Hennepin 4th of July Celebration

Marquis Energy Sponsors New Refuge Trail

Image courtesy of the News Tribune
The Wetlands Initiative will complete a new public trail at Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes thanks to a two-year sponsorship by Marquis Energy of Hennepin.

Marquis Energy committed $100,000 over two years for the new trail, said Paul Botts, The Wetlands Initiative executive director, in a press release.

The area was known as Oak Ridge 100 years ago. The new trail, named “The Marquis Oak Ridge Trail” will be constructed for hiking and bicycles and will open in 2016.

Access will be from a new parking lot created along the north end of the refuge and accessible from Route 26. Interpretive signs will explain plants and animals and the site’s history. The new trail will feature restored habitats including prairie, meadow, marsh and open water.

The trail will end in oak savanna, which features a clump of large, old trees and a viewing platform that will provide up-close views of open water area that attracts waterfowl, Botts said.

The Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes has been designated as an Audubon Important Bird Area and a Wetland of International Importance under the global Ramsar Convention. It now totals more than 3,000 acres.

Marquis Energy manufactures ethanol and is doubling its Hennepin facility. When finished this expansion will put the plant’s production capacity at more than 300 million gallons of ethanol per year, according to the press release.

Source: News Tribune