U approves $13M sale of UMore Park land

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents this month approved the sale of 435 acres of UMore Park in Rosemount to Minneapolis-based Maplewood Development for $13.1 million, said Kim Lindquist, the city's community development director.

Maplewood's plans for the site include housing, but Lindquist said Rosemount officials will meet in July with the developers to get more information.

Newland Communities, based in San Diego, had planned to build 1,500 homes at UMore Park but canceled that purchase agreement last fall after financing fell through.

The 4,800-acre UMore parcel was the site of a federally owned munitions plant that produced gunpowder during World War II before the U obtained it.

Erin Adler

Taylors Falls

Wild Mountain opens its summer season

After a delayed opening due to the pandemic, summer activities at Wild Mountain will begin Saturday and continue daily through Sept. 7, according to the park's new owner, Sara Larsen.

Larsen, originally from Hopkins, took ownership of the 48-year-old alpine ski operation near Taylors Falls earlier this month after working in the ski industry at resorts across the country. "It's a great family business, and we're hoping to keep things the same as usual," she said.

Wild Mountain offers an outdoor water park, alpine slides and go-karts in the summer. Larsen said the layout of the water park makes it easy to accommodate social distancing rules. Park staffers will take other precautions, like wiping down the alpine slide sleds between each use.

Matt McKinney


Arboretum names new head of research

Matt Clark, an assistant professor of grape breeding and oenology at the University of Minnesota and an expert in cold-hardy grape research, has been named research director at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Horticultural Research Center. Clark replaces James Luby, who is on sabbatical.

Clark received an undergraduate degree from St. John's University in Collegeville and master's and doctoral degrees from Minnesota. He is a specialist in the U's Extension program and teaches Horticulture 1001, a popular course in plant propagation.

The Research Center has introduced more than 100 fruits, including several widely popular apple varieties and winemaking grapes that withstand northern climates.

Katy Read


Board expands dining onto county roads

Restaurants and bars in Anoka County may now apply for temporary outdoor dining permits to allow expanded seating and services in parking lanes on county roadways.

The Anoka County Board approved the special conditions, with mandated traffic controls, in response to COVID-19 restrictions on dining establishments to slow the spread of the virus.

Outdoor dining resumed June 1 with limitations, and indoor dining opened the following week with up to 50% capacity, spacing restrictions and required reservations. Those obtaining Anoka County permits may continue expanded outdoor dining until Nov. 2.