Dakota County, MN


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Dakota County 4-H and University of Minnesota Extension

Dakota County Extension Office

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Dakota County partners with the University of Minnesota Extension to deliver even more practical education and research right in your county.

 

Today's most pressing issues cross state and world boundaries, requiring strong partnerships, focused investments and diverse perspectives from multiple disciplines. Extension researchers and educators engage individuals and organizations in asking the challenging questions to discover science-based answers that make a difference.

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Dakota County Environmental Resources

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.

For more information about this program, 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 help, please contact Garrett Zaffke at 651-438-4635.

 

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Dakota County Parks

County-Wide 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.

Lake Byllesby Regional Park

Lake Byllesby Regional Park is nestled in the scenic Cannon River Valley on Lake Byllesby Reservoir, the largest lake in southern Dakota County. This beautiful park offers vast open space for a variety of year-round active sports or quiet recreation for company picnics, family reunions or other large and small group gatherings. And don't forget the lake, public access points allow you to enjoy the water as you take in the sheer cliff facings that are hundreds of years old or catch a glimpse of the Lake Byllesby Dam.

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Lebanon Hills Regional Park is the 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.

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.

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Dakota County Public Health

Simple Steps

Take the first step. The Simple Steps Walking Program is a great way to boost energy, reduce stress and improve your health. Regular physical activity helps prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer and can help you maintain a healthy weight. 

Check out the tools and resources below for walking tips and a walking log you can download.

https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/HealthFamily/HealthyLiving/FitnessExercise/Pages/simple-steps.aspx

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