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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

1-877-MLT-LAND

Email: mnland@mnland.org

 

Staff Directory

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

Thursday
Jun072018

Furthering a family legacy of conservation

Just outside of the Twin Cities metro in Isanti County, lies the property of Jason and Aimee Wendberg. This land, which had supported generations of the Wendberg family since they first arrived from Sweden, is now protected forever thanks to a conservation easement with the Minnesota Land Trust.

Most of the property is wetlands, with some forested area and grassland, providing habitat for a number of species. Blanding’s turtle, a threatened species has been seen on and around the property, and the wetlands protected here make excellent habitat for them. The Wendbergs are retiring some agricultural use and restoring wetlands along Stanchfield Creek, which will create an additional buffer to further protect the waters.

The 77-acre property is also part of a larger complex of protected lands in the area, and was identified as a priority by the Minnesota DNR through their Scientific and Natural Areas Strategic Plan. Within just 5 miles, there are four State Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), two State Aquatic Management Areas, and three properties permanently protected with Minnesota Land Trust conservation easements. In fact, part of the Dalbo WMA was donated to the State by Jason’s grandfather, showing just how far back this passion for conservation runs in the family.

The Wendbergs still actively use the land for recreation, and are dedicated to restoring and maintaining the integrity of the natural systems. Jason’s son, Brandon, lights up when talking about all of the wildlife he has seen and hunted while growing up in the area. Brandon has hunted bears, turkey, deer, and caught various fish on the property. Similarly, Jason can still remember catching Panfish, Bass, and Smallmouth as a kid, deepening his bond with the land.

“Isanti County is forcasted to see a 30% growth in population over the next few decades, and the few remaining natural areas like this are prime targets for development,” says Nick Bancks, program manager with the Land Trust. “By acting now to protect their land, Jason and Aimee are helping preserve some of the last, undeveloped habitat remaining around the Twin Cities metro.”

Our high quality of life in Minnesota is directly related to having nearby access to the outdoors – even in urban areas like the Twin Cities. By taking this important step to preserve their land forever, Jason and Aimee have ensured that future generations will be able to enjoy the same access and experiences that they do now.

This permanent conservation easement was made possible thanks to the members of the Minnesota Land Trust and with funding from 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, Tiffany Determan and the Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District, and most of all to Jason and Aimee Wendberg who protected this unique property forever!

Thursday
Jun072018

Generation Z in Nature

by Katherine Solohub, May-program high school intern at the Minnesota Land Trust

Katherine on Farm Island Lake, MNIn ninth grade as a part of a religion course at my school, I was asked when religion is most present in my life. Although the two words are frequently considered to be synonymous, I do not consider myself a religious person, but rather a spiritual person. So I revised the question to ask where or when I feel connected to something greater than myself in a spiritual sense. Nature was the obvious answer. It is when I am surrounded by trees, mountains, prairie lands and other natural landscapes that I feel as though there is a greater force than humans, the essence of spirituality.

However, I do not feel that this is the case for most young people these days. I have been fortunate enough to travel to different locations around the world all for the sake of hiking and being in nature. When I mention this to my classmates or other teenagers the usual response is to ask why I would do that when I don’t have access to my phone. I tell them that life is much simpler without a phone and you get to be in the moment and experience the things that are around you. There is the occasional teenager who shares similar experiences and we proceed to swap hiking stories; however, the majority opt not to leave the safety of their home for two weeks in the woods (not to mention cell service is terrible in the woods.)

From my observations, kids are choosing to stay inside more, shutting themselves in their rooms, only to be on social media where they craft unrealistic expectations of life. It would be wrong of me to criticize this, however, when I do this myself. No one is immune to technology, not even adults who also fall into this generalization. The question then becomes, how do we get kids outside and more importantly how do we get kids to want to go outside and enjoy nature?

Rangárbing Ytra, Iceland Meeting kids where they are, and marketing the outdoors as a shareable, “Instagram worthy" opportunity could be one solution. Teenagers and kids these days can be concerned with the aesthetic of the outdoors more than the actual experience of outdoors, particularly if they haven't had much experience exploring outside. Even if they're just there to take pictures to share, just the act of getting out into nature is one small step forward. By marketing nature to teenagers, it will get kids outside and who knows, they may even put their phone down inbetween photos and feel something greater than themselves. Or perhaps they won’t, but proceed to tell their friends about how great a photo they got at a park. One of them could have that epiphany, life changed forever.

That type of engagement isn't necessarily a heavy lift for conservation organizations either. For example, one photo-based social media platform that the Minnesota Land Trust could explore is Snapchat. This is a platform that mostly younger kids, teenagers, and millennials are using. Snapchat is more casual, and volunteer land monitors could use it to post pictures to a Land Trust Snapchat Story when they're out in the field.

Additionally, I would suggest conservation organizations refine their social media accounts and direct them to the average age of their users. For example, Facebook generally has an older use base, whereas Instagram is mainly a younger demographic. Therefore, Facebook and Instagram posts should be different in message and content. The most popular conservation accounts on Instagram post beautiful pictures and are usually accompanied by a caption about the location of the photo. The trick with the caption is to keep it short and sweet. Perhaps link the Minnesota Land Trust blog in the biography of the account where the link pertains to the latest picture and the link is updated with every post. However with Facebook, the pictures needn't be the main focus, and you can be more focused on getting a message across with longer captions that go into more detail.

Don’t get me wrong, there are teenagers and kids out there who love to be outdoors. But the fact of the matter is, they are a minority amongst those who are on their phone and have a fear of the lack of cell service in outdoor areas. There are ways to get kids outside, and enjoying nature; however, conservation organizations have to work to meet them where they are, and not just rely on traditional methods.