The Beach Conservation Easement is a 65-acre property in St. Francis near the Bethel State Wildlife Management Area. It contains a diversity of habitats including woodlands, wetlands, restored prairie and open water. Ecological restoration efforts took place between 2005-2008 in the woodland and upland prairie areas of the property. This included converting an old field to native prairie, thinning diseased oak wilt and planting native trees and shrubs. Herbert Beach passed away in 2009 and donated the property to the Anoka Conservation District.
Restoration and enhancement efforts will continue with funding from the Outdoor Heritage Fund. The upland prairie will be enhanced through prescribed fire and invasive species control. Additionally, forbs will be sown in the upland prairie to increase host plants and nectar sources for pollinators. Glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus) will be removed throughout the oak savanna, woodland and wetland fringes. Many of the oaks on the property were killed by oak wilt. Due to the abundance of deadfall, some will be removed. Following the removal of buckthorn, additional seeding and planting will be done to increase understory growth in the savanna and woodland. Wetlands will be enhanced through the control of invasive reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) and seeding of native wetland species.
Photo of the Property: