December 13, 2022 – People who enjoy outdoor recreation in Redwood County will soon have their experiences enhanced, once recommendations are approved to fund $818,539 of improvements at Plum Creek Park.
The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC) recently completed its application review process and chose Plum Creek Park and 13 other parks and trails around the state for $11.4 million in funding for fiscal year 2024. The GMRPTC will now recommend that the Minnesota Legislature approve funding through the Parks and Trails Legacy Fund, one of four funds created by the 2008 Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. The Legislature has annually approved CMRPTC recommendations, since Legacy Funds are already dedicate and may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance, which includes Plum Creek Park in Walnut Grove, Minnesota.
In January, Redwood County hired engineering firm TKDA to develop an expansion plan for Plum Creek Park on ten acres of property the County purchased in 2016. The plan includes the addition of 30 to 35 RV sites, shelters, recreational activities and restroom facilities. Phase one of the plan includes the redesign and reconstruction of the Lake Laura beach area, installation of sidewalks, shower, changing rooms, restrooms, natural playground, new parking lot, and vegetation. These enhancements will provide ADA accessibility to the waterfront, reduce long-term maintenance costs, connect the beach waterfront with the boat launch via a trail, and integrate child play spaces near the beach. Construction of phase one is anticipated to begin the end of summer 2023, with the goal of completion spring of 2024.
“We are elated to have been selected for this grant by the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission. This award will enhance the experience at the Park, by improving the access to Lake Laura and creating a more inviting and stable swimming beach,” said Lon Walling, Plum Creek Park Committee Chair. “Area residents and visitors already enjoy the relaxation and beauty they find at Plum Creek, and this needed funding will make their visits even better!” Plum Creek Park Ranger, Adam Kletscher said, “this is a much-needed improvement that will be realized for generations to come and reduce ongoing maintenance costs.” The total cost of phase one is $909,488, with $818,539 received from the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission grant award, and a $90,948 local match from Redwood County, utilizing the Federal American Rescue Plan funds. This project allows the County to leverage both federal and state dollars to have no levy impact.
Those interested in learning more about Plum Creek Park are encouraged to visit plumcreekpark.com or contact the Redwood County Environmental Office at (507) 637-4023.