A boardwalk through the Blaine Wetland Sanctuary (BWS) was completed in July 2017. It extends from the parking area along Lexington Avenue NE through both wetland and upland habitats to connect the existing paved trail to East Lake Park. Future plans for the BWS include additional trails (exact locations are yet to be determined) and a pavilion on Lexington Avenue NE. Management of the wetland site will continue into the future to accomplish the plan approved by the regulatory agencies. During spring and summer, crews will be out applying herbicides to control the invasive species which inhibit the growth of the native vegetation. Prescribed burns and over-seeding with native herbaceous species will allow the area to thrive and provide important habitat for birds and wildlife. For more information on the restoration efforts, view the restoration tab.

Bring a friend or your teaching team to…

  • Explore the eSTEM curriculum lessons
  • Get your questions about the fen answered
  • Network with other teachers
  • Hike the mile-long boardwalk
  • Preview engineering design challenges for students
  • Learn the scientists’ stories who are conducting research at the fen
  • Preview the maps, signage, and phenology connections
  • Sign up for BWS field trips by contacting nmonahan@blainemn.gov.

Why Are Wetlands Important?

  • They are “biological supermarkets” - very productive ecosystems, yielding food at the base of the food web to support all other living things in that environment. 
  • They are “residential developments” - providing habitat for all life stages of many species of plants and animals, including rare, threatened, and endangered species. 
  • They are “filters and sponges” – soaking up excess nutrients ad pollutants, replenishing surface and groundwater, and providing benefits for water quality and hydrology. 
  • They are “trash compactors and recyclers” – decomposing organic matter and cycling important elements through plant and animal life. 
  • They are “landscape protectors” – reducing the impact of flooding and erosion. 
  • They are “happy places” – granting open space for us to enjoy and connect with our natural world when we need a break from the hustle and bustle that surrounds us.