Friends of the Eagan Core Greenway
Administrative Law Judge Beverly Heydinger 09 May 2006
Office of Administrative Hearings
Suite 1700, 100 Washington Square
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Dear Judge Heydinger,
As advocates dedicated to the preservation of Eagan’s expansive and environmentally sensitive green space, Friends of the Eagan Core Greenway was alarmed to learn about a proposed crude oil pipeline route that threatens to irreversibly harm the Gardens of Eagan organic farm. However, we were also relieved to learn that alternative routes are available to build this pipeline without harming other unique natural or agricultural resources. We are, therefore, respectfully asking you to please save the Gardens of Eagan farm from the destructive consequences of building the pipeline through the heart of this organic oasis, which the Diffley’s have worked so hard to create, and rule in favor of an alternative route that will preserve the viability and integrity of this rare agricultural gem.
Since our founding in 2001, FOECG has achieved some noteworthy accomplishments in our efforts to secure land conservation financing and heighten public awareness about the importance of preserving our last remaining remnants of open space in northern Dakota County. FOECG has been recognized and partnered with the Minnesota DNR Metro Greenway’s Program, The Sierra Club North Star Chapter and the McKnight Foundation’s “Embrace Open Space” campaign, which designated the Eagan Core Greenway as one of the Twin Cities “Top Ten Treasures.” While our mission of preservation began five years ago in this city, the Diffley family name has been synonymous with the land and farming in Eagan and Dakota County for over 150 years.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time the family has had to contend with the seemingly ever-present threat of encroachment on their land, their lives and their livelihood. In the moving documentary, “Turn Here Sweet Corn,” which chronicled the loss of the Diffley farm and ancestral lands in Eagan to suburban development, the viewer is left with a deep sense of regret over some of the choices our society makes and what is irrevocably lost in the process. The documentary ends with a sense of renewed hope as the Diffley family’s efforts to recreate the organic farm they lost in Eagan are begun again in Farmington.
The question now becomes, what new chapter will we allow to be written regarding the lives of this organic farm family and the invaluable services they provide? We respectfully request that you allow the Diffley family the ability to continue to provide our Minnesota communities with the same high-quality organic produce they have dedicated their lives to growing by requiring the MPL to find an alternative route for their pipeline.
Jack Conrad, Co-Chair