In 2020, the City of Winona wrote the Bluffs Traverse Master Plan, a roadmap for recreation and park uses that recommended ecological planning to balance park enjoyment with ecological preservation. As a first step, the city hired Barr to conduct a natural resources inventory and develop a stewardship plan to help the city and stakeholders better understand the park’s native plant communities and determine the best placement of trails.
Our work began with a plant community inventory using the Minnesota Land Cover Classification System (MLCCS). After identifying plant communities, Barr’s field ecologists evaluated each plant community for ecological quality, noting areas of exceptional plant diversity and the degree of invasive species encroachment. GPS tracking technology helped provide precise locations of these communities as well as areas of significant erosion.
Barr then developed the stewardship plan, which provided a strategy for protecting the park’s high-quality ecological areas, placement of trails, and a phased approach to restoring native plant communities. Because Bluffs Traverse encompasses a large area (six miles in length and 523 acres), it was important for the stewardship plan to prioritize areas with the greatest potential for rehabilitation within a limited city budget. The plan also included protective measures for the timber rattlesnake, a threatened species in southeastern Minnesota.
Vice President Senior Water Resources Engineer
Landscape Architect and Ecologist
Senior GIS/Environmental Consultant
Senior Landscape Architect