On Wednesday, October 30th I went to a great event at the Ridgedale Library that showed how the community is working to protect and restore its open spaces.
The event—Celebrating Cullen Nature Preserve—was put on by a new local community group, The Friends of the Cullen Preserve. The preserve itself, which I’ve written about before, is a 30-acre plot located next to Interstate 494 that was acquired by the city from a longtime resident in 2015.
The preserve has a lot of potential for outdoor activities like bird watching, nature study, and hiking. But, improvements must be made including removing invasive plants and restoring the land to its native state.
Over 65 people attended the event which featured a silent auction to raise money for future projects and a presentation by Dr. Lee Frelich, head of the Center for Forest Ecology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Frelich highlighted the importance of places like the Cullen Nature Preserve, with its “Big Woods ecology,” when preserving native species, including plants and pollinators, here in Minnesota.
When communities come together, they can have a big collective impact on protecting the Minnesota we all love. That’s why I am so excited to continue my work with the Friends of the Cullen Nature Preserve and the City of Minnetonka to improve the property. We still need help as there’s a lot of work to do. If you’re interested in getting involved please contact me at 612.767.1571 or JohnA@conservationminnesota.org.