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Minnesota Land Trust

Minnesota Land Trust, a nonprofit 501(c)(3)

 2356 University Avenue West, Suite 240

Saint Paul, MN 55114

Phone: 651-647-9590




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Located on the Green Line, across the street from Raymond Station. On bus routes 16, 21, 63 and 67. Nice Ride location across the street, available seasonally. Parking available on the south side of the building and on the street (metered).




Land Trust Accreditation Commission    Charities Review Council


Interest for Others  Guidestar Platinum


Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund


A Lifetime of Memories, Protected Forever

We all have memories we want to hold onto forever, but few of us can put a whole lifetime of memories in a time capsule the way Jeff and Cindy Erding of Fillmore County have. The Erding’s recently completed a conservation easement on their naturally-significant property with the Minnesota Land Trust, which protects their land from future development and preserves the memories they’ve made on it – forever.
“I personally hunted these hills and fished the streams with my parents as a youth, chasing squirrels, pheasants, turkeys, and deer,” says Jeff Erding. “Later as young adults, Cindy and I were able to purchase this property and raise our own children here, enjoying the property as a family while hunting, camping, hiking, and horseback riding countless enjoyable hours. Now in our retirement years, we have the satisfaction of knowing the property will remain intact and undeveloped for the enjoyment of future generations of people and the welfare of plants and wildlife that live here.’”
By protecting their land with a conservation easement, the property is still owned by the Erdings, but future development is limited. Beyond their memories, protecting the property has real benefits for the water quality and plants and animals of greater Fillmore County.
“There’s a real lack of public lands in this area, so protecting private property allows us to begin to create complexes of protected land in Fillmore,” says Nick Bancks, program manager with the Minnesota Land Trust. “This property is just north of a designated trout stream which flows into the Root River – so there are real water quality benefits for communities downstream in keeping this land in its natural state.”
Jeff and Cindy have seen the pressure that development can have on land around theirs, explored their options and decided on working with the Minnesota Land Trust to protect it.
“As lifelong area residents, we have watched with growing concern as adjoining properties have been split and numerous homes built, often to the detriment of the land and wildlife.” says Jeff. “Cindy and I are extremely grateful to the Minnesota Land Trust for their support and assistance in protecting our property from the kind of fragmentation and development that has become so common nearby.”
“As more and more landowners realize the benefits of protecting their land with a conservation easement, we’re making sure the waters and lands we all rely on will be here for future generations,” says Nick. “By using a conservation easement, we’re also ensuring the land will stay in private hands, and that landowners will continue to pay taxes, recreate on the land, and be able to pass it on to their family in the future to enjoy as they have.

Protecting the water quality and critical wildlife habitat of our state depends on the generous spirit of Minnesotans like Jeff and Cindy Erding, says Kris Larson, executive director of the Minnesota Land Trust. “By taking this important step to preserve this land forever, they are is ensuring that future generations have an opportunity to create the same memories on this land for years to come.

This permanent conservation easement was made possible thanks to the members of the Minnesota Land Trust, with funding from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature and recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC). Thank you to all our members and supporters, and most of all to Jeff and Cindy Erding who protected this unique property forever!


A Family Legacy of Conservation

The City of Red Wing is renowned for its open and natural places, however as the municipality has grown, development has encroached on what was previously woodlands, agricultural fields, and bluffs. But thanks to the Ghei family of Red Wing, 69 acres of land in the city will remain in its natural state. Since 2001 Johanna Ghei and her three children have worked to restore the natural habitat that can now be found on their property, and now, with a conservation easement with the Minnesota Land Trust, this unique landscape is protected forever.

For Gita Ghei, protecting the land was more than just about the plants and wildlife — it was about a family legacy of conservation. The property has been in the family since 1956, when Gita’s grandfather John Anderson purchased it with the express goal of protecting it from future development. “After our grandfather passed, we thought it was important to keep the land natural; that’s the way our grandparents would have wanted it,” says Gita. “My mother was pretty clear about the importance of having wild spaces for migrating birds, as well as our concerns about development.”

“There are a lot of nice old oak trees, a little savanna, and all the characteristics Minnesotans really love; like nettles, lots of wildflowers in the spring, and a high oak canopy. We would always go see the wildflowers in the spring, and under those oaks would have a nice quiet, calm space.”

This property helps add to a larger complex of protected lands around the City of Red Wing. It abuts another protected property, and is within a few miles of 2,000 acres of State Forest lands, four other Land Trust easements, and seven State-managed areas of public land. In total over 5,000 acres (equivalent to almost 8 square miles) of public and privately-protected lands exist within two miles of the Ghei’s land.

“We are really excited about how protecting this land was adding another piece into the puzzle to make sure there are larger areas protected for wildlife,” says Gita.

Protecting this property in particular offers benefits for water because of the permanently protected stream that runs over the property (and perennial vegetation that surrounds it). They play an important role in filtering and storing water, enhancing both the water quality and recreational aesthetic of the Lower Cannon River.

Protecting the water quality and critical wildlife habitat of our state depends on the generous spirit of Minnesotans like the Ghei family. By taking this important step to preserve their land forever, they are ensuring that the wildlife and birds that rely on these areas will have habitat long into the future.

The Ghei family property is also important not just because of the habitat and water quality benefits it provides but also for its significant historical and cultural value as well; the surrounding area where the land is located once supported one of the largest Native American populations in the Upper Midwest, with numerous villages established in the area between 1050 and 1300 CE.

Environment and Natural Resources Trust FundThis permanent conservation easement was made possible thanks to the members of the Minnesota Land Trust, with funding provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). Thank you to all our members and supporters, the LCCMR and the legislature, and most of all to the Ghei family who protected this unique property forever!