A city’s natural resources extend beyond parks and green spaces to encompass all parts of the city – even commercial areas. With broad community understanding that healthy natural resources are essential to a thriving community, the City of Minnetonka partnered with Barr to set direction and priorities for natural resources protection and enhancement for the city.
When identifying natural resources improvement opportunities, we looked at issues effecting both private and public land, including habitat fragmentation, dwindling native plant diversity, lack of pollinator species, invasive species, urban heat island effect, climate change, human perception of natural resources, and more. With a holistic understanding of the historic and present state of Minnetonka’s natural resources, we then developed urban ecology management strategies through this comprehensive plan.
The final natural resources management plan presents suggestions for ecosystem regeneration and practical strategies for mitigating specific negative impacts such as habitat degradation, deer over-browse, and a common ‘everything green is good’ public perception. As part of the plan, Barr also provided volunteer, education, and engagement suggestions for ways in which the city can partner with the community to bolster support around the management of natural resources.