Friends of Patrick Eagan Park

Op-Ed Piece

Eagan Sun-Current
Wednesday, October 23, 2002

"In Support of the Dakota County Referendum"

By Guest Columnist, Laura Hedlund

Whenever I take my daughter to a natural area, a whole world opens up to me. The canopy formed by the tall pine trees creates "a tunnel with a place for the sun to dance," says my four-year old. We hop on an old tree log and ride on it as if we were in an amusement park. She plays with dirt, bugs and sticks for longer than any of her manufactured toys.

Watch two 4-year-olds playing in a natural area and you can see what life was meant to be like. They run, perhaps to chase a insect, and then stop suddently to inspect some plant or wildflower.

Sadly, tomorrow's children in Dakota County will have fewer and fewer opportunities to enjoy nature's simple pleasures. Dakota County will have nearly half the amount of parkland per person, per visit, in 2020 as we did in 1980. Look at the rapid new development in Dakota County. Where are the natural areas? What will we leave for future generations?

Voters in Dakota County have the power to forever protect 5,000 to 10,000 acres of land by voting yes on Question 1 this November. For less than $1.50/month on an average home, or even less than $4 a month on a half million dollar home, Dakota County voters can forever protect our land treasures. Yes it will cost a little money, but the cost of doing nothing is much higher.

We must act now or future generations will not have what we have enjoyed. Together, we can do something that lasts forever. Vote yes on Question 1.

Laura Hedlund is the chair of the Dakota County Park and Recreation Advisory Committee.

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