Partners for Fish Creek
Fish Creek is a story of partnerships. It was truly a team effort to acquire the site, install the trail, and conduct restoration work.
When Maplewood began to consider purchasing this site, we knew we could not do it alone. The City asked Ramsey County and Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District to help. They agreed and the three partners signed a Joint Powers Agreement to commit partial funding to acquire this site.
With initial funding commitments in place, The Conservation Fund purchased the land, so it would not be sold for development. A few years later, funding raising was completed, and the City purchased the site in December 2013. Acquisition was made possible by the following funding partners and grants:
- 3M Foundation
- City of Maplewood
- Department of Natural Resources Natural and Scenic Area Grants: $500,000 (funded by Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund)
- Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR)
- Grant procured by FMR, funded by Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund: $162,000
- Individual donors
- Ramsey County
- Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District
- State of Minnesota bonding: $318,000 (for acquisition and site improvements, was used for the trail)
Friends of the Mississippi River, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the Mississippi River, took on a special role in fundraising by handling individual donations for acquisition. With their non-profit status and years of experience in fundraising for environmental protection they had the systems in place to process charitable donations.
In addition to funding partners, many individuals and groups helped advocate for protection of the site and helped develop the vision for Fish Creek Natural Area. Partners included agencies such as:
- Friends of Maplewood Nature
- Many dedicated residents
- Maplewood Area Historical Society
- National Park Service
- Ramsey Conservation District
Great River Greening (GRG), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping communities restore native plant communities, approached the City in 2012 with an offer to help restore native plant communities at Fish Creek. They brought to the project over $200,000 of grant funding (from Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund) and the experience and expertise of their staff. Phase I of the restoration included removal of invasive species, tree and shrub plantings, and transitioning the fields and grasslands to native prairie.
As Phase I of the restoration ended in summer 2015, GRG secured another grant for pollinator habitat and programming at the site.