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Camp Kingswood Conservation Easement

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People, as individuals or part of an organization, are donating land and easements to protect natural areas that safeguard watersheds and streams. The Howe family donated a conservation easement of 80 acres of Mississippi blufflands to the Minnesota Land Trust (pictured here, lower center of image). This "birds-eye" view of their property illustrates how protecting this property will keep riparian habitats connected along the river corridor.

Camp Kingswood is a Methodist church camp that has provided outdoor experiences and worship for different congregations for more than 50 years. Located on Little Long Lake in Hennepin County, the setting is a rare gem that could easily become prime development property. It is nestled in a deep basin where the surrounding mini watershed drains directly into the lake. Besides having shoreline frontage on a natural trout lake, the camp is surrounded by a ridge that would be the envy of homebuilders.

Recognizing the potential for erosion, chemical runoff and resulting water quality problems if the ridge top were developed, the Hennepin Conservation District nominated the site as a candidate for local land protection under the DNR Metro Greenways project.

The DNR is in the process of purchasing a $500,000 conservation easement for the protection and management of 70 acres of the camp property. This infusion of cash will provide much needed financial resources to the camp so it isn't forced to sell to developers.

A DNR management plan includes the integration of church curriculum and camp programs with management of the site, such as buckthorn removal. This creates opportunities for campers to connect their religious beliefs with stewardship practices, and to better understand and appreciate natural systems.


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