In partnership with key stakeholders, Ramsey County is leading an effort to secure state funding for further development of a Winter Recreation Area at Battle Creek Regional Park.
What is the overall goal of this project?
The project will create a regional destination Winter Recreation Area that includes ice skating, cross-country skiing, snow-boarding, downhill skiing, tubing and sledding. Plans for site development include a snow-making system capable of covering 2.5km of cross country ski trails as well as making snow for a downhill/snowboard instructional hill and sledding/snow tubing area.
This project is essential to the future growth of East-Metro winter sports, recreation and tourism. Currently, there are no facilities that provide man-made snow for cross country skiers in the East-Metro area. This leaves high school Nordic ski teams, youth ski programs and citizen skiers with no alternative but to travel during low snow years and leads to cancelations of race opportunities. There is also a lack of man-made downhill/snowboarding locations in the East-Metro area. The security of guaranteed snow at Battle Creek Regional Park ensures the future of winter recreational activities in the metropolitan region. A Winter Recreation Area also opens the possibility for connecting to a new and diverse group of visitors who are not currently accessing the park through the winter season.
The $2 million State Bond request will be matched by $1 million from Ramsey County and $1 million from the community in the form of sponsorships, donations, grants and in-kind contributions. The bonding bill will be put forth in the 2016 bonding cycle with support from State Representative Sheldon Johnson and State Senator Foung Hawj.
The success of the proposal hinges on support from the community. This project is a significant undertaking, but a realistic one. While there is strong support from Ramsey County, the county commissioners and state legislators who are sponsoring the bill, we need your help. In the upcoming months we will be asking you to contact your representatives, spread the word, volunteer and donate. There has been plenty of discussion surrounding snow making at Battle Creek. Let’s make it happen this year!