Friends of Patrick Eagan Park

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-----Original Message-----
From: Jack G. Conrad [mailto:jackgconrad @]
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2003 12:36 AM
Subject: McKnight Foundation Awards Ceremony at Patrick Eagan Park

Dear Friends of Patrick Eagan Park,

Last Thursday, April 17th, the McKnight Foundation gave out its first set of "Champions of Open Space" Awards to four Dakota County residents for their key roles in last fall's successful "Vote Yes on One" referendum campaign for the Farmland and Natural Area Program ( ). Local newspapers were on hand as well as the local cable station.

McKnight Foundation President, Rip Rapson, conducted the event, and introduced a handful of regional speakers before the awards were distributed. These speakers included:

  1. Harland Hiemstra (the DNR's Metro Greenways Program spokesperson);
  2. Whitney Clark (Friends of the Mississippi River leader);
  3. Sharon Stephens (Sierra Club, North Star Chapter, Urban Sprawl Committee chairperson);
  4. Susan Schmidt (Trust for Public Land, Minnesota region director).
In addition, Dakota County Board of Commissioners Chairperson, Willis Branning, and Eagan City Mayor, Patrick Geagan were on hand, not to mention local celebrities, Tony & Cheryl Caponi (of the Caponi Art Park) and Patrick McCarthy (of the McCarthy Farm).

Award recipients included two Dakota County Commissioners and two Dakota County private citizens who were strong advocates of the referendum. They were:

  1. Joe Harris (Dakota County Commissioner);
  2. Nancy Schouweiller (Dakota County Commissioner);
  3. Beverly Topp (Eureka Township);
  4. Rick Hansen (Dakota County Soil & Water Conservation District).

A photo of the Award ceremony can be found [Here]. Biographies and descriptions of the award recipients can be found at the McKnight Foundation's Embrace Open Space Web site:

On behalf of Friends of Patrick Eagan Park and other proponents of additional local green space, we salute this spring's winners of the "Champions of Open Space" Awards.

---Jack Conrad

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