Following public input received in January and February, Sherburne County is now seeking the public’s input on draft master plan concepts for outdoor recreation and natural resource restoration of a potential future county park on the shore of Big Elk Lake in Palmer Township, just north of Clear Lake.

The 430-acre property is currently in private ownership and not open for public access. The current owners are collaborating with Sherburne County staff on the master planning process to fulfill the wishes of the late owner, who desired that the land would become a public park. The private property has rich historic and cultural value.

The master plan concepts identify potential facilities, amenities, and trail types that would be developed on the property over the next 20 years. Input obtained from the public will help to determine priorities and select a preferred concept that would fill gaps in recreation facilities in the county park system and allow the county to apply for state funding to acquire the property for public use.

You can review the concepts and offer feedback in-person or online. A public open house event will be on Thursday, April 8, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Sherburne History Center, 10775 27th Ave. SE, Becker. At the event, draft master plan concepts of the potential park property will be displayed, and people will be welcome to provide input to county staff and project consultants regarding thoughts on the concepts and priorities.

If you plan to attend the event, RSVP for a time slot at https://bit.ly/3qV6dh9. You can also find the sign up link on the county parks website, https://www.co.sherburne.mn.us/604/Parks-Recreation.

Plan to follow current COVID-19 guidelines for safety, including wearing masks and social distancing.

An online method for reviewing the concepts and providing input will be available in early April. Check the county’s website in early April for information on how to provide input online.

The master planning process is expected to be complete in June 2021. Stay up to date on the project process by checking the county’s website: https://www.co.sherburne.mn.us/604/Parks-Recreation.

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