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Greenleaf Rec Area plans moving forward

LITCHFIELD -- Plans to develop the Greenleaf Recreation Area in Meeker County continue to move forward. A draft plan on how to best manage the area around Greenleaf and Sioux Lakes in Ellsworth Township is now being forwarded to the commissioner'...

LITCHFIELD -- Plans to develop the Greenleaf Recreation Area in Meeker County continue to move forward.

A draft plan on how to best manage the area around Greenleaf and Sioux Lakes in Ellsworth Township is now being forwarded to the commissioner's office in the Department of Natural Resources. Steven Kirch, the DNR's parks director for southern Minnesota, said he is hopeful the plan will win approval without a need for any major changes. Once reviewed by the commissioner -- and if approved -- plan will be made available for public review. That's likely to be yet this winter, although the time schedule is not known for sure.

The plans are the work of a committee that included both citizens, area elected officials and representatives of the DNR.

Amy Wilde, a member of the committee and Meeker County commissioner, said the plans recommended by the committee reflect the needs of the area. Meeker County has lacked for camping opportunities. The desire to see camping opportunities made part of the recreation area figured prominently in the committee's recommendation, she said.

The committee also heard strong interest in seeing trails developed and hunting opportunities preserved. Thanks to help from the Minnesota Parks and Trails Council, Meeker County and landowners, all of the property around Greenleaf has been acquired for protection. Eventually, the recreation could include 1,200 acres.

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At this point the recreation area is only open for public use by special permission from the DNR.

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