News Flash

Wright County News

Posted on: February 7, 2020

Parks & Recreation Department Conducting a Habitat Restoration Project At Ney Park

People traveling by Robert Ney Memorial Park in the area surrounding CSAH 8 and 73rd Avenue NW in Maple Lake Township and see downed trees and trucks and trailers moving around the property might think there is a small logging operation going on.

There isn’t any lumberjacking going on. It is part of a Wright County Parks and Recreation Department project to create an atmosphere conducive to bird and waterfowl production. Parks and Recreation Director Marc Mattice said that the project impacts a relatively large area and required that the trees be removed.

“We are working to do a habitat restoration project in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Jane Goodall Environmental Sciences Academy on 16½ acres,” Mattice said. “We are removing undesirable tree species and preparing to re-establish a native prairie restoration for this spring.”

Mattice explained that those familiar with the area might be surprised at the sudden change in the landscape in the restoration area and not know why it happened. He felt the public should be informed that the removal of the trees is necessary for the wetland to serve its purpose for birds and insects alike.

“The concern we have is that people will see the work that has been done and wonder why we’re removing the trees around this wetland,” Mattice said. “The reason to remove the trees was to tie the wetland in with the prairie. It will provide better nesting habitat for songbirds and waterfowl and it will be filled with native forbs (flowers). The will create pollinator habitat as well.”

The trees that were taken down were given to nearby residents who heat their homes with wood.

Mattice said the timeline won’t kick back in once the brush and debris have been removed over the next week or so until March or April, depending on how long snow remains. At that point, the project will be completed.

“In the spring, we will do a controlled burn of the grass, get the seed bed cleaned up and we will plant it in the spring,” Mattice said. 

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