Friends of Patrick Eagan Park
|FROM: ||Friends of Patrick Eagan Park||      ||CONTACT PERSON:||Jack G. Conrad
|TO: ||Twin Cities Press Associates||     ||TELEPHONE: ||651-687-4960
|DATE: ||Wednesday, March 5, 2003 ||      ||E-MAIL ADDRESS: ||JackGConrad@EarthLink.Net
|SUBJECT: ||Eagan City Council Endorses Anderson Property Acquisition Plan, the Eagan Core Greenway Project
This week the Eagan City Council endorsed a recommendation from the Eagan Advisory Parks Commission to partner with several regional green space funding agencies to secure the Anderson property. The 10 acre parcel is located just south of the east entrance to Patrick Eagan Park. Patrick Eagan Park has been described as the "crown jewel" of Eagan's parks and represents a key section of the Eagan Core Greenway, a two-mile, 400+ acre stretch of public and private green space extending from the McCarthy farm south to Lebanon Hills Regional Park. Last year, the McKnight Foundation named the Eagan Core Greenway one of the Twin Cities' "top-ten [natural] treasures."
- Anticipated regional partners include:
- Minnesota DNR Metro Greenways grant program;
- Minnesota DNR Natural & Scenic Areas grant program;
- The Trust for Public Land;
- Dakota County;
- Private sector, Eagan-based corporations.
- The resolution passed by Eagan's City Council had four points: [Council Resolution, March 4, 2003]
- Friends of Patrick Eagan Park was represented by Steering Committee member Jack Conrad who stressed that the present focus on the Anderson parcel will demonstrate to funding agencies that Eagan is leveraging reliable partners and knows how to master the acquisition process.
- Two other representatives spoke on behalf of anticipated partnering organizations:
- Commissioner Nancy Schouweiler, Dakota County;
- Cordelia Pierson, The Trust for Public Land.
- The speakers described the Anderson parcel as the "logical first piece" in a plan that would ultimately focus on securing two larger parcels in proximity to the park:
- Caponi Art Park (about 30 acres on the edge of the current Caponi Learning Center);
- The McCarthy Farm (135 acres that have been in the McCarthy family for over 150 years).
- Last month, by a vote of 10 to 0, the Eagan Advisory Parks Commission passed a recommendation that the City Council endorse the partnering arrangement to acquire the Anderson parcel: [Parks Commission Resolution, February 13, 2003]
- The Eagan Core Greenway initiative advocates the recognition and preservation of more than 400 acres of largely undeveloped land that spans over two miles from Eagan's McCarthy farm and centrally located Patrick Eagan Park through a series of parcels, predominantly city-owned parks, south to Lebanon Hills, Dakota County's largest rustic park.
- In December, by a vote of 5 to 0, the Eagan City Council endorsed a resolution to acknowledge the Eagan Core Greenway, underscoring its significance to the community and to the environment, while also expressing interest in finding partners to assist with its on-going preservation and protection.
- In November, by a vote of 8 to 1, the Eagan Advisory Parks Commission passed a motion to place the Eagan Core Greenway resolution before the City Council for a vote.
- Also in November, 57% of Dakota County voters passed a landmark ten-year $20 million bonding referendum to preserve additional open space in the county.
- Ultimately, the Eagan Core Greenway will represent an important permanent open space of never developed or minimally developed land designated to enhance local citizens' quality of life as well as the regional ecosystem.
- More information about the Eagan Core Greenway and Friends of Patrick Eagan Park can be found on the group's Web site: www.friendsofpatrickeaganpark.org.