Guideline S.12019-10-07T19:59:39+00:00

      Guidelines Home     |     Project Team     |     v3.1     |     v3.0     |     Documents      |     v2.2     |     Previous Versions

Guideline S.1: Site and Water Connections

Intent

To create sites that are resilient, healthy and sustainable, ensure connections between the surrounding environment and the site through vegetation selection, animal habitats, and connections to human-made systems.

Required Performance Criteria

Guidelines apply to all projects designated New Buildings and Major Renovations with site work site scope that includes an area of site disturbance that is greater than 3,000 s.f. OR Area of imperviousness (footprint of building plus site impervious area) renovated that is greater than 2,000 s.f

  1. Plant network connections: Establish plant selection to reinforce existing plant networks and to support and expand existing conservation, and natural and native species networks.
    1. The greater of either 25% of the project site area (excluding the building footprint), or 70% of the project site area (excluding the building footprint and code-minimum parking) should be planted using native species listed in the class factsheet for the applicable class.
      1. Native is defined as a plant originating from within a 200-mile radius of the site prior to human intervention, considered to be 1840 in Minnesota. Cultivars (CVs) of native species may be used if they do not appear on the Minnesota Native Plant Society or Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center Prioritized list of terrestrial invasive plants, or on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Noxious Weeds list.
      2. Ecological class shall be determined from the province, section, and subsection of the site listed under the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Ecological Classification System (ECS).
      3. The most advantageous plant species prevalent in the listed ecological class of the site shall be determined for use in revegetation.
    2. If the project site is within 10 miles of a DNR Scientific and Natural Area (SNA), plant selection shall be used to match, connect, and reinforce the conservation area.
    3. If the project site is within 1 mile of an SNA as defined by the DNR, vegetative and plant selections shall be used to connect, reinforce, and replicate the natural area.

    Note: Other vegetation requirements are also listed under S.4: Vegetation.

  2. Animal network connections: Include in the project design appropriate habitats, including both food and shelter, of relevant species if the following criteria are met:
    1. If project is within 10 miles of major bird migratory flyways, nesting habitat, or stopover feeding areas.
    2. If project site is within 1 mile of an existing or planned animal movement corridor.
    3. If project site is within 10 miles of a Wildlife Management Area.
    4. If project site is within 1 mile of the terrestrial habitats of rare, threatened, or endangered reptiles / amphibians of Minnesota.
    5. If project site is within 1 mile of the habitats of rare, threatened, or endangered insects / arthropods of Minnesota.
    6. If project site is adjacent to the aquatic habitat of rare, threatened, or endangered fish of Minnesota.
    7. If project site is within 1 mile of known important bird habitats and nesting areas of rare, threatened, or endangered birds of Minnesota.
    8. If project site is within 10 miles of a National Wildlife Refuge or National Wetland Management District.

    Note: Other animal habitat requirements are listed under S.5: Light Pollution Reduction.

  3. Human system connections: The project design should include appropriate connections to any of the relevant systems in response to the following criteria:
    1. If project is within 1 mile of an existing or planned bike path, local government officials should be consulted to assist in the creation of bike connections between site and existing routes.
    2. If project is within 1 mile of an existing or planned walking path, local governmental officials should be consulted to assist in the creation of a safe walking connection between site and existing routes.
    3. If project is within 1 mile of an existing or planned future DNR water trail, local governmental officials should be consulted to assist in the creation of a connection to existing or future water trails.
    4. If project is within 1 mile of an existing or planned birding trail, county and governmental officials should be consulted to assist in the creation of a connection to existing or future planned DNR or MN Audubon birding trails.
    5. If the project is within 0.25 miles of an existing or planned transit stop, local transit officials should be consulted to assist in the creation of a pedestrian path and waiting shelter at the stop (if none exist).

Systems can be considered planned if they are in a community master plan, small area plan, comprehensive plan, or 5-year capital budget.

Recommended Performance Criteria

  1. Project site plans should be coordinated with municipal, regional, county, and state planning agencies.
  2. Historical context: Available historical context should be incorporated into the design of the project site:
    1. Historical land survey or historical maps.
    2. Landview and/or historical photos, including historical aerial photos.
    3. Historical topography.

