Natural Resource Specialist Dakota County Apple Valley, Minnesota
South of the Twin Cities, the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers join in a broad valley. There are numerous cultural sites, protected natural areas, and trails. This session will visit three trailheads to experience and learn about the unique natural resources and ecologies, history, and recreational opportunities.
Recognize the characteristics of the distinct ecological zones in the river valley and adjacent bluffs including floodplain forest, wetlands, oak savanna, and several prairie types and learn about vegetation management strategies.
Identify both resident bird species and those that pass through the Twin Cities during spring and fall migration and understand the area's overall importance within the Mississippi flyway.
Explain the key factors that contribute to the dynamic flood levels of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers seasonally and ways in which design in the floodplain must address the issue.
Learn about the recreation opportunities in the river valley that contribute to improved community health and environmental education.