Dakota County, MN


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Dakota County Environmental Resources

Water Resources

​Protecting Dakota County’s valuable surface water and groundwater resources is an important responsibility for everyone who lives and works here. Dakota County helps protect water quality every step of the way.

Wetland Health Evaluation Program (WHEP)

The Wetland Health Evaluation Program engages citizen volunteers to help monitor wetlands in their community. Since 1997, WHEP volunteers have been monitoring wetland health throughout Dakota and Hennepin counties. They provide important information to city and county planners, engineers, resource managers, and others. The data is also used by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to track wetland health throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area. 

The Wetland Health Evaluation Program teaches citizen volunteers to become wetland monitors in their community. WHEP volunteers work in teams to evaluate the biological health of wetlands selected by their community. All training and equipment is provided and volunteer times are flexible and adaptable to a busy summer schedule. 

For additional information about this program, check out this intro videoawesome WCCO news story or visit the MN WHEP website.

Please select the team (city) you want to join. If desired team is full, please join the nearest team to your home location that is still available. For assistance, please contact Garrett Zaffke at garrett.zaffke@co.dakota.mn.us

 

Fill in an application

Dakota County Historical Society

LeDuc Historic Estate - Hastings, MN

 

LeDuc Historic Estate was built between 1862 and 1866 by William Gates LeDuc and his wife Mary LeDuc near the Vermillion River in Hastings, Minnesota. The LeDucs were prominent early settlers of Minnesota and played significant roles in the state's growth from a territory to a state. Take a step back in time and hear stories about the LeDuc family and the history of the 1800s.


1629 Vermillion Street
Hastings, MN 55033
651-438-8480
Get Directions

The Estate is open to the public Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from May 15 through October 25 and on special occasion the rest of the year.

Sibley Historic Site - Mendota, MN

Visit some of Minnesota's oldest buildings and explore the early 1800s, when Mendota was a major center of the region's fur trade. Among the buildings is the home of Henry Hastings Sibley, successful fur trader and first governor of Minnesota.

1357 Sibley Memorial Hwy

Mendota, MN 55120

651-452-1596

sibleyhouse@mnhs.org

 

Open for seasonal events and programming.

Fill in an application

Dakota County Parks

Countywide Natural Resources

Dakota County Parks offers a variety of opportunities for groups and individuals wishing to share their talents and time volunteering in their county park system. If you enjoy working with people or have a passion for nature, Dakota County Parks is the place for you.

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Lebanon Hills Regional Park is the crown jewel and largest park in the Dakota County park system. Containing almost 2,000 acres, the park offers miles of trails and many lakes for year-round outdoor sports, recreation and environmental education. The Lebanon Hills Visitor Center, located in the eastern section of the park, offers park information, interactive nature displays, courses and programs for all ages, and equipment rentals. 

Spring Lake Park Reserve

Enjoy the feel of northern Minnesota from this scenic park that overlooks the Mississippi River. A rest stop along the Great River Road, Spring Lake Park Reserve is the "hidden jewel" of the Upper Mississippi River Valley. The Schaar’s Bluff Trailhead and picnic area provide a scenic overlook of the Mississippi River Valley as well as access to summer hiking and winter ski trails.

Volunteer Trail Patrol Teams

Enjoy the outdoors while assisting park visitors with questions, directions, and providing an extra support measure in case of emergencies. Our patrol units offer a vital service to our county parks by providing trained individual assistance to our park users, helping to keep everyone happy and safe on our park and regional trails. Volunteer while personally enjoying the trails yourself, so easy and fun! 

Whitetail Woods Regional Park

Whitetail Woods Regional Park is located in Empire Township in the center of Dakota County, one mile north of the Vermillion River. Whitetail Woods provides year round fun from sledding down hill in the winter to enjoying a walk through the flowering prairie during the spring to taking in the relaxing sounds of an outdoor concert during the summer. Looking to get away for a weekend? Unique cabins for rent offer year-round comfy lodging for you and your family to explore the outdoors.

Fill in an application