|FROM:||Friends of the Eagan Core Greenway||     ||CONTACT PERSON:||Laura Hedlund|
|TO:||Twin Cities Press Associates||     ||TELEPHONE:||651-405-9751|
|DATE:||Wednesday, January 14, 2004||     ||E-MAIL ADDRESS:||Organizer@FriendsoftheEaganCoreGreenway.org|
|SUBJECT:||Eagan environmental group says 2004 will be critical year|
Friends of the Eagan Core Greenway, formerly Friends of Patrick Eagan Park, believes 2004 will be a critical year for land preservation efforts in Eagan.
"Eagan's remaining open space is quickly diminishing. In 2003, we saw the closure of the Diamond T horse ranch and now the Carriage Hills golf course is threatened by development," says group co-chair Jack Conrad. "In 2003, Eagan did have one major success---Patrick McCarthy, one of Eagan's last remaining farmers, donated to Dakota County a permanent conservation easement on 34 acres in Eagan valued at $3.4 million." In addition, earlier in the year, Friends of the Eagan Core Greenway received an award of $100,000 from the State DNR's Metro Greenways program to begin the process to preserve the Anderson property, located beside the entrance to Patrick Eagan Park.
Friends of the Eagan Core Greenway wants permanent protection of McCarthy's 130-acre farm, the 60-acre Caponi Art park and the 10-acre Anderson property. All of this land abuts Eagan's only nature park, the 110-acre Patrick Eagan Park. "If permanently protected, this land will create a green corridor extending to the 2,000-acre Lebanon Hills Regional Park," states activist John Ward. "Corridors are important for wildlife, for people and for environmental integrity."
Last year, Friends of the Eagan Core Greenway, working with several partners, including the Sierra Club Northstar Chapter, distributed hundreds of "Embrace Open Space" lawn signs throughout Eagan stating "We can do better." The group helped organized a seminar on land preservation, held a nature photography workshop and coordinated the third annual "Fall Foliage Frolic" hike in the woods. The group has also strived to increase public awareness about the Eagan Core Greenway by marching in Eagan's Fourth of July parade, staffing information tables at Caponi Art Park events and working extensively with the Eagan City Council on environmental issues.
"In 2004, we know we have to work even harder if we are to realize our full dream for the Eagan Core Greenway," says co-chair Don Holmes. "The McKnight Foundation recognizes this area as one the Top 10 Twin Cities Treasures, but many Eagan residents are still unaware that we have this jewel in our midst." When completed, the Eagan Core Greenway will represent over 500 acres found along a two-mile length of undeveloped, open space.
For more information on these topics, citizens may go to: www.EaganCoreGreenway.org or call: John Ward at 651-688-0451.