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Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission Recommends Legislature Fund $1.1 Million to Develop Portion of Gamehaven Regional Park

Post Date:12/04/2018 12:25 PM

The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission has announced that they will recommend that the Legislature provide approximately $1.1 Million in funds from the Legacy Funding to help develop the west portion of the Gamehaven Regional Park. 

Park and Forestry Division Head Mike Nigbur states, “The development of this park is one of the high priority initiatives identified in the new Rochester Park System Plan.   This park encompasses a variety uses during all four seasons, coordinates with different partners, and helps enhance Rochester.   As a State identified Park of Regional Significance, this park will not only serve our local residents with great amenities it will attract regional visitors to the community.” 

The approximate $2.3 million dollar project will include an access drive/parking, utilities, nature play, cross country ski trails, prairie restoration, top tier disc golf and snow making.  This project will start in the fall of 2019, with design and construction planned in 2020.  This grant would not have been possible without one of the key partners for this project, Rochester Active Sports Club.  The group will be providing funding support along with significant volunteer labor to make these projects successful.

Nigbur goes on to state, “We would also like to extend our appreciation to Jeff Morton from Rochester Park and Recreation for his work on this grant and other grants the Park and Recreation Department pursues.  This type of funding support is critical in helping make these projects a reality.”

Gamehaven Park is Rochester’s newest of the regional parks located in southeast Rochester.  While the property has been owned by the City and operated for a flood control reservoir to mitigate flooding through construction of a 40-acre retention reservoir since the late 80’s the City in 2015 formally made the area a park in concert with the adoption of the master plan and regional designation that was achieved.  The property abuts 265 acre wooded Boy Scout camp neighboring the Park’s east side that allows some joint use and also abuts 100 acres of County property along the west side.  This park is the largest in the system consisting of 460 acres.  Gamehaven is largely undeveloped except for limited fishing, a small archery range, hiking, and recent construction of some mountain bike trails.

While this project does not complete the vision of the park, this project will be a key driver in helping to more fully activate Gamehaven Regional Park during all four seasons.