In order to make the vision for the Upper Harbor become a reality, the City Council unanimously approved conveying of a conservation easement to the Minnesota Land Trust, a non-profit organization that partners with private and public entities to preserve open space in Minnesota. With a conservation easement, the City retains ownership of the 202 acres of property that includes Bay Point Park, the Pottery Pond, and adjoining property along Hay Creek and the Mississippi River. The purpose of the conservation easement is to allow the City to develop the Upper Harbor for open space, recreational and educational purposes while restricting industrial, residential, and large scale commercial use of the property.
The decision to convey the conservation easement came after the City conducted a public meeting on June 2, 2010 to provide information about the proposed conservation easement. Additional meetings were held to review the proposed draft conservation easement with the Harbor Commission on July 6th; Port Authority on July 6th; Planning Commission on July 20th; and Sustainability Commission on July 27th. All four commissions voted to recommend that the City Council approve the conveyance of the conservation easement. The Red Wing City Council approved the conservation easement at their meeting on April 11, 2011. For more information, contact CIP Manager Ron Seymour.