Metro Conservation Corridors

What are Conservation Corridors?

“Started in 2003, the Metro Conservation Corridors is a partnership of conservation organizations whose goal is to protect a series of connected corridors throughout the greater Twin Cities area. These corridors provide our communities with open space, wildlife habitat and water quality benefits.

“With funding from the Environmental Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources (now the Legislative-Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources), the project partners permanently protect and restore ecologically important land in predetermined corridors.” (emphasis ours)

The need for greenspaces

The Metro Conservation Corridors (MeCC) grow out of the natural resource analysis work done by the DNR in the late '90s, documented in the Metro Greenprint publication. Below is a quote from page 11 of that document.

“In the brief span of time since the Twin Cities metro region was settled, 94 percent of its original habitat has disappeared. The Big Woods, a vast hardwood forest of towering old trees, once blanketed much of Hennepin County; fewer than 1,000 acres remain. Less than 1 percent of the area’s prairie is left. Once abundant species have vanished due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

“In spite of those losses, the area still boasts a wide range of natural amenities. The Minnesota, Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers meander through green valleys. Our landscape is sprinkled with wetlands and lakes. Remnant patches of prairie and woods remind us of the region’s natural history and our role in the masterfully woven tapestry of life.

“These natural resources exert a strong pull on people today, just as they did in the past. As a result, the region’s population is expected to continue growing…. These new residents will need homes, roads and all the other amenities of modern civilization, amenities that could seriously degrade and diminish what little of our natural heritage is left if we’re not careful.

“That situation poses a clear and compelling choice for communities as they plan for the growth that’s sure to continue in the metro region. Will they develop in a fashion that destroys the very things people love? Or will they recognize a fundamental law of economics: that what is rare is precious? If the choice is the latter, then we need to act now to identify, inventory and protect remaining resources in a way that guides growth to minimize environmental impacts.”

METRO GREENPRINT, Planning for nature in the face of urban growth,
Greenways and Natural Areas Collaborative, December 1997

Big Woods

Big Woods refers to a type of temperate hardwood forest ecoregion found in western Wisconsin and south-central Minnesota. "Big Woods" is a direct translation of the name given to the region by French explorers: Grand Bois. Wikipedia

Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund

In 1988, Minnesota’s voters approved a constitutional amendment establishing the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. The purpose of the Trust Fund is to provide a long-term, consistent, and stable source of funding for activities that protect and enhance Minnesota’s environment and natural resources for the benefit of current citizens and future generations.

The money in the Trust Fund originates from a combination of contributions and investment income. Forty percent of the net proceeds from the Minnesota State Lottery are deposited to the Trust Fund each year; this contribution is guaranteed by the Minnesota Constitution until December 31, 2024. The Trust Fund may also receive contributions from other sources such as private donations.



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