The Duluth Natural Areas Program is designated by city ordinance (Chapter 2, Article XXIX) to designate certain lands with environmental value as permanently protected natural places. A link to the ordinance and the guidelines for implementing the ordinance are provided below under supporting materials. Duluth citizens have long recognized the value of these places to provide both natural resource protection and human sanctuary. Designating these lands ensures everyone in Duluth will always have access to these special places where they can appreciate nature and enjoy the outdoors. In doing so, Duluth preserves its natural heritage for the public good by:
- Ensuring the city can better manage Duluth’s forests, streams, and wetlands
- Supporting diversification of our region’s economy
- Promoting the well-being and happiness of our citizens and visitors
- Maximizing resiliency for a changing climate through the services these lands provide (e.g., controlling stormwater runoff, supporting diverse plant communities)
The City is committed to preserving in perpetuity public lands as determined in accordance with the criteria and to offer the opportunity for voluntary preservation of similar lands owned by others. These criteria include plant and animal communities, habitat for special species, natural water features, important bird habitat areas, and geologic landforms.
Additional Information about the City's Natural Areas Program:
Hartley Natural Area:
The Hartley Natural Area includes one of the largest northern hardwood forests and wet meadows in the City. The park also has a long history of education and recreational activity related to the enjoyment, preservation and restoration of the natural environment.