Contact Information

Contact Information

Maintenance Division

Title

Natural Area Restoration

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What is restoration and why is it important?

Restorations bring back the native flora that once covered much of the city. It is a diverse mix of native grasses and forbs that increase biodiversity, wildlife and pollinator habitat, water infiltration, and sustainability. These native landscapes include wetlands, woodlands, savanna, and prairie that have been lost due to development. The primary focus of restoration initiatives is on prairie and savanna habitats.

The City of Bloomington currently manages approximately 200 acres of restored prairie, with plans to increase this number in the near future. These restorations are important for the city because they:

  • Increase sustainability by reducing maintenance costs and input
  • Reduce erosion and runoff into our waterways through better water infiltration
  • Provide optimal habitats for pollinators due to high diversity of native flowers
  • Provide opportunities for residents to learn more about native plants

Natural Resources Prioritization and Management Strategies

Bloomington's extensive park system includes significant natural areas. In the past, natural areas required little maintenance. Today we understand the need to actively maintain them in order to retain and improve their ecological integrity. Many external forces are at work degrading natural areas, including: 

  • Invasive species
  • Over browsing
  • Heavy human use
  • Climate change.

If left unmanaged, the natural areas will continue to lose ecological function and biodiversity. So as part of the Park System Master Plan, a study was initiated in partnership with Barr Engineering to help guide the investment of financial resources and staff capacity, prioritizing the ecological communities’ management in Bloomington's parks, excluding those within the Minnesota River valley, which have already been planned. This process ranks the parks for management priority and presents strategies for the highest ranked parks. 


Restoration Projects


Restoration Plan: Step-by-Step

City of Bloomington restoration projects follow a comprehensive five-step plan that includes site evaluation and preparation, seeding and establishment, and ongoing maintenance. Click to expand the topics below to learn about each step in the process. 


Best Practices

Learn more about the best practices used by Bloomington Park Maintenance staff as they actively monitor and maintain natural areas within the City’s park system. 

Stories of Restoration

Native area restoration around City parks
Discover Bloomington: Nine Mile Native Prairie
Clearing invasive species at Nord Myr park