Three Rivers Park District - Natural Resources Management

Three Rivers Park District - Natural Resources Management Restoring and protecting natural resources-such as native plant communities, wildlife diversity and water quality in Three Rivers Park District.

Our policy for the planning and management of natural resources distinguishes us from other park and recreation agencies in Minnesota. Specifically, our policy allows no more than 20 percent of a park reserve to be developed for active use and requires that at least 80 percent of the park reserve be restored to and retained in a natural state. In keeping with this policy, we are actively involved in the preservation and restoration of wildlife and plant species.

Operating as usual

09/13/2021

Monarch Snow Globe! Well more like a Monarch Grassland Globe?!

This was over a week ago but demonstrates the importance of having nectar sources for monarchs when they start migration.

Liatris aspera provided this one day draw of thousands of Monarchs!

Monarch Joint Venture

Love this past article from BBC News on #wasps.  They get such a bad reputation this time of year and important to remem...
08/31/2021
What's really the point of wasps?

Love this past article from BBC News on #wasps. They get such a bad reputation this time of year and important to remember they are extremely important in the environment and face decline problems similar to their cousins...the bees.

Pollinator Friendly Alliance had some great shared resources to learn more:

Native Plant Lists for Wasps: https://www.pollinatorsnativeplants.com/plant-lists--posters.html

Identification Guide:
https://www.pollinationpress.com/store/p17/wasps.html

Short Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnCg3PPTs9c

A new citizen science survey aims to shed light on that fixture of summertime in the outdoors: the wasp.

You may get lucky with company while you seed collect out on the restored prairies of Three Rivers Park District - Crow ...
08/30/2021

You may get lucky with company while you seed collect out on the restored prairies of Three Rivers Park District - Crow Hassan Park Reserve. Not everyone has the eye to spot these beautiful snakes as they blend in perfectly with the grass.

Still time to sign up as spots remain open...but not for long!

To learn more on how to get involved: https://www.threeriversparks.org/page/prairie-seed-collection

📸: Seed Collector Crystal Colby Mulry

Sad to end the survey season of #BumbleBees but was an honor to find and observe this QUEEN!  This is the federally enda...
08/18/2021

Sad to end the survey season of #BumbleBees but was an honor to find and observe this QUEEN!

This is the federally endangered Rusty-patched Bumble Bee. The queen looks much different than the female workers and males, no rusty patch amongst the yellow. All in the head shape, identification of bumble bees takes practice.

Field staff are seeing mostly males out, hoping to find and cross paths with these lovely future queens. Crazy to think this large fuzzy bumble bee will find a nice place to overwinter, emerge in the spring, and be responsible for starting a new colony of the rare Rusty-patched Bumble Bee. We kept handling brief for recording purposes (permit required) and released her back to the Joe-pye W**d we found her on.

Good luck to all the future bumble bee queens!

To learn more on proper identification on the Rusty-Patched: https://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/insects/rpbb/rpbbid.html

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Twin Cities Bumble Bee Survey Minnesota Native Bee Atlas

Sad to end the survey season of #BumbleBees but was an honor to find and observe this QUEEN!

This is the federally endangered Rusty-patched Bumble Bee. The queen looks much different than the female workers and males, no rusty patch amongst the yellow. All in the head shape, identification of bumble bees takes practice.

Field staff are seeing mostly males out, hoping to find and cross paths with these lovely future queens. Crazy to think this large fuzzy bumble bee will find a nice place to overwinter, emerge in the spring, and be responsible for starting a new colony of the rare Rusty-patched Bumble Bee. We kept handling brief for recording purposes (permit required) and released her back to the Joe-pye W**d we found her on.

Good luck to all the future bumble bee queens!

To learn more on proper identification on the Rusty-Patched: https://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/insects/rpbb/rpbbid.html

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Twin Cities Bumble Bee Survey Minnesota Native Bee Atlas

What an incredible find at Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve from park guest Jay Steele who lives in Burnsville.  A shockingl...
08/10/2021

What an incredible find at Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve from park guest Jay Steele who lives in Burnsville.

A shockingly beautiful Red-headed Woodpecker always gets us excited but to confirm with a juvenile...a rare thing.

