Natural Area Greenways

Maplewood's Natural Area Greenways

Maplewood has four Natural Area Greenways. These are large contiguous areas of habitat that cross ownership boundaries. Each greenway is a patchwork of both public and private lands. Public lands in the greenway are open to public use. Private parcels are not open to the public, but they play a critical role in providing backyard natural areas that increase habitat in the greenway. The greenways are in a sense a bird's eye view of habitat.

Maplewood's greenway map is a snapshot in time - 2008 to be exact, the year the greenways were mapped. The greenway boundaries will shift. Some private lands in the greenways will likely be developed. In other areas, residents will Grow the Greenway by transitioning portions of manicured yards to natural vegetation.

Greenway goals include:

  • Protect, connect, and enhance large scale ecosystems and ecosystem services.
  • Provide habitat for species that require large natural areas.
  • Provide a wide continuous corridor of natural vegetation for animal movement.
  • Provide for passive recreation such as hiking and enjoyment of nature.
  • Foster stewardship of natural resources on both public and private lands.

Documents & Links

Visiting the Greenways

Each greenway is unique in its ecology and the recreational opportunities it provides. Only public lands in the greenways are open to visitors. These include parks and preserves owned by Ramsey County, Maplewood, or adjacent cities.

  • Battle Creek Natural Area Greenway: Ramsey County's Battle Creek Regional Park is the core of this greenway and offers hiking, cross country skiing, and amenities including a water park and picnic area.
  • Fish Creek Natural Area Greenway: A key feature of this greenway is Fish Creek and over 200 acres of public open space. In 2010, Maplewood City Council approved a Vision for the Fish Creek Natural Area Greenway. The vision calls for a hiking trail along the creek from Point Douglas Road in St. Paul to Carver Lake in Woodbury.
  • Holloway-Beaver Creek Natural Area Greenway (PDF): There are several public parks and preserves in the greenway that are open for hiking. See link below for information on this greenway.
  • Phalen-Casey Chain of Lakes Greenway: There are several public parks and preserves in this greenway. For some people, the ultimate recreational experience in the greenway is canoeing the chain of lakes from Lake Phalen to Kohlman Lake.

Stewardship in the Greenways

Stewardship is essential for the long-term protection of the greenways. Without care, most of our natural areas will degrade due to pollutants, invasive species, altered hydrology, and removal of natural forces such as fire. Maplewood encourages public and private landowners in the greenways to care for their natural areas. But the city does not impose any special requirements or restrictions on landowners in the greenway. Many greenway residents were drawn to their home by the natural landscape surrounding it are working to preserve its ecological integrity.