Work is underway at the Belwin Conservancy in Afton, to remove 40 acres of invasive buckthorn.
Buckthorn removal is common. But in this case, the wood will be converted to energy.
The wood will be chipped and hauled to St. Paul, where it will be burned in District Energy's combined heat and power plant.
Tara Kelly directs ecological restoration at Belwin. She said once the buckthorn is gone, the group will plant native prairie plants.
"It's pretty exciting, you can look across the landscape and visualize the native grasses. We've got a lot of work to do but it's starting to take shape. At least the structure of the restoration," Kelly said.
Kelly said Belwin has never been able to do prairie restoration on such a large scale before.
The work is being paid for by a special program run by the DNR, combining habitat restoration with biomass energy projects.