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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




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

Land Protection

The heart of our mission is land protection. We've preserved more than 51,000 acres and over a million feet of shoreline, primarily through the use of conservation easements. The Belwin Conservancy in Washington County hosts a small herd of bison on their conservation easement, visited by hundreds of schoolchildren each year.lands we protect and the reasons for protection vary. Here's a snapshot of the types of land we preserve:

Private Lands

While Minnesota has many acres of land devoted to public parks and natural areas, there are countless places where development and other land uses threaten the quality of wildlife habitat or the purity of our waters.

These are the farms, forests, natural shorelines and undeveloped properties owned by individuals and families that when protected, add value to the public lands that already serve us well.  We've identified key priority areas around the state, and work with willing landowners to conserve parcels in those areas.

Public Spaces

We believe that beautiful natural places are a necessity of life for all creatures. Our attraction to those beautiful places makes us want to build things on them – to live there, visit, play there. But in doing so, access can be limited to just a few people -- and animal, fish and bird habitat is often severely Gale Woods FarmGale Woods Farm, part of the Three Rivers Park District in western Hennepin County, protected with a conservation easement in 2002. Photo courtesy Derek Dickinsoncompromised.

The Minnesota Land Trust works with local communities and park districts to protect their open spaces forever. Why is that necessary? Today’s leaders are concerned that tomorrow’s budget or development pressures will usurp the long-term public benefit that these beautiful places provide. 

The Minnesota Land Trust's conservation easement ensures they stay protected forever.  Notable projects include: the Grand Marais Harbor, Gale Woods Farm (Minnetrista), Baypoint Park (Red Wing) and parts of Minnesota Point in Duluth.

Scenic Vistas & Iconic Landmarks

While we're driven to preserve habitat and protect our water resources, one of Minnesota’s most precious resources is embodied in our scenic vistas and iconic landmarks. The grandeur of the Mississippi River bluffs; the wide expanses of open prairie; quiet stands of tall, stately pines next to pristine lakes; waves crashing on a rocky Lake Superior shoreline. These are just some of the images that come to mind when we asked: "what makes Minnesota special?"Apple Blossom DriveApple Blossom Drive is a National Scenic Byway and site of several conservation easements in southeastern Minnesota. Photo: Charise Badzinski

In addition to land protection along several Scenic Byways, the Land Trust has protected well-known landmarks such as Listening Point on Burntside Lake and Ernest Oberholtzer's Review Islands in Rainy Lake. These touchstones to Minnesota's historic conservation movement continue to serve the public as places of reflection and inspiration. These and other sites remain protected forever by the Minnesota Land Trust.

Conservation Design and Development

In its simplest form, conservation design is a broad term for the process of developing a particular parcel of land in a manner that respects the site’s natural and cultural features. It usually addresses new residential developments in rural or suburban settings.

Conservation design is not an entirely new nor complex concept. In the 1960s and 1970s, developments like Keya Paha in Rice County and Jonathon in Chaska tested the feasibility of protecting lakeshore and other natural features for all the residents to enjoy, rather than parceling it off for the exclusive appreciation of a few homeowners.

The Minnesota Land Trust has worked with numerous developers and the local communities to help create conservation developments in over 35 residential communities where we hold conservation easements over the shared trails, shoreline and open space.

View a map of properties protected since 1991.