The Nature Conservancy protected 274 acres in Fillmore and Houston counties.
The property is now owned and managed by Minnesota DNR as Rush Creek Woods Wildlife Management Area. It includes an intermittent stream that flows into Rush Creek, a trout stream near Rushford, Minnesota, as well as oak forest, bluff prairie and savanna along with 14 acres of cropland that will be restored by the state to floodplain forest.
Rush Creek Woods WMA helps connect public land, including nearby state forest and a bluff prairie and savanna owned by the city of Rushford, with private land protected under a conservation easement.
Wildlife including the state-threatened timber rattlesnake along with turkey, ruffed grouse and deer can be found at the property.
Rush Creek Woods WMA is the first acquisition completed under the Conservancy’s Southeast Minnesota Protection and Restoration Program.
Funding for the property was provided by the Outdoor Heritage Fund, which was created under the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, through an appropriation by the Minnesota Legislature as recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.
Rush Creek Woods WMA is open to the public for hiking, photography and bird-watching. The Minnesota State Constitution requires property purchased with Outdoor Heritage Fund dollars to be open to the public taking of fish and game during the open season. Hunting, trapping and fishing is allowed on this property in accordance with DNR Wildlife Management Areas rules published in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook.