The Minnesota Land Trust works with communities to preserve land. Many of the projects we have completed with our partners are signature parks. A signature park is a premiere park within a city that helps to capture three vital goals of the community: to maintain scenic character within the community by providing visual contrast to development; to restore and maintain habitat for plant and animal diversity; and to provide opportunities for low impact recreation, outdoor education, and interaction with nature. Signature parks provide opportunities for the public to learn about, experience, and enjoy nature while permanently protecting natural habitat that is vital to the region.
Examples of signature parks that the Land Trust has helped to permanently protect through conservation easements:
Vetsch Park (La Crescent, MN)
Located on the west edge of La Crescent, Vetsch Park is a locally-known quiet spot with a beautiful view of the Mississippi River Valley. The park contains an apple orchard, woodland areas, natural-surface hiking trails for public use, and a picturesque wooded hillside which can be seen from the city.
Sunfish Lake Park (Lake Elmo, MN)
Sunfish Lake Park is considered the crown jewel of the Lake Elmo park system and is an important illustration of the quiet, rural character Lake Elmo. The park’s untouched rolling landscape has remained virtually the same since the arrival of the first settlers and comprises an abundant variety of wildlife habitat including an oak forest, grasslands, wetlands and ponds. The park also provides public access to Sunfish Lake.
Grand Marais Harbor Park (Grand Marais, MN)
This scenic landscape can be seen immediately by visitors to Grand Marais entering on the North Shore Scenic Drive (Highway 61), from the city streets, and also from Lake Superior. The undeveloped, natural character along Sweethearts Bluff and the scenic harbor and marina have been protected both to protect the significant wildlife habitat and to maintain the small, quaint setting that the lakeshore provides that entices tourists, artists, and photographers to visit this city each year.