Conservation Program Area

Mississippi Headwaters

Stretching across 6 counties and 1,960 square miles, the Minnesota Land Trust’s Mississippi Headwaters program area contains the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca and over 1,000 separate lakes. Protecting the water quality of the Mississippi River as it stretches for over 2,350 miles starts at the headwaters, and the Minnesota Land Trust has a goal of protecting an additional 5,000 acres in the headwaters by 2027 as part of our 10-year Conservation Agenda.

The area boasts an impressive array of wildlife and plants, and two in particular—wild rice and tullibee fish—are important bellwethers of water quality in the lakes that make up the watershed. This is also one of the most important areas in our state for red-shouldered hawks, and habitat for red-necked grebe, wolf, loons, and trumpeter swans.

Current Grant Opportunities:

    Explore Projects in this Area

    Hunke property

    Protecting Water Quality in Kabekona Lake

    As development has increased around Minnesota’s lakes, protecting what undisturbed shoreline remains is vital for ensuring water quality. Fortunately, conservation-minded individuals like Donald Hunke have stepped up around the region to protect the lands and waters we all rely on. Recently Hunke worked with the Minnesota Land Trust to preserve his unique forested property near [...]

    Featured Protected Property

    Building a Home for Nature

    Minnesota’s Mississippi Headwaters area has seen a popular resurgence in recent years, as Minnesotans have rediscovered the natural beauty and recreation opportunities in the area. This explosive growth however has had its downsides, particularly as other land uses such as potato farming have simultaneously increased in the area. These development and land use pressures have [...]

    Featured Protected Property

    trees and water

    Protected land improves water quality in Hubbard County

    Gary and Sandy Roerick have seen first hand the impact people can have on a landscape, first through Gary’s decades at the US Forest Service, and then as the stewards of a unique 80 acre piece of land in Hubbard County. Having managed and restored their land over the past 20 years, the Roerick’s recently [...]

    Protected Property

    water and trees

    Protecting the waters of the Mississippi

    In northern Itasca County, in an area surrounded by small, clear water lakes and deep rich forests, lies the property of Mary Killeen and Jacob Fillion. First homesteaded in 1898, the property has been in the family for 120 years. Now, thanks to a conservation easement with the Minnesota Land Trust, it will forever be [...]

    Protected Property




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