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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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Office Locations & Directions


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 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!


Bird habitat protected forever

In the upper reaches of Kittson County, deep in Northwestern Minnesota, lies the property of Greg Peterson. This property is covered by 80 acres of classic Minnesota aspen woodland and sedge meadow wetlands - home to birds, bear, elk, and moose. And now, it's protected forever by a conservation easement with the Minnesota Land Trust.

Greg originally bought his land over 30 years ago, primarily to use for hunting. By protecting it, he hopes that future generations will be able to enjoy the land as he does. “This shouldn’t be turned into something that it isn’t in the future,” says Greg. “I plan to keep this land, and will try and keep it in the family. With this easement, it will stay exactly as it is.”

More than just beautiful land to recreate on, this property is part of a larger complex of protected public and private lands spanning over 20,000 acres that are vital to birds that live in or migrate through Kittson County. The property falls within an Audubon Important Bird Area (IBA) and its protection is the result of a partnership between the Minnesota Land Trust and Audubon Minnesota. With support from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC), the goal of the partnership is to preserve essential wildlife habitat in the Tallgrass Aspen Parkland eco-region where Audubon Minnesota has documented over 262 different bird species.

Protecting private land can expand the impacts of other protected public and private lands, by creating larger habitat blocks and corridors for wildlife.This is especially important for the last few remaining elk herds in Minnesota whereby protecting natural grasslands can also relieve some of the conflicts that arise when elk browse cultivated lands. Additionally, the fact that the land will stay private means landowners will continue to pay property taxes, hunt, recreate, and manage the land as they have been.

This permanent conservation easement was made possible thanks to the members of the Minnesota Land Trust and Audubon Minnesota, 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 Greg Peterson who protected this unique property forever!