Don Kern Engineering and Facilities Manager
Since 2000 Pine Bend has partnered with Friends of the Mississippi River to restore 1,650 acres of natural prairie and oak savanna in an area known as the Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area along the Mississippi River. Don Kern has played a key role in this important work from the very start.
The Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area is a critical habitat for both resident and migratory animals and a migration corridor for millions of songbirds, waterfowl and shorebirds. Don has led teams of volunteers to clear out invasive plants like buckthorn to help wildlife flourish, with the ultimate goal of restoring the area to pre-settlement conditions. The Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area is an Environmental Initiative award winner for natural resource protection and is designated as an area of outstanding biological diversity by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
“We continue to look at this as a legacy into the future,” says Don. “We’d like to keep this going and increase the habitat for a lot bigger area than what we’ve done so far.
Don has long been a part of the refinery’s work to restore wildlife habitat and remove invasive plants from the Pine Bend Bluffs.