2010 News Stories

Director's Message

I am exceptionally lucky. I work in a beautiful setting doing something I think is important with a terrific staff and with a very supportive board and membership. I don’t know exactly how I got to be so fortunate, but I’m not going to argue with it. What ...


Research Roundup

In the fall of 1998, Stillwater Area High School (SAHS) biology students first began studying Valley Creek. Originally, their work was part of a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Citizen Monitoring project. DNR staff trained SAHS biology teachers who in turn began monitoring Valley Creek with their 10th grade students ...


Frequently Asked Restoration Questions

I’m starting to realize that I have a unique job. When asked what I do at a dinner party, I have a hard time giving a one-sentence answer that makes sense to anyone. I’ll say, “I’m a restoration ecologist”. Silence. Blank stares. By way of explanation, I ...


Walking in the Dark

Conducting a Breeding Bird Survey at the Belwin Conservancy. It is dark. The streets are quiet. The air is warm and humid. The last swallow of coffee has been finished and the dog has been let out. It is time to go birding. Lynette Anderson, Geoff Urban, and I volunteered ...


What is a 'Bison Buggy?'

The most unexpected addition to the Belwin Conservancy this year had to be the Bison Buggy. This custom constructed vehicle is bit unusual, but the Bison Buggy fits perfectly with our mission of restoring our connection to the natural world. There is no better way anywhere to visit the prairie ...


Joseph J. Casby Observatory now Operational

After a year of construction using mostly volunteer labor, the Joseph J. Casby Observatory is now operational and being used to explore the heavens. The Minnesota Astronomical Society (MAS) opened the observatory to their members late this summer and they are extremely pleased with what they’ve seen so far ...


Lucy News

For this edition of Lucy News, we want to take a moment and thank Colleen Danford who after more than six years will be leaving her position as Lucy Winton Bell Athletic Fields Director. Nobody has worked harder than Colleen to make Lucy what it is today. Thanks to her ...


Secondary Students Now Regular Visitors to Valley Branch ELC

This year Valley Branch ELC launched a new curriculum for secondary school students. Over 400 junior and senior high students visited Valley Branch as part of their biology, chemistry or earth science classes. It was a great success and next year we plan to host over 1,000 secondary students ...


Director's Message

David Hartwell, the chair of the Belwin Conservancy board, recently gave me a book titled, 1491. It chronicles the history of land use in the Americas prior to European colonization. It’s a very interesting account of how mankind, irrespective of time period or geographical locale has long sought to ...


Bison Update

The bison returned to the Belwin Conservancy for 2010 on Saturday, June 19th. For the previous two summers, the bison have added an unmistakable richness to our prairies. They have also brought thousands of people to the Belwin Conservancy, many for the first time. We are eager to build on ...


Belwin Conservancy part of Breeding Bird Survey

The woodland forests located in the St. Croix River valley provide a key north–south migration corridor and offer habitat for a suite of wildlife species identified by scientists as needing enhanced attention and action to preserve their habitat needs. The Belwin Conservancy, Aubudon Minnesota, Great River Greening, Washington Conservation ...


Valley Creek

As soon as you see it, you know that Valley Creek is special. Its waters flow as clear as glass, cold and fast all year long. It supports a healthy and self-sustaining trout population and is home to at least 20 rare and threatened species. There aren’t many streams ...


Lucy News

It's another busy season at Lucy and as always we have lots of great things going on. First, we would like to welcome Pete Mogren as our new turf specialist. He's already making encouraging progress. Lucy is fortunate to have several miles of hiking trails adjacent to our ...