Eagan Kick-Start
Lebanon Hills Visitor Center
860 Cliff Rd
Eagan, MN  55123
United States

Dakota County is developing a Natural Resource Management Plan for Lebanon Hills Regional Park.

This plan will take a closer look at the natural resources of the park, including establishing near-term (five years) implementation steps and a long-term vision (20-plus years). It will include a prioritized list of restoration and management projects for the entire park, for which the County can apply for grant funding.

The plan will use a template created as part of the Natural Resources Management System Plan.

Lebanon Hills Regional Park is located within a glacial moraine landscape, characterized by steep, irregular hills and kettlehole basins (lakes and wetlands). A number of land use changes over the last 150 years, including farming, the elimination of fire from the landscape and the introduction of invasive non-native species has resulted in a mix of degraded plant communities, including grasslands, woodlands and forest.

At almost 2,000 acres, Lebanon Hills is the County’s largest and busiest park (more than half a million visits per year). It is an urban retreat, renowned for its hiking, running, horseback riding, mountain biking, and canoeing. 

The plan will develop comprehensive and strategic approaches to reverse the downward trend in the quality of natural resources and set a course for sustainable native plant communities within the recreational context of the park. 

The Natural Resources Management Plan will include the following topics:

-Historical and geographical context
-Socio-cultural context
-Existing natural resources: Inventory and assessment
-Natural resources issues and opportunities
-Natural resources vision and Goals
-Benefits of natural resource management
-List of priority features
-Monitoring and measuring methodologies for the park
-Approaches and priorities
-Implementation options and schedules
-Funding options

Proposed project timeline:
-Initiation (August 2017)
-Research & Findings (September 2017–February 2018
-Public open house: Discovery Room, Lebanon Hills Visitor Center, Jan. 16, 2018, 6–8 p.m.
-Planning Commission Meeting: Jan. 22, 2018, 7–9 p.m.
-Physical Development Committee of the Whole: Northern Service Center, CR 520, Feb. 13, 2018, 9 a.m.
-Concept Development (January–August 2018)
-Final Draft (July–October 2018)
-Adoption (Fall 2018)