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Farmington's new park will put the emphasis on sledding

These days almost everyone is waiting for the snow to melt, but the Farmington Parks and Recreation Commission is still working on a new sledding hill.

The park and rec commission has started work on a plan to develop Hillview Park, a three-acre park space near Upper 183rd Street West and Everest Path. Farmington parks and recreation director Randy Distad said the park space has been there for more than a decade, but there have never been plans to develop the park.

Now there are.

"We think it's being under-utilized," Distad said, "so the parks commission wants to put the space up for public use."

Hillview Park got its name because most of it is part of a north-facing hill. Most of the land is overgrown with vegetation and trees that would have to be removed before the hill could be used for sledding.

"When it comes to sledding hills, you want the hill to be facing to the north so you don't get the exposure to the sun," Distad said.

Park and recreation staff has developed a draft plan for the site, Distad said. The initial plans were reviewed by the park and recreation commission at its April 10 meeting. The commission will look at the plans again in May, then schedule an open house to get input from residents.

Distad expects the open house to take place in June. After that, staff will fine-tune the plans to send back to the park and rec commission. If the parks commission gives approval, the plans move to the city council for consideration.

Though Distad is hesitant to put a timeline on the plan just yet, he said it is possible some of the work to clear out the vegetation could happen yet this year.

"We can't promise it will be done by next year, but there may be time to start some of that work next fall," he said.

Early plans include space for a picnic shelter and playground equipment, but the sledding hill is the real focus for Hillview Park.

"One of the focuses of the park and rec commission was expanding winter recreation opportunities in the city of Farmington," Distad said.

The date for public input has not been set, but residents who live nearby will get a letter when it is so they can attend the open house. The open house will also be posted on the city's website,, Distad said.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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