Prior to the consequences of early European settlement and modern urban development, the study area was a landscape of oak, aspen, pine, and grassland.
The study area was bisected by several major rivers, which offered timber and ready water access. However, the land away from the river was a mixture of sandy plains which supported some grasses and oak groves (see map: oak openings_barrens), and variety of marshy areas (see map : wet prairie, lakes). Note how widespread and dotted these areas are.
The gray-blue color shows wet prairie areas from the map above. Note how segmented the land in Anoka County was.
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