There is still hope for a beautiful restored prairie overlooking the St. Croix River near Bayport. St. Croix 360 recently reported that the Minnesota Department of Transportation intends to sell off the site known as Blueberry Hill after deeming it “surplus property.”
The volunteers with the St. Croix Valley Chapter of The Prairie Enthusiasts (which is a St. Croix 360 supporting organization) have spent more than 20 years restoring the four-acre prairie perched on the bluff. They say there has been an outpouring of support since the MnDOT announcement, and they have a plan to protect it.
“The best options for protecting this prairie is for it to be conveyed to either Washington County or the MN DNR,” the group wrote this week.
They are asking supporters, especially Washington County residents, to contact elected officials to make their views known.
“Be polite,” they urge supporters. “Preserving a rare prairie remnant is a good thing.”
The site has important value as wildlife habitat, especially for birds and pollinators, and is also an important place to harvest native wildflower seeds that can be used to restore other sites. The group has spent several days recently collecting Ohio spiderwort, pale spike lobelia and anise hyssop seeds.
It is also simply a popular place to enjoy St. Croix Valley beauty, with dramatic views of the mouth of the Willow River. The group notes that it has even been the location of several marriage proposals.
To advocate for its transfer from MnDOT to another governmental agency, The Prairie Enthusiasts encourage people to contact the following individuals:
- Dan Kyllo (Chairman), West Lakeland Township
- Gary Kriesel, Washington County Board of Commissioners
Susan (Henning) Wolfe says
Blueberry Hill is historic and has been a gathering place for people for over 80 years – possibly more. Great memories by all – greeting friends, watching the sunsets, meteor showers, etc. It would be a shame for it to be developed. A great loss to the St. Croix valley.