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Ken Simons, planning coordinator for the Office of Open Space Planning, speaks about the 1972 acquisition of 3,000 acres of land to protect unique systems such as flood plains, ground water tables, recreation, amenities, or pleasing vistas to offset development. A corridor of open space is the plan for the acquisition of land along Rice Creek area in Ramsey County.


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GREG BARRON: The commission considered and later gave preliminary approval for the purchase of 106-acre tract of land along Rice Creek just North of Long Lake in the area of the village of New Brighton and Mounds View. If the proposed purchase is approved by New Brighton and the land is acquired, it will complete a corridor of open land under public ownership all the way from Long Lake into Anoka County. A Ken Simons, Planning Coordinator for the Office of Open Space Planning described the acquisition program.

KEN SIMONS: Ramsey County is proposing in 1972 to acquire 2,000 acres. Ultimately, we plan to acquire about 8,000 acres in a 3 to 4-year acquisition program. In 1972, we have bonded approximately $6 million to acquire the lands we have identified for acquisition in '72. The reason for acquiring this open space land is threefold.

The first and most important is to protect unique and vulnerable resources and natural systems, such as drainage ways, wildlife habitat, flood plains aquifer recharge areas where water re-enters the soil and resupplies the groundwater table. The two other points which just kind of follow in line here is recreation, of course. If you can acquire these lands which you're trying to protect, they also will provide a recreation base in many cases. Also the third one is for amenity or for visual effect for pleasing views, vistas, just something enjoyable to look at something to reduce the effect of urbanization to offset development.

GREG BARRON: We're trying to forestall development, right?

KEN SIMONS: Not forestall it, just tone it down, so to speak soften it.

GREG BARRON: If development can be stopped entirely, even on a very limited basis, the Rice Creek area may be one ideal place to do it. The creek flows lazily past fallen trees and small sand banks in what's called a mature creek basin filled with backwaters and mats of green duckweed, habitat for the blue heron and other waterfowl, and perfect for an easy canoe ride or nature walk. This is Greg Barron.


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