Tree Removal and Prairie Restoration Project Underway at Elm Creek

January 24, 2020

Three Rivers Park District will be conducting a tree removal project in the northeast portion of Elm Creek Park Reserve within the City of Champlin this winter. Contractors have begun work and expect it to take four to five weeks to complete, depending on the weather. The 36-acre site will have most of the existing trees and shrubs removed. This is part of a larger 160-acre Conservation Partners Legacy funded prairie restoration project in Elm Creek Park Reserve. 

This project is part of Three River’s mission to protect, restore and enhance high-quality ecosystems throughout the system. The majority of the trees and shrubs on the site are not native to the park, and many of them are invasive species that threaten to spread into other portions of Elm Creek’s natural areas. The invasive species include: common and glossy buckthorn, black locust, white poplar, scotch pine, oriental bittersweet and Asian pear. Selected oaks and basswoods will not be removed.  

After the trees and shrubs are cut, they will be ground into chips and removed from the site to be used as fuel at District Energy in St. Paul or for landscaping. The site will be seeded with native grass in the spring and the project area will be managed to control any regrowth of the invasive species for several years. Once the invasive species are controlled, the project area will be replanted to a mixture of oak woods and prairie.

Sections of the paved trail in that area will be closed during the project. This is to keep park users safe as there will be large trucks and forestry machines using the trail. For more information contact the Three Rivers Park District Wildlife Section at