Published in Midwest Flyer – December 2018/January 2019 issue
CRYSTAL, MINN. – The wildlife area on the northeast corner of Crystal Airport is again available for round-trip hikes, thanks to a partnership with the Three Rivers Park District and the City of Crystal, Minnesota.
The 40-acre wildlife area located on Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) property features a boardwalk and a nature trail that circles a wetland area. A water control structure designed to limit the amount of runoff that goes into Twin Lake to the south, had over time, raised the water level in the wetland and submerged portions of the previous boardwalk.
To bring the nature trail back to life, Three Rivers built a new 460-foot section of the boardwalk. The new structure includes an outdoor learning station for visiting groups and reconnects the .7-mile loop around the wetlands.
Officials from Crystal, MAC and Three Rivers attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the re-opening. Dozens of local fans of the wildlife area were on hand to see the rebuilt boardwalk and enjoy the area.
At the ribbon cutting, Kelly Gerads, MAC’s assistant director of reliever airports, encouraged residents to enjoy the beautiful wildlife area in their community.
“We’re pleased that the partnership with the City of Crystal and Three Rivers has made this hidden gem accessible again,” Gerads said.
MAC acquired the site for Crystal Airport in 1948. The wetland on the northeast corner of the airport is the only wildlife area in Crystal, and is located adjacent to Brooklyn Center’s Kylawn Park to the east.