According to this article in the Star Tribune, Dakota County has begun to narrow the vision for its latest regional park located on 450+ acres in Empire Township. While the options have narrowed, there are still many choices to be made which brings rise the question: why are they still concerning themselves with this park?
From the article:
An off-leash dog park, a learning and research center and something called an “agboretum” are among the ideas being floated for the new regional park in Empire Township.
Of course, the concepts unveiled to Dakota County commissioners earlier this month also call for a healthy dose of hiking trails, campsites and picnic areas.
All wonderful ideas themselves, however much of those options already exist in the immediate area including the nearby Dakota Woods Dog Park and the Master Gardener run garden at the adjacent UMore Park which serves as a huge research center for the University of Minnesota and has a very large hiking area known as the Lone Rock Trail.
This is not to say that the County should not look to invest in outdoor activities to fill the land acquired. There are certainly not enough campsites available in the county’s system, especially those that are under heavy tree cover. There are not enough raw parks which are not developed in any way. We need more undiscovered wilderness areas like Miesville Ravine Park which allows for the county to spend less money but provide access to real wilderness situations for its citizens–something which has dwindled in the metro area in recent years with the proliferation of paved trails, interactive centers, and concentration on attraction for the wrong reasons.
Instead of spending so much time worrying about redeveloping preexisting park options which are in the immediately area and concentrating on coming up with the most perfect name even though many have been already provided, they should be better understanding what the public does not even yet know it wants and needs and providing that instead.
What do you think?