Hunters, bird-watchers and others will have a pair of new options just south of the metro area.
Nearly 900 acres are to be added for public use in Rice County, as a project of the state and the Trust for Public Land.
The trust bought 460 acres in Rice County near Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said. The park is located near the town of Nerstrand, between Northfield and Faribault. The so-called Koester prairie property at the new Prairie Creek Wildlife Management Area will preserve prairies, grasslands and oak savanna.
Not far away, meanwhile, via the trust, 227 acres are being added to the Boyd Sartell Wildlife Management Area, including land on Shields Lake. The wildlife area consists of nearly 1,000 acres west of Faribault. The main unit is on the Cannon River.
Signage on the two new parcels is pending.