A wide swath of green cuts through Eagan's terrain of corporate campuses, residential neighborhoods and retail strips.
The Friends of the Eagan Core Greenway has spent years working to preserve the two miles of undeveloped land. This Sunday afternoon, the group is hosting a folk benefit concert to raise money to help protect its last remaining parcels of open space.
Fittingly, the concert will be held at Caponi Art Park -- one of the greenway spaces the group helped save. Set in the park's Theatre in the Woods outdoor amphitheater, the concert will feature an assembly of prominent local musicians, many of whom are regulars on Minnesota Public Radio's "A Prairie Home Companion."
"We're hoping that this concert reaches people who haven't paid much attention to open space in the past. We want to change people's perception," said David Brunet, a Greenway member and one of the concert's organizers.
Much of the money raised is likely to go toward the preservation of Eagan's historic McCarthy Farm, 130 acres of farmland and woods in central Eagan. Property owner Patrick McCarthy wants his land preserved and has been in a protracted legal battle with Tollefson Development Inc. to keep it.
"Once that land is gone, it's gone forever," Brunet said. "We have a real challenge facing us in trying to preserve it."
All proceeds will go to a dedicated fund maintained by the Eagan Foundation on behalf of the Friends of the Eagan Core Greenway.
Local jazz pianist Dan Chouinard, who will perform, is part of Eagan's Greenway group and helped pull the concert together. All of the musicians are performing for free, including renowned mandolin player Peter Ostroushko.
Ostroushko has performed on "Prairie Home" for more than 25 years and has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra and appeared on "Austin City Limits" and the "Late Show with David Letterman."
Jazz singer Prudence Johnson also will perform, as will Tim Eriksen, who sang on the "Cold Mountain" soundtrack.
Hot!Dish, a women's vocal group, will open the concert.
IF YOU GO
The Greenway Music Festival will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Caponi Art Park's outdoor amphitheater, Theatre in the Woods. The art park is at 1205 Diffley Road in Eagan.
If it rains, the concert will be held at Sts. Martha and Mary Episcopal Church, which is one block east of the art park, at 4180 Lexington Ave. S.
Local Boy Scouts will give tours of the Eagan Core Greenway.
Admission is $8 for adults; children are admitted for free.
For more information, go to www.eagancoregreenway.org .