Lake Elmo Park Reserve closed Nov. 5, 6, 12, 13

Lake Elmo Park Reserve will be closed on Nov. 5-6 and Nov. 12-13 for a controlled deer management harvest. During those days, the entire park will be closed to all activities including all trail activities, picnicking, the boat launch and the creative playgrounds.

Only participants who have obtained a special permit from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for the Lake Elmo Park Reserve harvest will be allowed into the park. All deer management participants will be required to attend a safety and deer harvest etiquette course prior to the management project.

As deer populations in the Twin Cities have increased significantly in the past 25 years and as suburban communities have grown, the habitat for deer has decreased substantially. This situation has led to increased deer/car collisions and significant habitat degradation due to over-grazing/browsing. The intent of this management action is to bring the deer herds that use the park in balance with the available habitat in the park and surrounding area. Recent aerial surveys have indicated the deer population in the area to be 2 to 3 times the sustainable amount.

The deer management harvest project was developed in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and is designed to reduce the deer population to a size that the nearby habitat can sustain. Staff from the state department and Washington County Parks will be on-hand to assist participants in the project and to inform people of the activities in the park.

All other parks in the Washington County system will be open, including St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park, Pine Point Park, Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, Point Douglas Park, Square Lake Park and Big Marine Park Reserve boat launch. Please call 430-8370 for more information about the Lake Elmo Park Reserve controlled deer management harvest or to learn more about programs, activities and facilities in the Washington County Parks system.

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