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Natural Resource Management: Greenways and Natural Areas

What is a Greenway?

Greenways, according to Jennifer Howard, author of Greenways: A Citizen's Guide, are linear corridors of land, and water and the natural, cultural and recreational resources they link together.

What do Greenways do?

Northern Dakota County Greenway Greenways help conserve a variety of resources and create recreational opportunities. Greenways can provide a significant amount of wildlife habitat in a relatively small area, which is critical in areas experiencing severe development pressures.

Greenways link parks, forests, wildlife refuges and historical landmarks. Greenways can follow rivers, streams, wetlands, barrier beaches, hilltops and abandoned rail lines, and cross fields and forests. Some greenways are publicly owned; others are private. Some are for recreation; others protect a scenic view or wildlife habitat. Furthermore, greenways and natural areas adjacent to rivers and other drainageways can have significant flood control and water quality benefits in addition to serving as recreational resources and biological reserves.

Dakota County Natural Resource Inventory What's Our Role?

The Dakota SWCD is actively participating in multiple greenway projects throughout the county. We have mapped land cover for the entire county and work with land owners to establish vegetated buffers. We work closely with multiple natural resource agencies to make sure land owners are aware of all the opportunities available to protect and enhance greenways and natural areas.

What can you do?

Contact the SWCD if you would like to restore, manage, or protect the natural resources on your property. We can work with you to find the most effective way to make your property a critical link in Dakota County's greenway.


Conservation Easement Programs
Dakota County Farmland and Natural Areas Program
Vermillion River Watershed Stream Classification and Buffer Standards
Wetland and Waterway Inventory and Assessment