Meeting to discuss plans for MCWD property in Minnetrista

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District’s future plans for the Halverson and Dimler farms property in Minnetrista will be discussed in an upcoming meeting this Wednesday.

The MCWD will be discussion plans for this property at a meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at the Gillespie Center in Mound. (Submitted by MCWD)

The MCWD will be discussion plans for this property at a meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at the Gillespie Center in Mound. (Submitted by MCWD)

The MCWD will be holding a meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at the Gillespie Center in Mound to discuss plans for the former farm property located next to the Six Mile Marsh. According to the MCWD, the project will feature the restoration of 200 acres of agricultural and marsh land in Minnetrista.

The MCWD is planning to turn this farmland into natural prairie grass to help to keep pollutants from running into Lake Minnetonka. (Photo submitted by MCWD)

The MCWD is planning to turn this farmland into natural prairie grass to help to keep pollutants from running into Lake Minnetonka. (Photo submitted by MCWD)

MCWD Natural Resouce Technician Tiffany Forner was scheduled to speak at the Jan. 7 Minnetrista City Council meeting about the plans, but she was unable to attend due to illness. City Planner David Abel instead spoke to the council briefly about the plans.

Abel pointed to the location of the farmland on a map and explained a proposal to restore natural prairie grass during the first phase of changes.

“The area you see in the yellow is basically what is now (agricultural) land, and they will be converting that from ag. to prairie grass,” he said.

The MCWD also plans on a second phase of reconstruction where they are planning to install a trail and educational signs.

“The second part of the plan would be to add a trail — some sort of natural trail that would allow the general public to access the property — which would be for an educational purpose,” said Abel.

The MCWD said they would like citizen suggestions for their plans from neighbors to the property at the meeting later this month.

“The purpose of their public meeting is to gain input on what type of opportunities the public is looking for,” said Abel. “They have invited all of the adjoining property owners to this meeting to get their input.”

In a statement by the MCWD, Forner said the plan for the property is to reduce pollution heading into Lake Minnetonka.

“This is a great opportunity to restore environmentally sensitive land and reduce the amount of polluted stormwater runoff going into Lake Minnetonka,” she said. “This site will also be an educational resource and an amenity for the community.”

Officials from the MCWD said the property features steep slopes that allow eroded soil and other pollutants to flow into Halstead Bay during rain. Halstead Bay has a “D” quality rating, which the worst in the Minnehaha Creek Watershed.

According to an MCWD timeline, the construction on the Halverson and Dimler farms property could start in May.

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