With over 80% of Minnesota’s land privately owned, landowners are the first line of defense in protecting our natural spaces from habitat degradation and future development.
Alongside private citizens, organizations like Belwin Conservancy are part of a growing community of landowners working to ensure the long-term health of our lands and wildlife.
Over the years, Belwin Conservancy has encouraged private landowners to create conservation easements and restore healthy native habitat on their own property. The result is a growing patchwork of land in the Valley Creek watershed that is protected in perpetuity. With proper management, this land will serve as a buffer so wildlife and native plants can thrive for years to come.
What is a conservation easement?
Conservation easements are voluntary agreements through which landowners limit the use and development of their property to permanently preserve its natural or cultural features. When a landowner partners with a nonprofit organization (like the Minnesota Land Trust or Belwin Conservancy) or government agency to put a conservation easement on their property, that easement is tied inextricably to the deed ensuring that the land will always be protected.
What is restoration?
When we restore land, we seek to include or re-establish native plants and animals historically found there and create a healthy, native habitat that is sustainable into the future. Before the 1800s, much of Belwin Conservancy was made up of prairies, oak savannas, and hardwood forests. Each of these is its own plant community, adapted to the local climate, functioning together to provide healthy habitat, clean water, and fresh air. In addition to improving habitat conditions, restoring native plant communities increases your land’s beauty and resilience.
How can I learn more?
Whether you’re simply trying to protect a special place, or want to reclaim a piece of land for native species, Belwin is proud to share best practices in land management and habitat restoration. Contact us or watch our events page for upcoming opportunities to learn more.