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Ecology and Habitat: Improve the ecological functions of the natural environment in the urban context through planning, regulation, and cooperation.

Native plants in swale
Minnehaha Creek

Although the Comprehensive Plan primarily focuses on the future of Minneapolis from a human perspective, the City must also plan for the community’s other inhabitants – plant, animal and insect life. The city’s growth presents challenges and opportunities to protect, support and increase biodiversity in our ecological habitats while restoring ecological functions. Conserving Minneapolis’ natural heritage makes the city more livable, resilient and attractive – not only for people­ but for migrant bird and wildlife populations in our habitat corridors, for endangered bee pollinators in our parklands, and for native plant communities in our landscapes. 


The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to improve the ecological functions of the natural environment in the urban context through planning, regulation, and cooperation.

  1. Discourage use of pesticides and herbicides and encourage organic practices to improve and maintain soil health and healthy habitat and ecosystems.
  2. Eliminate use of neonicotinoids, pesticides that are harmful to bee pollinator populations.
  3. Manage soil health and grow plants for healthy bee pollinator communities on public lands and promote such planting on private lands.
  4. Look at natural resource goals across disciplines and integrate them with planned recreation improvements, infrastructure improvements and development to reduce costs and maximize public benefit.
  5. Collaborate with watershed management organizations and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on land and water resource planning.
  6. Design and manage public lands for their highest environmental and ecosystem performance.
  7. Strive for interconnected riparian areas as habitat corridors and for flood protection and recreation, and create additional “steppingstone” areas for habitat.
  8. Manage natural areas in and around surface waters, as well as stormwater ponds and other stormwater treatment facilities, as areas supportive of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, habitat and wildlife and as flood storage areas.
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