From lakes and rivers to urban parks, forests and prairies, Hennepin County has an abundance of diverse landscapes and natural resources. These natural resources provide critical habitat for wildlife, protect water quality, offer recreational opportunities, and enhance our collective quality of life.
About the Natural Resources Strategic Plan
The updated Hennepin County Natural Resources Strategic Plan will define our natural resources goals and strategies for the next 10 years.
The Hennepin County Natural Resources Strategic Plan guides the county’s work to improve, protect, and preserve natural resources and provides a framework for our natural resources policies, programs, and partnerships.
The plan guides the duties and authorities of the Soil and Water Conservation District, a role that Hennepin County fulfills. The plan also includes science and data-based information to guide staff in addressing the technical issues facing surface waters, groundwater, natural resources, wildlife, and soils of Hennepin County.
Review the current Natural Resources Strategic Plan (PDF), which was adopted by the county board in May 2016.
Hennepin County’s role in protecting natural resources
Work the county does to protect land and water resources includes:
- Protecting and restoring natural areas, including managing and acquiring conservation easements to permanently protect the best remaining natural areas in the county
- Protecting and restoring wetlands, including enforcing the state’s Wetland Conservation Act
- Improving water quality by partnering with local watershed management organizations and cities
- Preventing the spread of noxious weeds and aquatic invasive species by conducting inspections, educating residents, and working with partners on projects
- Improving and diversifying the tree canopy by growing, planting and maintaining healthy trees, working with partners on large-scale planting events and through grants, managing threats to the tree canopy, and educating the public
- Educating residents and providing technical and financial assistance to landowners on topics such as sustainable landscaping, agricultural best management practices, soil health initiatives, and other practices to protect water quality and wildlife habitat
- Managing navigational buoys and public access points for several public waters, including Lake Minnetonka, Lake Independence and Lake Sarah
Watch these short videos on YouTube to learn more about Hennepin County's work to protect natural resources:
View the playlist of all videos in the series on YouTube.