Belwin Conservancy announces $10M capital campaign to expand access


4 days ago 24

It’s been more than 65 years since Charles and Lucy Winton Bell of Wayzata began acquiring land in Afton for what would eventually become a conservancy.

Charles Bell, the son of the founder of General Mills, and Lucy Winton Bell wanted to do something to help address the challenges of diminishing wild spaces, water pollution and the lack of outdoor education in the east metro area.

The couple established the Belwin Foundation – a combination of their names, Bell and Winton – and donated 225 acres of their land to it. They also signed an agreement with St. Paul Public Schools that would dedicate their land to outdoor science education for children.

More than a half million children have come to Belwin Conservancy for outdoor science education over the years, and more than 1,500 acres in the St. Croix Valley have been protected from development. The permanently protected land includes woodland, prairie, oak savanna, ponds, streams and wetl...

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