Maplewood's Natural Resources Plan (PDF) (Chapter 8 of the city's 2040 Comprehensive Plan) provides a framework for managing natural areas and wildlife in the city. The city's goals are to protect and enhance natural resources, enhance understanding of Maplewood's natural systems, and promote a culture of stewardship on public and private lands.
Maplewood has many acres of natural vegetation, including some relatively intact native plant communities. Small urban natural areas are too heavily impacted by human activity to thrive without a bit of help. Thus, the city actively restores and manages its natural areas as much as feasible.
Maplewood classifies its natural areas into categories:
Local Habitats are individual natural areas and backyard habitat connections. They include the Maplewood Neighborhood Preserves, drainage areas, and other public and private sites.
Many active Parks and Trails also have areas of native habitat.
Natural Area Greenways are the largest contiguous areas of habitat that remain in Maplewood. They are a patchwork of public and private lands that serve as key wildlife corridors.
Neighborhood Preserves are local habitat areas that are part of Maplewood's Park system. They are managed for wildlife habitat and many have trails for people to enjoy and explore nature.