Natural resources interactive map, data and reports

Access data and reports to help you understand natural resources in the county. 

The natural resources interactive map includes detailed information on vegetative cover, natural resource corridors, soils, wetlands, floodplains, geology, topography and the ecological significance of land in the county. The map is intended to help local governments and landowners make decisions about managing and protecting the natural resources on their properties.

The lake grades include historic data on the health of lakes in the county. Natural resources inventories identify natural area and help local governments plan for protection of natural resources.

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Natural resources interactive map

The Hennepin County Natural Resources Interactive Map is an online map application that classifies every acre in the county in terms of land cover using the Minnesota Land Cover Classification System developed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The interactive map includes detailed information on vegetative cover, natural resource corridors, soils, wetlands, floodplains, geology, topography and the ecological significance of an area.

Landowners are encouraged to use the interactive map to learn more about their property. For example, they could see if a planned project has potential to impact a wetland, floodplain or other significant natural resources. Landowners can also find out if part of their property is located in an identified natural resource corridor, making the property eligible for compensation to protect or restore.  

Local governments should find the interactive map helpful in making everyday land use decisions by being able to easily check for existing wetlands, floodplains and other natural resources on a parcel. The interactive map can also help with planning efforts to manage growth and promote the protection of remaining natural resources and open spaces.

Lake grades and lake report

Lake grades

Lake grades assess the quality of Hennepin County lakes for recreational purposes. Water quality grades are assigned to lakes based on a grading system developed by the Metropolitan Council.

Lake grade parameters

Lakes grades are based on three parameters: total phosphorous, chlorophyll-a and Secchi disk transparency.

  • Phosphorous is a plant nutrient that at high concentrations leads to an abundance of algae in lakes. High phosphorous concentrations are strongly correlated to the frequency of nuisance algal blooms.
  • Chlorophyll-a is the green pigment in plants that is essential for photosynthesis. Concentrations of chlorophyll-a in lake water are a measure of algal abundance.
  • Secchi disk transparency is a measure of water clarity. Higher clarity indicates better water quality.

To assign a grade for each lake, average concentrations of total phosphorous and chlorophyll-a during the growing season and average Secchi disk transparency for each lake are assigned individual grades and then averaged.

Definition of lake grades

Lakes are assigned a grade ranging from A - F.

  • Lakes earning an A grade have high water clarity, low algae and phosphorous concentrations. These lakes are exceptional with no recreational impairments.
  • Lakes earning a B grade have good water clarity. Algae concentrations may limit swimming and other activities, particularly towards the end of the summer.
  • Lakes earning a C grade have average quality with limitations for swimming and related activities occurring earlier in the season due to algal blooms.
  • Lakes earning a D grade have below average water quality due to severe algal problems throughout the growing season. Generally considered unsuitable for water contact recreation, such as swimming, water skiing, etc.
  • Lakes earning an F grade are not suitable for water contact recreation. Usually considered wildlife lakes rather than recreations lakes.

Physical factors, such as lake depth and size, influence how high of a grade a lake could attain; not all lakes could attain an A grade.

Lake grades

Lakes are listed alphabetically. Click on the lake name to see the grade assigned to that lake and water quality trends. 

Lakes are listed alphabetically by lake name. Click on a letter below to jump to that letter.

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I ,J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U ,V, W, X, Y, Z




















Natural resource inventories

Hennepin County assists communities with natural resource identification, inventory, and assessment. This information allows local governments to manage growth and promote the protection and restoration of their remaining natural resources and open spaces.

Classification system

The tool used to complete the inventory is the Minnesota Land Cover Classification System (MLCCS). Developed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources-Metro Region, in cooperation with other state, federal and local agencies, the MLCCS is unique in that it categorizes urban and built up areas in terms of land cover, rather than land use.

The classification system consists of five hierarchical levels. The most general information is recorded at a Level 1 while the most detailed information is recorded at a Level 5. A series of hierarchies exists for the two land cover types, natural/semi-natural and cultural.

Examples of the two cover types

Natural/semi-natural cover types

  • Level 1 — General growth patterns (forest, woodland, shrubland, etc.)
  • Level 2 — Plant types (deciduous and coniferous trees, grasslands, forbs, etc.)
  • Level 3 — Soil hydrology (upland, seasonally flooded, saturated, etc.)
  • Level 4 — Plant species composition (floodplain forest, rich fen sedge, jack pine barrens, etc.)
  • Level 5 — Similar to Level 4

Cultural cover types

  • Level 1 — Presence of built-up elements (built-up vs. cultivated land)
  • Level 2 — Dominant vegetation (trees, shrubs, herbaceous)
  • Level 3 — Plant type (deciduous, coniferous, etc.)
  • Level 4 — Percent of impervious surface or soil hydrology
  • Level 5 — Specific plant species

This cultural classification is unique in that it emphasizes vegetative land cover instead of land use, thus creating a land cover inventory especially useful for resource managers and planners.

Completed natural resources inventories

In Hennepin County, natural resource inventories have been completed at a Level 4 or 5. Listed below are the natural resource inventory reports that have been completed for Hennepin County municipalities.

Please note that the information provided in the listed reports was accurate when the data was collected and recorded. Land cover in Hennepin County is in constant flux due to development or other human alteration. In many cases, more refined and detailed information has been collected and analyzed since these reports were completed. If you are interested in the most recent information for a particular location, please email Dave Thill or call 612-348-0124.

Please note that some of the reports are large file sizes and may take awhile to download.

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