Fisherman’s Inn Purchase
The purchase of Fisherman’s Inn, Boat Ramp and adjoining land is now complete. The County already has a small park adjacent to the Fisherman’s Inn property which has a public fishing pier. The Fisherman’s Inn land will increase the size of the park to about 3 acres. The county will work on a plan which will include a public boat launch ramp, parking area, canoe and kayak launching area, picnic grounds, playground, picnic pavilion, fishing pier, and public restrooms. The restaurant will be demolished this summer to allow for the improvements to be made and to satisfy the DNR requirements to fix the shoreline in the restaurant area. I supported this purchase because the residents of Olmsted contributed to the cost of dredging Zumbro Lake and deserve public access to this recreational lake while making room for a unique County Park.
County Park reservation for Campground and Picnic Shelters
Oxbow Park and Chesterwoods Park are heavily utilized by county residents. The demand for campground spaces and trailer hookups as well as the picnic shelters has grown every year. To manage the reservations, the Parks will be using an online reservation system. This will make it more convenient for those who wish to make a reservation. You can find out more at: https://www.co.olmsted.mn.us/pw/parks/Pages/default.aspx
$2.135 Million Grant for Oxbow
Oxbow Zoo and Nature Center was awarded a $2.135 million Legacy grant to enlarge the Nature Center. This will allow the Park naturalist to accommodate more elementary school classes and provide for modern bathrooms and facilities for the Nature Center and Zoo visitors. I supported the application for grant and the County’s matching funds because this is the most visited attraction in Olmsted County. Additionally, this is the first renovation that the Nature Center has received since the Park was established. The award still needs Legislative approval; I am hoping that will be forthcoming in this Legislative Session.