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Editorial: New park has plenty of promise

It has been interesting watching Dakota County's newest regional park take shape. Over the course of several months and many meetings, Whitetail Woods Regional Park has gone from a rough outline on a map to a master plan that gets more detailed every time it is presented.

After the most recent presentation, which took place Monday night in another of the county's parks, it is clearer than ever what the park will look like, at least when the first phase of construction is complete. There will be a focus on art, on food production and on unique cabins Dakota County residents will have a chance to rent for camping trips.

There is a lot there to capture residents' interest. The focus on agriculture in its many forms fits well with the parkland's location in an area surrounded by fertile farmland. The new park might also create some opportunities for residents that are not available in other parks, from community gardening to so-called edible trails, paths lined by fruits, berries and other things hikers can snack on while they walk.

The art portion of the plan is a bit less defined at the moment, but there are plenty of opportunities to create something special.

One concept for the cabin calls for so-called cabins in the woods, buildings on stilts.

None of this moves quickly. Even choosing a name for the park was a long and involved process. Construction on the park's first phase is expected to get under way next year, but it could be years until work is completely done.

In the meantime, we'll continue to enjoy watching all of the pieces come together.