Open Space Protection Opportunities

To help local communities, as well as other partners, achieve shared goals for open space and resource protection along the river, the National Park Service has developed a number of tools. One of these tools is an assessment of Open Space Protection Opportunities (OSPO) in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. The assessment includes maps, a guidebook, and spatial data for use in a geographic information system. Together, this information illustrates open space protection and restoration opportunities in the Mississippi National River Recreation Area, focused primarily on undeveloped, public land. Like all planning tools, it is most effective when used in combination with other local or regional data.

The complete suite of OSPO information is available on CD. Along with the GIS data, a guidebook, and other useful information, the CD includes two complete sets of maps. One set highlights the ecological assessment of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area completed in 2003 by Great River Greening, an NPS partner specializing in native habitat restoration. The second set of maps, updated in 2006, combines the ecological analysis with land ownership data for the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. These maps are especially helpful in the development of local river corridor plans and in identifying local restoration and open space protection opportunities.

Open Space Protection Opportunities Maps
2006 Open Space Protection Opportunities Maps

Map 1: Northern Reach (Dayton/Ramsey to Highway 694) (5.1 MB)
Map 2: Central Reach (Highway 694 to Highway 494) (8.2 MB)
Map 3: Saint Paul Reach (6.4 MB)
Map 4: Southern Reach (Highway 494 to Goodhue/Dakota County Line) (6.8 MB)

As with all National Park Service products, we welcome feedback on the OSPO maps and their usefulness to your community or organization.
To learn more about the NPS' coordinating role in trail planning and open space protection, check out the Trails and Open Space Partnership , or call (651) 293-8436. The NPS also provides technical assistance for open space and trail planning upon request.
Additional Resources/Planning Tools

Metropolitan Council Land Planning Handbook:

Copies of the Metropolitan Council Natural Resource Digital Atlas:

Using Natural Resources in Comprehensive Planning (MN DNR):

Regional Natural Resource Inventory and Assessment:

A Quick Guide to Using Natural Resource Information, MN DNR, 2004:

Low Impact Development Center website:

Regional Conservation Corridors:

Minnesota DNR GIS Data Deli:

Last updated: January 1, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

111 E. Kellogg Blvd., Suite 105
Saint Paul, MN 55101


(651) 293-0200
This is the general phone line at the Mississippi River Visitor Center. Please leave a voicemail if we miss your call and expect a return call within 1 day, often sooner.

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