Friends of the Eagan Core Greenway
Eagan's natural resources contribute to the community's ability to provide an attractive place to live and work, as well as to the ecological balance of the larger Twin Cities' area. As such, the City has the opportunity to be a model for significant environmental preservation within the surrounding urban region.
The Friends of the Eagan Core Greenway organization is dedicated to facilitating the establishment of the "Eagan Core Greenway," over 400 acres of land connecting Patrick Eagan Park and the neighboring Patrick McCarthy Farm to Lebanon Hills, Dakota County's largest rustic park. [Definition] Stretching roughly two miles, this greenway includes the following [Map]:
- Patrick McCarthy Farm (roughly 135 acres to the north of the park, heavily vegetated with steep topography and water bodies, currently still partially farmed);
- Barbara Curry Park (several acres of undeveloped parkland, including two ponds, to the east side of the McCarthy Farm, just south of Wescott Road);
- City parkland on each side of Denmark Avenue (several acres between the McCarthy Farm and Cascade Bay, south of Wescott Road);
- Patrick Eagan Park (110 acres of rugged, hilly, forested terrain with hiking trails);
- Lee Anderson Parcel (8 acres to the south of the park's eastern entrance road and parking area);
- Caponi Art Park (60 acres to the south of Patrick Eagan Park, a regionally recognized semi-public facility presently owned by artist Tony Caponi, one which includes outdoor sculptures in a natural setting);
- Lexington-Diffley Athletic Fields, to the south and east of the Art Park;
- Goat Hill Park, south of the playing fields, covering the forested hill sloping down to Wilderness Run Road;
- Walnut Hill Park, running east along Wilderness Run Road, buttressing the south side of Diffley Hill;
- Trapp Farm Park, to the east of Walnut Hill Park, also along Wilderness Run;
- Wilderness Run Wetlands, directly across Wilderness Run from Trapp Farm Park;
- Wilderness Run--Cliff Road Forest, heavily forested land and small lakes situated between Wilderness Run Wetlands and Cliff Road, which is the northern border of Lebanon Hills Regional Park.
The Eagan Core Greenway can also be extended to include the following additional city parks in proximity to the Patrick McCarthy farmland:
- O'Leary Lake Park (north of the northern boundary of McCarthy's property, across Duckwood Drive);
- Fish Lake Park (to the west of the northwestern boundary of McCarthy's property, across Denmark Avenue);
- Berry Patch Park (to the west of the southwestern boundary of McCarthy's property, along Berry Ridge Road);
- Northview Park and surrounding city lands (to the east of the southeastern boundary of McCarthy's property, across Lexington Avenue).
The Eagan Core Greenway will also provide special educational opportunities for local students, through programs and opportunities analogous to those found at West St. Paul's Dodge Nature Center.
The residential community near these parcels will benefit from the creation and acknowledgement of the greenway. It will be created with citizen and landowner education and participation. Together, these properties represent a large and complex band of natural lands, lands that have the potential to provide a superb model for the integration of private and public natural open space and habitat in an otherwise developed suburban area. Ultimately, the Eagan Core Greenway will represent an important permanent open space of never developed land designated to enhance local citizens' quality of life as well as the regional ecosystem.