New Park For Detroit Lakes (MN)

Detroit Lakes, MN, 12/21/01 – The Trust for Public Land and the City of Detroit Lakes announced today the completion of the land acquisition for a new interpretive nature park for the city, marking the culmination of an energetic community effort spear-headed by city resident and master gardener Sally Hausken. The property, which overlooks Detroit Lake from within the city limits, consists of 61 acres of maple basswood forest that included a designated trout stream, wet meadow, swamp and ridge.

“This is an effort that all of Detroit Lakes can be proud of,” notes Mayor Larry Buboltz. “Because of the commitment of so many, our grandchildren will grow to know the same natural splendor that we enjoy today.”

Two years ago, a neighbor predicted a future housing development in the woods Sally had visited with frequency as a young child. Recognizing the value of the land as a potential interpretive nature park, Sally began organizing friends and neighbors about the feasibility to protect the land. In October 2000, she contacted the Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation organization that specializes in protecting land for people through conservation real estate projects. And on November 8, the Detroit Lakes City Council voted to allow Sally to pursue funding for the park through a DNR Natural and Scenic Areas Grant Program.

“Sally came to us with a special piece of land including a remarkable trout stream in a rapidly developing town,” notes Gordon Kimball, TPL Project Manager. “She provided the energy and drive that turned her vision into an effort embraced by the community. This is the kind of project we love be involved with. The ingredients include a special place, a committed individual and a supportive community intent on seeing a good idea succeed.”

TPL negotiated the acquisition and aided in her fundraising efforts, including the $92,000 Natural and Scenic Areas matching grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Other funding came from local citizens and organizations. As of today Sally and other park supporters have raised every dollar necessary and built a base of community support for the new park. Plans for the park include developing environmental educational programs and hiking trails that will showcase the natural character of the land.

Where some would see adversity, Sally created opportunity. “Although we encountered some obstacles in the process,” she notes. “I was always conscious that on the road ahead, I saw only green lights.”

Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land conserves land for people to improve the quality of life in our communities and to protect our natural and historic resources for future generations. Nationwide, the Trust for Public Land has helped conserve more than a million acres valued at over $2 billion. In Minnesota, the Trust for Public Land has helped protect more than 21,000 acres of land. Recent highlights include expansion of Stearns County Quarry Park and Nature Preserve, Minnesota’s newest Scientific and Natural Area; assisting the city of Grand Marais protect their historic Harbor Park; and the protection of sensitive lands in the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota. TPL is actively working around Minnesota to provide more parks and green space in communities facing the pressures of growth. For more information, visit the website at