved in. Some habitat has been degraded. The City aims to address that with this plan, which will eventually direct work to restore natural resources. The plan sets priorities for us as we create redevelopment plans for parks. During plan development, City staff will scope out all the details of the restoration that should take place. City staff will answer questions addressing what type of invasive plants need to be removed and what types of habitats already exist in an area.
The plan also provides guidance about the maintenance and restoration of specific ecosystems and habitats. We already have a plan like this for the Minnesota River Valley, but this plan considers all the natural spaces across Bloomington.
Learn more in a video in which I speak with Assistant Maintenance Superintendent Dave Hanson at blm.mn/cm-921.