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Continued: Land of riches: Stillwater property promises to make a fine park

  • Article by: KEVIN GILES , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 18, 2014 - 2:11 PM

“It really is the showcase commissioners have been looking at since 2006,” she said.

“This land will always be there for the use and enjoyment of the public and to protect the river.”

Elayne Aiple said she wanted to conserve the land rather than see it parceled into condominium projects. Love for conservation and a strong connection to land is common among landowners who apply to the Land and Water Legacy program.

As the county’s principal planner, Harper takes on special projects that have included consolidating Washington County’s watershed districts and now, forging an economic development plan.

“A lot of what I do is sorting out roles and relationships,” she said.

Nobody has been appointed yet to take over Land and Water Legacy when Harper leaves the county, but she thinks most current projects will be resolved by then.

“When I leave I can look back and when somebody asks me what I’m most proud of, I can say the Land and Water Legacy program,” she said. “I think the general public is still interested in having a county that has remnants of rural character.”

Kevin Giles • 651-925-5037

  • related content

  • Jane Harper, Washington County’s principal planner, at the the lane into the Aiple property. “It’s going to be a huge addition locally for recreation,” she said.

  • «This land will always be there for the use and enjoyment of the public and to protect the river.»Washington County planner Jane Harper

  • County open spaces

    Purchase of Development Rights Program (2000-2006)

    • Seven projects

    • $350,000 of county funds

    • $2.55 million total project cost

    • Other financial partners included state grant, DNR, watershed districts, local units of government, landowner donation

    Land and Water Legacy Program (2007-present)

    • 11 projects

    • $4 million of county funds

    • $13 million total project cost

    • Other financial partners included state grants, DNR, local units of government, Metropolitan Council, landowner donation

    Total: $4.35 million of county funds, $15.55 million total project cost

    Source: Washington County

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