One Mile Trail of Forest and Prairie
About 60 species of native flowers and grasses were planted to create this 20-acre prairie in 1998. Its erosive soils had been farmed in row crops for decades, causing tons of soil to wash into the west basin of Deer Lake. The sturdy stems and deep roots of native prairie plants now help to slow runoff and hold soil in place.
A list of the flowers and grasses planted here is available from the Deer Lake Conservancy. Plant guides may also be checked out at the St. Croix Falls Public Library.
Gravel Pit Reclamation
Removal of sand and gravel left an open scar on the landscape and created potential for soil erosion. The area was reshaped and seeded in 1998.
Woodland and Springs
The trail enters the woods at the south end of the prairie and from the parking area on 140th Avenue. This area has cool spring ponds that supply fresh water to the lake. The large trap rock boulders carried by the glaciers and deposited along the trail are a reminder of the power of water and ice. With the addition of an 11 acre parcel in the longtime ownership of the McKenzie family, the Conservancy now owns the source of the Rock Creek springs.
The Conservancy owns the 51-acre Rock Creek property. It was purchased thanks to a generous donation from Jim and Sylvia Earl and dedicated as a memorial to Margaret H. Earl. The Department of Natural Resources holds a conservation easement on the property ensuring it will remain undeveloped to protect Deer Lake waters forever.
The largest of Deer Lake watersheds, this 2,300-acre watershed has 1,500 acres of row cropped fields buffered by this conservation area.
“In wilderness is the preservation of the world.”
~ Henry David Thoreau