For vegetation-specific requirements, the determination of the ECS is made by referencing the DNR Ecological Classification System maps: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ecs/index.html. Accessing the site allows the provinces, sections, and subsections to be determined. The following resource is available to make vegetative connection determinations for conservation and natural areas: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/snas/map.html. The plant community of a project site can be determined through the DNR Native Plant Community Classification, located at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/npc/classification.html. Class fact sheets that include allowable plant selections are located at the following locations:

For determining the location of existing or planned animal corridors, the project site should be located in reference to the following resources to determine:

Major migratory flyways, nesting habitat, and stopover feeding areas can be located through the following resources. The site location should be checked against at least the following:

Animal connections can be determined by referencing the following:

Human systems connections can be determined by referencing the following:

Ensure that all new impervious areas included as part of the human systems connections are included in infiltration calculations for Guideline S.2.

Historical resources available for reference include:

Predesign:

  • 1A: Documentation of the province, section, and subsection of the site, any identified conservation or natural areas within the distance specified in the guidelines, and the designated native plant communities of the site.
  • 1B: Documentation of the determination of animal communities within the listed distances.
  • 1C: Identified roads, transit, trails, and walking paths within the listed distances.

Design:

  • 1A: Narrative on the response to native and conservation areas and a list of relevant species selected for the site from the class factsheet.
  • 1B: Site plan that documents planned animal habitat as required.
  • 1C: Site plan that documents required human network connections.
  • 1E: Site plan demonstrating incorporation of historic site information into design of site.

Final Design:

  • 1A: List of vegetation selected demonstrating compliance, including the class fact sheet; narrative on the project response to native and conservation areas; list of species selected from the class factsheets for site and area of site planted with listed species.
  • 1B: Final site plan documenting animal habitat as required.
  • 1C: Final site plan documenting required human network connections.
  • 1D: Documentation of coordination with municipal, regional, county, and state planning agencies.
  • 1E: Final site plan demonstrating incorporation of historic site information into design of site.

Ecological System Summaries and Class Fact Sheets – Upland Forests and Woodlands: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/npc/uplandforest.html; Wetland Forests: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/npc/wetforest.html; Upland Grasslands, Shrublands, and Sparse Vegetation: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/npc/uplandgrassland.html; Wetland Grasslands, Shrublands, and Marshes: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/npc/wetlandgrassland.html.

Eco-Regions for Minnesota: ftp://newftp.epa.gov/EPADataCommons/ORD/Ecoregions/mn/mn_map.pdf, Description of Eco-Regions: ftp://newftp.epa.gov/EPADataCommons/ORD/Ecoregions/mn/mn_eco_desc.pdf.

Ecological Classification System: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ecs/index.html.

Floodplain: Elevation Requirements: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/watermgmt_section/floodplain/rfpe.html.

Flood Plan Maps by County: ftp://ftp.dnr.state.mn.us/pub/waters/floodplain/County_data/.

Gridded Soil Survey Geographic (gSSURGO) Database: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/soils/survey/geo/?cid=nrcs142p2_053628.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture Noxious Weeds: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants-insects/minnesota-noxious-weed-list, PDF at https://www.mda.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/inline-files/noxiousweeds2018.pdf

Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts, Inc.: http://www.mnwatershed.org/.

Minnesota Scientific and Natural Areas Find by Map: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/snas/map.html.

Model My Watershed Technical Documentation: https://wikiwatershed.org/documentation/mmw-tech/#layers-viewable-mapped-data.

Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center Prioritized list of terrestrial invasive plants: http://www.mitppc.umn.edu/

NOAA Atlas 14-Point Precipitation Frequency Estimates: https://hdsc.nws.noaa.gov/hdsc/pfds/pfds_map_cont.html?bkmrk=mn.

Natural Features of Minnesota: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/compass.html.

Nongame Wildlife – South Region: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/nongame/south.html.

Nongame Wildlife – Northwest Region: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/nongame/nw.html.

Nongame Wildlife – Northeast Region: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/nongame/ne.html.

Nongame Wildlife – Central Region: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/nongame/central.html.

Soil Hydrology of the United States: http://resources.arcgis.com/en/communities/soils/02ms00000008000000.htm.

Food:

Food should be of quality and quantity that would be normally found in the area that is created with natural food-bearing trees and bushes.