Friends of Patrick Eagan Park


Eagan Sun-Current
Wednesday, October 31, 2001

"Park Too Precious for Golf Course"

A natural gem grows almost directly in the heart of Eagan. That gem, which has been left for decades to grow amid a rapidly developing community, is now under consideration for a golf course.

Many people in Eagan may not be aware that Patrick Eagan Park is there. The 110-acre park is nestled northwest of the intersection of Diffley Road and Lexington Avenue. Its entrance is set off Lexington Avenue behind the Eagan Art house and those who drive by the park may not realize what they pass every day.

The park is in its natural state with wetlands, a lake, and many types of wildlife. There are no playgrounds or ball fields--only natural hiking trails that lead through the woods.

We at the Sun-Current think the importance of preserving this natural space is unequaled. We believe that Patrick Eagan Park is a valuable resource that no golf course, no matter how nice its manicured turf looks, could replace.

Eagan residents have always been proud of their parks and rightfully so. The city has more than 50 parks, ranging from small neighborhood parks to ones designed for the entire community. That may lead some to wonder what the big deal is over using one of those parks for a golf course. After all, the city has only three golf courses and more than 50 parks.

However, Eagan has even fewer areas that offer what Patrick Eagan Park offers. There are not many areas within the city where you can enjoy the outdoors in a setting that is as close to pure nature as Patrick Eagan Park.

Because the park was partially finanaced with a federal grant, the city faces potential barriers in converting any of the land to a golf course. However, those barriers alone may not be enough. Residents must make the council members aware of their feelings about the park.

Those residents who have not had the opportunity to explore the park should take a chacne to walk its trails, look out over McCarthy Lake, and then decide for themselves where they stand on the issue.

The Eagan City Council has said the reason the area around the park was chosen as a possible location for a golf course is because it is one of the few remaining open spaces in the city. Council members have said it may represent the last chance for a high-quality golf course to be developed. We are not opposed to Eagan providing a quality golf course for its residents. However, we do object to placing it on such a beautiful natural piece of property.

Patrick Eagan Park should be left the way it is for future generations to enjoy just as previous ones have.

The time has come for Eagna residents to ask temselves how important it is to preserve a chunk of nature that provides beauty not widely seen in Eagan? Is saving a 20-minute drive to another golf course at the expense of destroying 110 acres of wilderness and natural habitat a good trade?

The Eagan City Council will be hearing from the Patrick Eagan Park Preservation Committee (PEPPC), a group dedicated to preserving the park at its Thursday, Nov. 8, meeting. It will also discuss the possible project with the Eagan Golf Course Exploratory Committee during its 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, workshop meeting.

We urge residents who are opposed to the conversion of this beautiful park into a golf course to write and call their council members and drop by those meetings to make their voices heard. Now is the time to speak up--not after the decision has been made.

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