Eckert Blufflands Park
Eckert Blufflands Park Master Plan
Following a strong response to a request for public input last summer and fall, St. Croix County is now seeking a second round of public input on draft concept ideas for future development and natural resource management for the Eckert Blufflands Park. The new County park is along the St. Croix River just north of Hudson and consists of almost 170 acres of wooded upland, deep ravines, former agricultural fields, over 100-foot high river bluffs, and more than half a mile of river shoreline.
Concept ideas were developed after a review of input from the public, stakeholders, and County staff. There are three different park development concepts and a draft plan for natural resources management, which are displayed on an online StoryMap with maps, images, and text descriptions. A range of opportunities are included in the concepts, such as natural surface trails, ADA accessible paved trails, river overlooks and interpretation, picnic areas and shelters, river access and shoreline exploration, hike-in camping, camper cabins, adventure play facilities, aerial adventure (zip line), and more. All park concepts allow opportunities for fishing, cross country skiing, hiking, bow and rifle hunting, and trapping, as required by the DNR grant funds that were used to purchase the property. Natural resource management ideas include prairie and oak savanna restoration, protection of rare and threatened plant species, management of invasive species, and thinning of pine plantations.
If you didn’t provide input during the first round of engagement last summer and fall, you can still provide input now. The StoryMap and survey can be accessed at this link: Draft Concepts & Survey For Phase 2 (open for comment thru February 26th, 2021)
The master planning process is expected to be complete in the Spring/Summer of 2021. Stay up to date on the project process by checking back here.
Estimated Project Schedule
The planning process is expected to last 12 months and be complete in Spring/Summer 2021. The project phases are listed below. Dates are approximate and may change throughout the process.
Project Kick Off: (April-June, 2020)
Phase 1: Inventory & Analysis (May-August, 2020) - Public Engagement Input Summary From Phase 1
Phase 2: Develop Concepts (October, 2020-February, 2021) - Draft Concepts & Survey For Phase 2 (open for comment thru February 26th, 2021)
Phase 3: Develop Master Plan (February, 2021-May, 2021)
Public Engagement - Eckert Blufflands Park Master Plan
The County is interested in the public’s input on future development and programming options for the park. Due to COVID-19, engagement will primarily take place through online methods, small group meetings and interviews, and website information. Check back to this web page to see updates on the planning process.
The first phase of online engagement closed on Labor Day, Monday, September 7, 2020. You can find a summary of input received here -- Public Engagement Input Summary From Phase 1
Master Planning Team
The County has hired a consultant team to assist with the master planning process, which includes HKGi (park master planning) and Emmons and Olivier Resources (natural resource management). The master planning team will be evaluating existing conditions in the park, analyzing issues and opportunities for future development and vegetation management, exploring various concept approaches, and developing a master plan document that will guide future investments.
St. Croix County Staff Contact: John Hilgers, Senior Planner (email@example.com)