Natural Resources Program

The Natural Resources Program creates and sustains ecologically healthy urban ecosystems. The overall program approach integrates the preservation and restoration of aquatic, wetland, and associated upland habitats into flood control and water quality protection efforts. We actively manage a variety of quality urban habitats for fish and wildlife, and provide opportunities for the citizens of the District to learn about and build personal connections with these special areas.

Biology is an important component in all the Watershed District’s flood control and water quality projects, from initial project design to ongoing monitoring and management. When appropriate we use an approach called ecological restoration, where methods are used to accelerate the recovery of natural conditions in our urban ecosystems.

On our large-scale natural resources projects, we work with a wide range of partners. With our regional jurisdiction, we have built strong ties with the local community – cities, counties, civic groups, and schools. At the same time, we take advantage of support and funding opportunities that state agencies provide.

The Watershed collaborates with university researchers on projects related to ecological restoration, biological monitoring, and invasive species management. Our program encourages and supports applied research, where findings are practical, and can be used in watershed management efforts.

Local school groups are involved in our natural resources projects, from classroom exercises to hands-on, real-life field work. Their involvement helps build critical links in the community – lessons that will span generations. In addition to learning, students and parents build connections to natural areas and strengthen their sense of place.

Our watershed is nearly fully developed, so the land management decisions made by thousands of residential parcel owners greatly affects our natural resources. To encourage land stewardship, staff administers a Landscape Ecology Awards Program (LEAP) where landowners in the watershed are recognized for implementing good land and water management practices.

Below are links to selected Natural Resources Program elements. For more detailed information, please contact the District office.

Great Blue Heron

Prairie Blazing Star

American Water Lotus

Green Frog

Hummingbird at Cardinal Flower

Grey Headed Coneflower


Managed SitesLandscape Ecology Awards ProgramAquatic Plant SurveysCarp Management
Managed Habitat AreasLandscape Ecology AwardsDistrict Lake Aquatic Plant MonitoringCarp Management
Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District, 2665 Noel Drive, Little Canada MN 55117