Following a strong response to a request for public input last summer and fall, St. Croix County is now seeking a second round of public input on draft concept ideas for future development and natural resource management for the Eckert Blufflands Park.
The new County park is along the St. Croix River just north of Hudson and consists of almost 170 acres of wooded upland, deep ravines, former agricultural fields, over 100-foot high river bluffs, and more than half a mile of river shoreline.
Concept ideas were developed after a review of input from the public, stakeholders, and County staff. There are three different park development concepts and a draft plan for natural resources management, which are displayed on an online StoryMap with maps, images, and text descriptions.
A range of opportunities are included in the concepts, such as natural surface trails, ADA accessible paved trails, river overlooks and interpretation, picnic areas and shelters, river access and shoreline exploration, hike-in camping, camper cabins, adventure play facilities, aerial adventure (zip line), and more.
All park concepts allow opportunities for fishing, cross country skiing, hiking, bow and rifle hunting, and trapping, as required by the DNR grant funds that were used to purchase the property. Natural resource management ideas include prairie and oak savanna restoration, protection of rare and threatened plant species, management of invasive species, and thinning of pine plantations.
If you didn’t provide input during the first round of engagement last summer and fall, you can still provide input now. The StoryMap and survey can be accessed at this link.
You are welcome to visit the StoryMap and respond to the survey through Monday, Feb. 26, 2021.
The master planning process is expected to be complete in the spring of 2021. Stay up to date on the project process by checking the County’s website.