The Douglas County Board of Commissioners
began park acquisitions in the middle 1960s when a group known as the
Rune Stone Boosters began trying to acquire the homestead of Olaf Ohman.
Mr. Ohman's farm contains the hill where the Kensington
Rune Stone was discovered in 1898.
Three Havens Park was actually the
first park acquired by the county. Purchased in 1969, this park has since
been renamed Deputy
Sheriff Curtis A Felt Memorial Park in honor of county law enforcement
officers who have lost their life in service of their communities. Curt
Felt was slain by a prisoner enroute to court in 1978.
Douglas County's objective has been
to provide historic preservation along with outdoor recreation opportunities
through the park system. Spruce
Hill Park was purchased in 1979. The park contains the site of the
pioneer era village of Spruce Hill. Chippewa
Park was added in 1988. It is the location of the first county fair
in Douglas County. Lake
Brophy Park was constructed as a way side rest during depression era
Work Progress Administration (WPA). Two beautiful cut stone circles provide
scenic overlooks of Lake Brophy.
The Board of Commissioners adopted
an ordinance to provide for the control and management of parks in 1992.
The ordinance establishes hours of operation and permitted uses of the
parks. It also outlines certain uses that are not allowed.
A policy plan was prepared in 1994
to help establish future acquisition, development, and maintenance goals
for Douglas County Parks. The plan included a needs assessment survey
of residents, a park visitor survey, and a recreation resource inventory.
This Policy Plan continues to guide efforts in the park division. It contains
the following conclusions.
County parks shall be administered
by the parks division of the public works department according to
Minnesota Statute Chapter 398 and any rules promulgated in conformance
therewith. A parks commission should be established pursuant to Chapter
Douglas County will allow the
use of all funding mechanisms provided for in the Minnesota Statutes
to acquire fee title to certain property for use by the public as
Lands to be acquired shall meet
the guidelines established in the policy plan.
Douglas County will use professional
design services for any facilities constructed on a county park. Each
park developed shall have at least a public drinking water supply,
sanitary restrooms, waste water treatment or disposal, and an adequate
means of litter control.
Douglas County shall, to the
fullest extent possible, use the following sources to establish safety
and design standards for county parks.
Americans With Disabilities
Act Accessibility Guidelines for Recreational Facilities and Outdoor
Developed Space (ADAAG)
Consumer Products Safety
Commission Handbook for Public Playground Safety, 1997 Edition
Douglas County will provide
training for the park division maintenance staff and will periodically
review existing park facilities to assess the need for renovation.
The Policy Plan and Park Ordinance are available for
review at the park office in the Douglas County Public Works Center. We
welcome public feedback on our policies and procedures. Our goal is to
- define the county's role in outdoor recreation
- help identify appropriate properties for acquisition as parks
- identify appropriate financial resources to carry out these policies
- define the administration and operational standards for the parks division
- develop a framework for decision making about growth management, resource preservation, interagency cooperation, and citizen involvement.