Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve sits at the intersection of the three major biomes of Minnesota: tallgrass prairie, coniferous forest and deciduous forest. Now K-12 students and visitors can experience all three biomes in one .25 mile, accessible path on the Dick and Judi Huempfner Minnesota Ecology Walk.
Opened to the public in fall 2023, the Minnesota Ecology Walk gives visitors the chance to see and explore these distinct ecosystems on an interpretive trail. They can also learn more about Native perspectives on the ecology and plant species of the area through resources created in partnership with local artists, Native elders, educators, and K-12 students.
About the Huempfners
Richard "Dick" Huempfner had a connection at Cedar Creek for years. He conducted his graduate work at the reserve in the 1960s, studying the winter habitat and behavior of ruffed grouse.
Dick became an instrumental part of the early radio telemetry work taking place at Cedar Creek. In 1981, he and other Cedar Creek colleagues left academic life to found Advanced Telemetry Systems just up the road in Isanti, MN. He spent the next 30 years working at ATS until his retirement in 2010. In retirement, Dick and Judi were regular visitors to Cedar Creek, engaging with researchers, attending programs like Lunch with a Scientist, and sharing wisdom and stories with staff. He passed away in 2020.
Dick and his wife Judi were longtime donors and supporters of Cedar Creek and College of Biological Sciences. Judi was a major donor to the project in support of the Minnesota Ecology Walk.