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FULL STORY: City, Boy Scouts near final agreement on sharing Prairie View

WORTHINGTON -- The city of Worthington and Boy Scout Troop 134 have come to a preliminary agreement in which the scouts would move their operations from Chautauqua Park to the clubhouse at the former Prairie View Golf Links property, which is bei...

WORTHINGTON - The city of Worthington and Boy Scout Troop 134 have come to a preliminary agreement in which the scouts would move their operations from Chautauqua Park to the clubhouse at the former Prairie View Golf Links property, which is being repurposed into a recreational park.

The scouts would have a designated area within the park to host camping events and retreats. In exchange for the site, Boy Scouts representatives would pay to install a new furnace in the clubhouse, mow and maintain the grounds around the clubhouse site and grass hiking trails throughout the Prairie View property and provide skilled labor for building maintenance.

 

Both sides have agreed to a framework, but some kinks still need to be worked out. LaDonna Carlson, Troop 134 treasurer, said the troop needed a place to store its trailers, which carry all of the equipment for the troop and the pack.

 

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The scouts presented two possible options - storing their trailers in a garage on the west side of the property, a building council members expressed interest in removing, or building their own garage near the clubhouse.

 

The scouts and city staff will work on a solution to that issue. Once everything is worked out, city staff will draft an official agreement with the troop, which will be brought back to the council for approval.

Regional park designation? The Prairie View property could be a candidate for a regional park designation, according to Jason Brisson, community and economic development director.

 

The Greater Minnesota Regional Park and Trails Commission (GMRPTC) has classified 47 parks and trails within the state as regional parks. With that designation comes to possibility of funding for educational projects, playgrounds, campsites and planting that the city would be very interested in getting.

 

The average regional park project receives $678,000, Brisson said. When Brisson worked at the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission in Appleton, he secured $732,000 to build a nature-based playground and reconstruct a campsite in an area park with a regional park designation.

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If anything, Brisson said the Boy Scouts’ involvement would probably help the city’s case.

 

Todd Wietzema, public works director, said the GMRPTC was intrigued by the fact that the Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District is using the park to improve water quality in the region - potentially providing unique educational opportunities.

 

Knowing he has done it before, council members gave Brisson their full support to write an application to the GMRPTC for the regional park designation.

 

“Start writing!” said councilman Alan Oberloh.  

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Carlson added the scouts would love to work with the city on getting the designation.

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