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Referendum letter to Bob Lambert

A letter from community leaders requesting a provision in the May 11, EP Parks referendum for at least $2 million:

Jeff Strate and others
15021 Summerhill Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55346
March 3, 2004

Mr. Bob Lambert
Director of Parks, Open Space and Natural Resources
City of Eden Prairie
8080 Mitchell Road
Eden Prairie, MN 55346

Re: Request pertaining to May 11th Parks Referendum. (Letter originally dated 2/24/04)

Dear Mr. Lambert:

We fully appreciate the City’s impressive use over the years of cash park fees and density transfer agreements with developers to secure open spaces and trail corridors. Combined with past land donations, 1994’s old woods/prairie bluff bonding referendum and a few state grants, our city, under your guidance, has been able to nearly complete the securing of a remarkable green infrastructure during a period of expansive growth; one which will enable its residents, businesses, professions and schools to thrive.

And, thank you, the Parks Commission and City Council for shaping the upcoming parks bonding referendum. It is clear that substantial thought has been invested into crafting a strategy which will help our aging and growing park and recreation system.

We understand that the proposed $1 million dollar share of the $22.5 million dollar total of the referendum question will be reserved for land acquisitions for our park and trail system and that an additional $600,000 will be directed toward trail construction.

Although there is high merit in the City’s intent to leverage the $1 million dollars with State grants and private gifts should the referendum pass and although the City may be able to shift park referendum moneys from one set of projects to others if such funds become available, we request that the amount of dollars for land acquisition in the parks referendum be increased by at least $1 million.

The high cost of land will only increase and the parcels the city has identified to complete its trail corridors and parks are also of the kind that are most appealing to developers. Riley and Purgatory Creek corridors, the Birch Island Road parcel and citizen requests to acquire open space for our parks system, including but not limited to the Anderson property in the Hillcrest neighborhood, clearly demand a reasonably sized reserve fund for acquisition when these properties become available. This kind of reserve fund is working admirably for the City of Minnestonka which on Monday February 23, 2004 approved the purchase of 30 acres of mostly open space east of Interstate 494 at Stone Road for $2.6 million. *

As older Eden Prairie neighborhoods, business and industrial areas are redeveloped, as private outlots and residential lots are subdivided and developed, as some County and State lands and private golf clubs are released to the Real-estate market, our city’s
population and tax base will increase as will the demands on its parks and trail systems. That is why, during the 11th hour for securing the last gaps in Eden Prairie’s green infrastructure, we request that the City provide through the referendum a larger reserve fund for future open space acquisitions.


Jeff Strate, Member, Friends of Birch Island Woods and
Dean Edstrom, former EP Council Member, former Chair, Eden Prairie
Foundation, Founding Member EP Rotary
Leslie J. Ellis, Community Leader, Actvisit, secondary smoke issues
Claire Hilgeman, former EP Parks Commissioner and EP School Board Member
David Luse, former EP Council Member, entreprenuer, developer
Norbert Gernes, former member EP School Board and
Henn.Tech College Board (1980’s), Scouting, EP resident since 1973
Doug McEvers, Riley Creek Corridor Task Force, builder
Sharon Stephens, Co-chair, Sierra Club Sprawl Committee, EP Resident
Geraldine Beckmann, Former head of PROP, long time resident
Kim Vohs, Hillcrest neighborhood resident
Gary Diamond, Co-chair, Trails Without Rails
Barbara Kaerwar, Senior Citizen, long time EP resident
Larry Piumbroke, Human Rights & Diversity Commission, long time resident
Cheral Tsuchiya, EP Baseball Association Commissioner, life long resident
Mike Gruidl, Past President EP Lions Club, MN Lions Cabinet, Investment Advisor.
Eden Prairie resident since 1974.


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