Dakota County Park Acquisition Includes Vital Trout Stream (MN)

Dakota County, MN – Working in cooperation with the Trust for Public Land, the Dakota County Park Department has increased the size of an existing county park by acquiring 116 acres of spectacular rolling, heavily wooded land in the Southeastern corner of the county. The addition of this property brings together two non-contiguous parcels of the Miesville Ravine Park and protects one of the last remaining streams supporting a native trout population.

Trout Brook, which flows through the property, is a state designated trout stream and one of the few habitats in the Southeastern Metro Region home to native trout. The brook flows through the valley and joins the Cannon River upstream of Welch. The stream’s pristine vegetated fringe is habitat for wildlife and home to a native stand of white pines. The Meisville Ravine Park boundary consists of 1,682 acres, of which over 1,200 acres are currently incorporated into the park. Although it has limited facilities, the park is available to the public for picnics, snow shoeing, angling and hiking.

“This acquisition preserves high-quality natural resource land and provides for passive recreation opportunities,” adds Steve Sullivan, Dakota County Director of Parks. “Future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy this rich landscape.”

The Trust for Public Land negotiated with landowners George and Lee Anne Ellison of Southern Dakota County for the purchase of the property in order to guarantee its protection from the rapid growth occurring in the region and enjoyed by the public for its unique wilderness qualities.

“Ever since we purchased the land, we wanted to keep it in its natural state as much as possible,” notes Mr. Ellison. “Selling it to the park will allow that practice to continue.”

“Undeveloped land is becoming a rare resource in the Twin Cities metropolitan area,” adds TPL Project Manager Micheal Moore. “Both the Dakota County Board of Commissioners and the Met Council recognize the importance public lands play in our overall health and have made concerted efforts to save special places for untold future generations.”

“The Ellison property was a key acquisition for Dakota County,” adds County Commissioner Joe Harris. “It will allow the county to do some enhanced planning and development in the park including expanding the trails and we will be able to stabilize the banks to maintain water quality.”

This is the second cooperative effort involving TPL and Dakota County in the past year. Last April, TPL assisted the county in acquiring 26 acres of undeveloped land in the Southwest corner of the County on Lake Byllesby. The Metropolitan Council appropriated the funds for that park as well.

Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for public use and enjoyment. With both the Midwest Regional Headquarters and the Minnesota State Office located in the Twin Cities, TPL is able to work closely with local communities in meeting their land conservation and public recreation needs. Last year, TPL launched its “Greenprint for Growth” campaign to help rapidly growing communities protect land, sustain healthy economies and promote a high quality of life. For more information, please visit the website at www.tpl.org.