Restoration work at Murphy-Hanrehan is paying off BIG! We hope this is only the first of more reports to follow through the progress of this project.

Things are a little dry?!  Anyone who has been in the parks has likely noticed the drought in our natural areas and even...
08/06/2021

Things are a little dry?! Anyone who has been in the parks has likely noticed the drought in our natural areas and even in your own yard.

These pictures taken below by Wildlife Volunteer John Pennoyer demonstrate how many of our prairie potholes have dried up. The top picture taken recently at Three Rivers Park District - Crow Hassan Park Reserve and the below picture taken same area 3 years previously in a more typical summer season.

It will be a challenging year to collect seed, survival of plugs from restoration projects, forestry planting sites, and the list continues.

To learn more visit the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
With 79 percent of Minnesota now experiencing severe drought and 35 percent experiencing extreme drought (link is external), the state is in drought warning phase. With this designation, the DNR and others are taking additional steps.
https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/climate/drought/index.html

Have you thought much about mussels?  No, not the kind you lift weights for!  The mussels of the water...and they are ve...
08/05/2021

Have you thought much about mussels? No, not the kind you lift weights for! The mussels of the water...and they are very important with many in trouble.

Check out the NEW release of The Wandering Naturalist Podcast of Three Rivers Park District to listen to all three episodes which feature knowledgeable guests to help you learn more.

Minnesota Zoo Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Mississippi Gateway Regional Park of Three Rivers Park District #mussels #minnesotawater #podcast

New episodes! Tune into The Wandering Naturalist Podcast of Three Rivers Park District as Angela and Brandon discuss why mussels matter, what mussels are, their unique life story and survival strategies, and why mussels are now one of the most endangered groups of animals.
https://www.threeriversparks.org/podcast

This year volunteers assisted with banding a total of 334 nestlings of Purple Martins at the various colony sites:Three ...
08/03/2021

This year volunteers assisted with banding a total of 334 nestlings of Purple Martins at the various colony sites:

Three Rivers Park District - Baker Park Reserve 78
Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park 55
Eagle Lake Golf 86
Three Rivers Park District - French Regional Park 61
Three Rivers Park District-Gale Woods Farm 54

Despite the spring winter storms down south followed by extreme heat and drought, this was an excellent year for the Purple Martins. We are always sad to see them leave this time of year to gather together in large roosts to head back south to Brazil. Their cheerful garbles will be welcomed again in the spring!

Purple Martin Conservation Association MN Purple Martin Working Group

Wildlife staff have completed round 1 of our bumble bee surveys at Park Reserves...sadly zero Rusty-patched bumble bees ...
07/30/2021
Endangered rusty patched bumble bee making rare appearances in southwest metro

Wildlife staff have completed round 1 of our bumble bee surveys at Park Reserves...sadly zero Rusty-patched bumble bees were detected.

Thankful for everyone else that is still reporting them in their yards, gardens, and restoration areas within the Metro Area. Now is a great time to go search among the flowers and see what you can find. Upload photos to iNaturalist.org or Bumble Bee Watch applications right on your phone!

Check out the feature in Southwest News Media on bumble bees and the important work everyone is trying to do to save this species before it is too late.

“I always can’t help but think in the back of my head, ‘is this the last one — is this the last one I might ever see in my life?’” Grill said. “Because that’s where we are at with some of these declining pollinators.”

Sightings of Minnesota’s state bee continue to excite bee surveyors in the Twin Cities metro who say the endangered pollinator has recently been spotted in residential gardens and other urban

#ForTheLoveOfMoths We couldn't agree more on this underappreciated and often missed critical insect in the important foo...
07/28/2021
For the Love of Moths | Xerces Society

#ForTheLoveOfMoths We couldn't agree more on this underappreciated and often missed critical insect in the important food web.

Moths are incredibly diverse with North America being home to more than 12,000 species - an astonishing number compared to our relatively paltry 800 or so species of #Butterflies!

The Xerces Society hopes to change your mind in this blog article below from thinking of holey clothing, infested cupboards, and sad powdery wings to instead appreciating #Moths roles as a critical food source and important pollinator.

