One of the most scenic and cherished places in the state is expanding.
The Associated Press reports that the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum will add 78 acres, including the Lake Tamarack property that is adjacent to the Chanhassen location. The acquisition adds native forest, wetlands, tillable land and 1,300 feet of shoreline. The Carver County property is on the north side of Highway 5 and adjoins to the existing University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Center.
The University of Minnesota owns the Landscape Arboretum, which was established in 1958 and offers visitors more than 1,100 acres of gardens and tree collections, prairie, and woods and trails.
The Lake Minnetonka Patch reported that funding for the $4.3 million purchase was through the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, the Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Foundation.
Peter Moe, director of operations at the Arboretum, says 10 acres will be used for horticultural and environmental research and education, natural resource protection, and recreation. That includes public fishing and hunting access, but roadway and parking improvements are needed before that will be available.
A land use and restoration plan for the additional property is expected to be approved sometime in 2014.