2009 News Stories

Sweet Clover

It has been said that every plant has its year and that every year has its plant. In that case, I would call this the year of sweet clover. Sweet clover (yellow: Melilotus officinalis and white: Melilotus alba) is native to Europe and was brought to the U.S. in ...


Lucy News

We had another wonderful year at Lucy with a record number of games, tournaments and visitors. In April we kicked off the season hosting the US Youth Soccer Minnesota State Cup. Record numbers of kids from 6 to 16 attended the Twins Community Fund baseball Clinic hosted early in May ...


Valley Branch ELC Welcomes its new Education Director

My career has been dedicated to education, science and language. I first learned my love of teaching children while working at the Bell Museum of Natural History for four years. My favorite part was guiding tours through the museum where elementary students were a pack of wolves chasing me, the ...


Director's Message

We just finished rounding up the bison herd for their trip back to Wisconsin. It was a pleasure to have the 30 bulls we had this year. Hundreds of people were able to see them wander through the prairie from the observation platform that you, members of the Belwin Conservancy ...


Oak Savanna Update

The ongoing oak savanna restoration at our Lake Edith Site took a big step forward this summer, when over 4,000 tons of woody debris, produced as by-product of the restoration, was ground up and hauled away. The material was taken and used as biomass fuel in the District Energy ...


Joseph J. Casby Memorial Observatory Under Construction

We are thrilled to announce construction of the new Joseph J. Casby Memorial Observatory adjacent to Belwin Center is underway. We plan to finish construction this winter. When completed, the observatory will permanently house a nine foot long, ten inch refracting telescope – one of the largest in Minnesota. This instrument ...


Bison Return to the Belwin Conservancy

Bison Return to the Belwin Conservancy Afton, Minnesota—June 9, 2009— On Saturday, June 13th, the Belwin Conservancy will release a herd of bison at its nature preserve located in Afton, Minnesota. As they did last year, the bison will spend the summer adding to the diversity of the nonprofit ...


Restoring the Oak Savanna

The Belwin Conservancy’s 1,338–acre preserve plays host to a huge range of plants and animals. The wetlands, woodlands, fens and forests on our land are all part of a unique patchwork of ecosystems that cover this landscape with a bewildering array of diversity. Part of what makes ...


Belwin Conservancy Launches Carbon Sequestration Program

The Belwin Conservancy recently launched an innovative new carbon sequestration program. Via our website you can now make a contribution that will be used to sequester carbon through the restoration of native prairies, oaks savannas and woodlands. Unlike similar programs available online, carbon sequestration done at the Belwin Conservancy will ...


Director's Message

It’s been a long winter. Made longer perhaps by the depressing news about the economy, but I’m definitely looking for some brighter days. As the Belwin Conservancy wakes up to another spring, we’ve learned that the Lower Saint Croix River has just been designated as one of ...


Valley Branch Classes: Then and Now

In 1971 when the Belwin Outdoor Laboratory first started, guides and volunteers would show students around the trails. The technique used then was called ‘free interpretation,’ and whatever the group encountered was talked about with the students. Since that simple beginning, the techniques and curricula at the Valley Branch Environmental ...


Lucy News

As we open another season at Lucy, we look forward to an even busier year than ever before and a new facility that will make this great complex even better. Here is just some of what we have planned for 2009. New Multipurpose Building This month we began construction on ...


Belwin Conservancy Launches Carbon Sequestration Program

The Belwin Conservancy has launched an innovative new carbon sequestration program at its preserve in Afton, Minnesota. Individuals and organizations can make a contribution to the Belwin Conservancy that will be used to sequester carbon through restoration of native prairies, oaks savannas and woodlands. Unlike similar programs available online, carbon ...


Belwin Conservancy Acquires Critical 12-Acre Property

The Belwin Conservancy recently acquired 12- acres of rolling grasslands and oak forest at the headwaters of Valley Creek that provide critical habitat for wildlife, enhance the water quality of the creek and the Saint Croix River and preserve the scenic and natural character of the community. This purchase and ...


Solving Climate Change by Restoring the Land

An invasive shrub that threatens to take over natural areas at the Belwin Conservancy’s 1,300-acre preserve in Afton will be turned into bioenergy to heat downtown St. Paul this winter with the help of a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) grant. The Belwin Conservancy has joined with ...