Restore Public Access to Minnesota Public Land
This petition had 430 supporters
There’s a lot of truth in the slogan “Minnesota Nice.” We live in a great area (Fredenberg Township, St. Louis County, just outside Duluth). It’s been a wonderful place to raise our family since 1997, and starting in 2004, develop our unique, youth-focused, non-profit organization, Positive Energy Outdoors (PEO). Our adventure and team building activities include kayaking and rock climbing, as well as draft horse driving and dog sledding (our 55 Alaskan huskies are adopted as retired racers). PEO programs take place on our 35 acres and we access many miles of additional public trails and public water using a half mile mile trail on 80 acres of public land next to our property.
PEO has provided stimulating, healthy outdoor education opportunities that help bridge the “adventure gap” for more than 1,000 boys and girls, including over 500 children from low-to-moderate household income backgrounds this year alone. Without access to the adjacent Fredenberg public property, our widely acclaimed dog sledding program would be forced to find another location. In all likelihood, that would force PEO to close because there is no suitable alternative. So much for “Minnesota Nice.” But with the support of many, including the public through this petition, we think PEO can be saved and access to the public land restored for us and other recreational users.
Why does Fredenberg want to bar PEO from public land?
In 2012, PEO learned that the public land (owned at the time by St. Louis County) that we have been using for almost 20 years to access additional public trails and Island Lake Reservoir for dog sledding programs would be sold to a private developer at public auction. After a show of community support for PEO and keeping the land public, St. Louis County decided to convey the land to Fredenberg Township to use as a public park, with the clear understanding that all current uses and users would be allowed to continue. This was sound public policy to the benefit of all involved: the County, the Township, the People (including PEO’s youth participants), and Positive Energy Outdoors as well as the other recreational users.
We were shocked when on October 10, 2015, the Township issued a Notice of No Trespass, barring PEO from continuing to use the public land. PEO, which has been a good neighbor, has been forced to hire an attorney because of the Township’s targeted campaign to destroy PEO and deprive its constituents of its vital services that benefit the community.
A PEO representative presented this petition and verified comments at the November 4, 2015 Fredenberg Town Board Meeting. He was told by a Town Supervisor, “This means nothing to us.” The Town Board then passed Resolution 15-005 — Fredenberg Park Rules, which includes point 18: “No commercial use is allowed in the park at any time.”
You can help.
There is significant support for keeping the public land public in Fredenberg, with many neighbors and township residents in support of continued access for all uses and users. But that cannot happen without action by the St. Louis County Board of Commissioners. We are asking you to sign the petition urging them to take immediate action to rescind this conveyance, and restore, as intended, public access and use of the public park property.
Thank you for your support.
Stephanie Love and Blake Cazier, Founding Directors
Positive Energy Outdoors
Skills, Fun and Adventure in Duluth and Northern Minnesota
Today: Stephanie is counting on you
Stephanie Love needs your help with “St. Louis County Board of Commissioners: Restore Public Access to Minnesota Public Land”. Join Stephanie and 429 supporters today.