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Nearly 200 acres of prime wildlife habitat about half an hour from Minneapolis will be preserved as public open space thanks to the legacy of a Twin Cities leader who died more than three years ago.

Located between the cities of Delano and Independence on Highway 12 in western Hennepin County, the new Robina Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is a picturesque mix of wetlands and wooded uplands with old maples, oaks and basswood. The WMA includes more than one mile of undisturbed shoreline on Robina Lake. It will be open to the public for hunting, wildlife viewing, hiking, birding and cross-country skiing.

The property, valued at more than $4 million, was donated to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by the Robina Foundation, which was founded by the late James H. Binger to encourage and financially support significant and innovative projects at four institutions: Abbott Northwestern Hospital, the Council on Foreign Relations, the University of Minnesota Law School and Yale University. A well-known philanthropist, former Honeywell chairman and theater entrepreneur, Binger died in November 2004.

“This is a gift of enormous value to the people of Minnesota,” said DNR Regional Wildlife Manager Tim Bremicker. “With the state’s population increasingly concentrated in the growing metro region, protecting wildlife habitat and outdoor recreational opportunities close to where people live is vital to the future of conservation.”

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