Are you ready to give moths a chance?

Moths get a bad reputation as pest insects or being overly drab, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Even the dullest moth from afar is actually quite beautiful when you get up close and day-active species are so large and colorful that they’re often confused for butterflies..

Have you been noticing bumble bees in your garden or on a visit to one of our parks?!  Help researchers by taking photos...
07/22/2021

Have you been noticing bumble bees in your garden or on a visit to one of our parks?! Help researchers by taking photos and joining the 3rd Annual Backyard Bumble Bee Count.

Use iNaturalist.org to upload your photos and become a citizen scientist.

Every bumble bee sighting submitted during the 9-day period (July 23 - August 1) helps researchers learn more about these pollinators and how they are doing. Here are some great tips on how to take photos of bumble bees: https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/using-photographs-for-id/

Remember to only take photos and not capture or disturb the bees. Any handling of bumble bees in the metro area requires a federal permit and proper training.

Join the 3rd annual Backyard Bumble Bee Count! Use iNaturalist to upload your observations. You’ll be supporting others committed to conserving the endangered rusty patched bumble bee and all bumble bees. Every bumble bee count submitted during the 9‐day period helps researchers learn more about how bumble bees are doing and how to protect them and the environment we share. Visit https://backyardbbcount.wixsite.com/bumblebeecount for more information. Partners for the event include University of MN Bee Lab, Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge UW-Madison Arboretum Minnesota Zoo Zoo Pass - Zoological Society of Milwaukee

Can't help but think about #pollinators as we conduct #bumblebee surveys this week.  Why are pollinators important?  How...
07/16/2021
Helping Bees by Growing a Better Food System | Xerces Society

Can't help but think about #pollinators as we conduct #bumblebee surveys this week. Why are pollinators important? How can we help them?

Great blog article from The Xerces Society on their Bee Better Certified system.

"A lot of us frequently point to the failings of our food system: its environmental impact, its over-production of unhealthy options, its abuse and neglect of the people and animals upon which it is built. But it is also a system of our own making. Author and food-system observer Michael Pollan has noted that “perhaps more than any other, the food industry is very sensitive to consumer demand.” Pointing out the failings of our food system is easy, while pulling the chain in a different direction takes more work. But it is an effort well justified by the end results, and in which we can all participate with the power of our wallets."

Consumer demand ultimately pulls along our entire food supply. Demand for a particular product will trickle all the way back to the farms where it comes from. Bee Better Certified allows consumers to change the food system to help bees through the power of their wallets.

Not only do we get to brag about our awesome volunteers but we have talented expert staff!Senior Wildlife Manager, John ...
07/14/2021
John Moriarty earns Minnesota Chapter’s highest honor - The Wildlife Society

Not only do we get to brag about our awesome volunteers but we have talented expert staff!

Senior Wildlife Manager, John Moriarty, earned the highest honor bestowed by the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society - the Minnesota Award.

Throughout his 40-year career, Moriarty has secured $4,000,000 in grants for wildlife surveys, reintroductions, and restoration projects. Not to mention all his publications...

Help us share this milestone and applaud John's dedication to our natural resources!

John Moriarty, a longtime TWS member, received the 2020 Minnesota Award from the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society. The chapter annually gives the award to Minnesota’s top conservationists who have made outstanding contributions to the state’s wildlife and natural resources. Moriarty, th...

Yesterday we received a phone call we have been fearful of happening...the Osprey nest along the entrance road to Lowry ...
07/07/2021

Yesterday we received a phone call we have been fearful of happening...the Osprey nest along the entrance road to Lowry Nature Center of Three Rivers Parks had fell in the rain. This nesting platform failed early in the spring and staff was unable to access to make repairs. The Osprey pair continued to build a nest despite the failure, it seemed stable and staff decided to leave them...determined to make the necessary repairs in the fall after migration.

With two chicks in the nest, they didn't fall far and appeared uninjured once wildlife staff arrived. Quick action and teamwork allowed staff to attach a new platform, band the chicks, and return nesting material back onto the platform...lastly returning the chicks to the nest. This all happened within hours of receiving the phone call!

