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County wants input on planned greenway routes

The Dakota County Parks department is looking for residents' opinions about its plans for two future greenway corridors in Rosemount and Empire Township. While the projects are years away, county planner John Mertens said the county wants to know what people think of the concept. The parks department will hold an open house from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Rosemount Community Center.

The input received will help county staff develop the greenway corridors. The greenway vision proposes more than a trail system. It includes enhanced open space corridors that perform multiple functions and provide multiple community benefits in areas of water quality, habitat, recreation and non-motorized transportation. The open house is part of a larger master planning process for the two greenways.

The proposed corridors that are being discussed at the open house are the Rosemount Interpretive Greenway from Lebanon Hills Regional Park to Spring Lake Park Reserve and the Mississippi River Regional Trail and the Vermillion Highlands Greenway from Lebanon Hills to the Vermillion River.

"We're looking for whether people think this is a good idea," said Mertens.

The greenways will take years to bring to reality. Mertens said the county plans to build the greenways in manageable pieces. Getting the entire project done could take 10 to 20 years.

Trail-based recreation has grown in popularity and Mertens said county staff believes creating a connected greenway system through the county would provide good recreation opportunities for residents.

"We want to create a place where people can be active," said Mertens.

Mertens said the county sent out notices to neighbors of the project but they also hope to get the general public out to share their opinions.

Draft master plans are expected to be ready for public review in January 2012. Another public open house is anticipated in February 2012.

For more information on the project visit

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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