Northern Natural Gas intends to construct a natural gas pipeline predominantly through an existing gas line utility easement in Lebanon Hills Regional Park. The project will provide natural gas service to the Xcel Energy Black Dog power plant which will be converted from coal burning to natural gas, but will also protect and enhance the park’s natural resources.
The 9.63-acre easement will be revegetated with more than 3,000 native trees and shrubs, and the 4.7-acre construction area will be restored to native prairie.
Trail use changes May-July 2018
From May-July 2018, several trail segments north of Jensen Lake will be temporarily closed or reassigned during this easement enhancement project. See a detailed trail map.
Minimizing impacts of construction
Northern Natural Gas will minimize impact to park resources by using horizontal directional drilling instead of open cutting. As a result, 96 percent of this project will occur underground, with no impact to surface resources of the park. Northern Natural Gas is committed to working with the County to fully complete the prairie restoration in areas disturbed by construction.
Northern Natural Gas has agreed to monitor the easement by foot, rather than aerial surveying. Because of this new practice, there will be no future mowing or clearing of the easement. The result will be a much more natural, integrated easement, creating habitat for wildlife and decreasing the visual impact of the easement through the park.
Northern Natural Gas Project Page
Minor tree removal efforts occurred in early February 2018 in the Northern Natural Gas easement north and west of Buck Pond. Tree removal work took less than a week.
Construction within the park is scheduled to begin May 7 and conclude in late July 2018. Various factors, including weather, could delay the start of construction. Expect trail closures and temporary reassignments during construction.
2018: Start construction. Expect some trail re-routing during this period.
2018-2019: Prairie reconstruction, tree and shrub planting.
2019-2021: Prairie establishment and tree planting maintenance period.