Tucked away between the Mississippi River and Highway 61 is the Central Region Office of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). On a beautiful October afternoon, several community members with a professional interest in East Side Saint Paul’s past, present and future gathered to attend a historical and environmental tour led by our very own youth interns.
With 2014 being the second year partnering with the DNR, Urban Roots was excited to be offered the opportunity. Four of our Conservation Program interns arrived at 1200 Warner Road and led the group of influential professionals through the DNR’s 80-acre campus, which includes the remnants of the state’s first fish hatchery and a unique natural area containing a tamarack bog. On the tour the interns pointed out historical sites of long-gone petting zoos and fish hatcheries and explained the current work they have done on the site to aid in its restoration. This is just one of several tours Urban Roots has led throughout the summer and fall at the site.
The community members attending were State Representative Sheldon Johnson, Keith Parker, Regional Director for the DNR, Gina Bonsignore, Regional Planner for the DNR, Suzann Willhite, Regional Operation Services Manager, Tom Nelson, Dean of Arts and Sciences at Metro State University, Tom Dimond, owner of Dimond Construction and local citizen advocate for river corridor issues and Alan Robbins-Fenger from the National Park Service.
The DNR and Urban Roots look forward this growing partnership in community-based water quality restoration and conserving our East Side natural assets.