Natural resource restoration underway in river valley

Have you noticed a little less buckthorn and garlic mustard in the Minnesota River Valley lately? Invasive plant removal, mowing and some seeding is underway at Parker’s Picnic Grounds, 10401 Columbus Road, near Pond-Dakota Mission Park. The project is part of an ongoing effort to reestablish native prairie oak savanna in many sections of the valley — a native landscape of grasses and some trees, mostly oak.

Prairie Restoration, Inc. is completing the project funded in part by a $134,000 Legacy Grant. Work will continue through the summer. Nothing involved with the project will block trail accessibility.

The Minnesota River Valley Strategic Plan established goals for natural resource management in the area. Over the last three years, a few other restoration projects have been completed in the Minnesota River Valley. So far, more than 50 acres have been restored in Bloomington. 

“It’s not just planting prairie plants; it’s changing it back to what it was,” Assistant Maintenance Superintendent Dave Hanson said.

For more information, visit or call 952-563-8693.