Blaine Wetland Sanctuary – Site 7
Beginning in the late 1990’s, CCES begin working with the City of Blaine to better understand its 511 acre open space located at the intersection of Main Street NE and Lexington Avenue NE. Through numerous studies and survey efforts including a natural resources inventory, land cover mapping, greenway corridor planning, management planning, and implementation test plots, the City began to better understand the importance of the open space which contained remnants of high quality peatland, upland woodland islands, and a variety of rare vascular plant species. In 2001, the City of Blaine passed a one-time referendum to levy taxes to support the acquisition and improvement of its open space system. In 2008-2009, CCES was retained by the City of Blaine to determine the feasibility of developing a wetland banking project within a 103-acre section (known as “Branch 3”) of the City’s 511-acre open space. After determining that the site was suitable for a banking project, CCES worked with the City of Blaine as well as local and State regulators to develop a Wetland Banking Plan that included a detailed five-year site restoration and management plan for implementation as well as a long term project monitoring plan.
In 2010, CCES teamed with Applied Ecological Services, Inc. (AES) to implement the restoration and management plan on behalf of the City of Blaine. Using the knowledge obtained from over a decade of experience restoring peatland systems of the Anoka Sand Plain, CCES directed highly specific restoration and management activities based on the specific needs of the peatland systems. Prescribed fire and removal of accumulated thatch were two specific activities used to begin restoration of the site. Management activities also included aggressive control of invasive species and native inter-seeding of appropriate Anoka Sand Plain peatland species. “Branch 3” will begin its fifth year of restoration and management in 2015. Successful implementation of the annually planned restoration activities is resulting in a viable wetland bank owned by the City of Blaine. The City’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) will use created wetland credits to facilitate the development of City-owned commercial lands that require wetland replacement. Furthermore, this wetland restoration directly improves the quality of the City’s largest natural open space.
In 2015, CCES was again retained by the City of Blaine to begin the development of a second wetland banking project within the overall 511-acre open space. This second wetland banking project know as “Site 7” is approximately 180 acres in size. CCES is currently working with the City to develop a wetland banking application with plans to begin implementation of the project in the winter of 2015-2016.
In addition to assisting the City in planning for and developing wetland banking projects within the 511-acre City owned open space, CCES also teamed with Stantec to develop the “Blaine Wetland Sanctuary Development Master Plan.” The purpose of the master planning process was to gather existing information and develop conceptual alternatives for a site wide park and nature center. CCES provided information regarding key ecological features to be protected and enhanced and provided wetland delineation services for the entire 511-acres site. In 2015, CCES will again partner with Stantec to develop the Blaine Wetland Sanctuary Master Plan Final Design.
Botanical survey, rare plant survey, landcover mapping, GIS/GPS Services, wetland delineation services, wetland banking application, wetland banking implementation & floristic monitoring, wetland banking credit deposit, TEP coordination, site master planning consulting
City of Blaine