Huge shout out to site staff at Lowry for making the call, the swift action and collaboration of forestry staff to get out to the site with a bucket truck, and the wildlife crew for safely handling the chicks.

We hope everyone can swing by to visit and observe these amazing raptors, they really are remarkable birds!

If you haven't signed up yet and have been meaning to experience our recreated prairies...sign up is LIVE!!!  Join us fo...
07/06/2021
Prairie Seed Collection | Three Rivers Park District

If you haven't signed up yet and have been meaning to experience our recreated prairies...sign up is LIVE!!! Join us for Prairie Seed Collecting at various locations such as Three Rivers Park District - Crow Hassan Park Reserve, Elm Creek Park Reserve - Three Rivers Park District, Three Rivers Park District- Hyland Lake Park Reserve, and Three Rivers Park District - Carver Park Reserve.

Each week we have at least two public seed collections but if you act quick enough we have limited sign up for private seed collections for groups over 10 participants. Great activity for team building and providing a valuable resources for ongoing restoration efforts.

Check out the link below and sign up today!

Three Rivers Park District Volunteering

Each year, hundreds of volunteers help increase the amount and diversity of seed planted in the nearly 2,000 acres of restored prairie managed by Three Rivers Park District. One-time and ongoing volunteers are welcome.

If you cannot tell how proud and excited we are for Gene reaching this milestone...here is more insight into how reachin...
06/28/2021
A Legacy of Service: How One Volunteer Gave 10,000 Hours | Three Rivers Park District

If you cannot tell how proud and excited we are for Gene reaching this milestone...here is more insight into how reaching 10,000 service hours at Three Rivers Park District happened!

Three Rivers Park District Volunteering has so many opportunities across our park locations and surrounding communities. Check it out and get involved...you never know...we could be bragging about YOU next!

What are your passions that you volunteer for?

Gene Lau started volunteering at Eastman Nature Center in the winter of 1988. An ad in his local newspaper asked for help leading snowshoe hikes. “Well, I’d never done anything like that before and didn’t know anything about Eastman Nature Center, but it was minutes from my house.” Gene reca...

IF you love watching live camera footage of birds...you must check this out!!  #PurpleMartins are hatching!!!  This is n...
06/25/2021
PMCA Purple Martin NestCam 2021

IF you love watching live camera footage of birds...you must check this out!!

#PurpleMartins are hatching!!! This is not in Minnesota but a great way to showcase these fantastic birds. Our six active colonies at Three Rivers have hatching activity as well with some chicks already days old.

Purple Martin Conservation Association

Watch as a five year old Purple Martin female X271 (Jolene!) and her mate try to successfully raise nestlings at the Purple Martin Conservation Association H...

Fuzzy #BumbleBees have to be covered to celebrate #PollinatorWeek!  Here is our educational pinned collection to help sh...
06/24/2021

Fuzzy #BumbleBees have to be covered to celebrate #PollinatorWeek!

Here is our educational pinned collection to help showcase the diversity of bumble bees here in #Minnesota. We have at least 20 species of bumble bees in Minnesota, which includes at least six species that researchers believe are declining such as the Rusty-patched Bumble bee, which is our #MinnesotaStateBee.

To learn more visit the Twin Cities Bumble Bee Survey: https://mnbumblebeeatlas.umn.edu/?fbclid=IwAR0OGJICuzDOoTjA_ec2Ht5-_oHCP6ZyHXse_DYCSwaeSDGVtRfye6XXkEs

University of Minnesota Twin Cities Minnesota Native Bee Atlas

You can also listen to a past episode of The Wandering Naturalist Podcast of Three Rivers Park District where we talked about native bees: https://thewanderingnaturalist.libsyn.com/website/bees-cows-and-your-lunch-to-bumblebee-be-or-to-honeybee

Address

12615 County Road 9
Plymouth, MN
55441

General information

The Park District was created in 1957. Since then, it has grown to encompass almost 27,000 acres of parks and trails and is visited by 9 million guests annually.

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Three Rivers Park District - Natural Resources Management posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Videos

Nearby government services


Other Plymouth government services

Show All