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In 2015, City Council approved the Braemar Golf Course master plan. The plan left some golf course property to convert to park land for all residents to utilize for a variety of recreational pursuits. In May 2016, staff presented a preliminary proposal to add cross country ski trails and snow tubing with man-made snow at Braemar Park. Braemar Park has the potential to be a popular winter recreation area with tubing, sledding, walking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, skijoring and fat tire biking on both man-made and natural snow, while utilizing the beauty and varied terrain of the park.

The City Council in May authorized a financial and trail feasibility study. The City hired Minnetonka-based engineering firm SEH to lead the study, along with Morton Trails and RRC. An open house for the public was held July 13 to solicit feedback on the project. Written comments are still being accepted.

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    There is a letter in today's Sun Current written by supporters of this proposal, including the EHS head Nordic coach. I was disappointed to see the characterization that many of the mature trees in the woods are dead or dying. If the trees are threatened it's because of the city's willful neglect of the buckthorn. Why wouldn't we do buckthorn remediation and try to save these beautiful, mature trees? I don't understand why we would justify cutting them down because they might die eventually. As of the August 8 Park Board meeting SEH Consulting had yet to determine the number of trees that will need to be cut down. I hope the City Council asks for this number before making a decision. Additionally, let's not forget that this trail will be 50 feet wide where the existing trail currently averages about 10 feet in width. To put that in perspective: Gleason Road is 32 feet wide and 4 adjacent travel lanes on 494 measure 48 feet across. We will be putting the equivalent of a 4-lane highway in this small tract of woods. If the city is serious about moving forward with winter recreation at Braemar, I would like to know why we don't have at least an Option 2 to consider. Why didn't the consultant draw up a plan and numbers for a snowmaking loop on the golf course? I asked Parks Department head Ann Kattreh at the July 13 meeting if she had looked at putting snowmaking on existing golf course ski trails. She said it would be too expensive and that the Nordic coaches preferred the trails in the woods. Let's at least see what an Option 2 would look like because Option 1 has a huge cost in terms of environmental destruction and quality of life for the neighborhood. I would support snowmaking on existing or modified golf course trails if it makes sense financially.

    8 Supports Created

    City of Edina Ordinance 2014-25 was amended to add tree preservation (http://edinamn.gov/edinafiles/files/Resources/Permits_Applications/Tree%20Preservation%20Ordinance%202014-25%20(2).pdf). As stated: "Edina is fortunate to have a robust inventory of mature trees that form an integral part of the unique character and history of the city, and that contribute to the long-term aesthetic, environmental, and economic well-being of the city. The goal of this Section is to preserve Edina’s high valued trees, while allowing reasonable development to take place and not interfere with how existing property owners use their property. The purpose of the ordinance is to: a. Preserve and grow Edina’s tree canopy cover by protecting mature trees throughout the city."

    The City could not have said it better. I respectfully request that you stand by your now words and abandon the Winter recreational facility project. While this ordinance was meant for Edina residents, the City should be a role model and a leader.

    15 Supports Created

    Recently, I found signs on the neiborhood lawn displaying "Keep Braemar Green" and the petition to stop the proposed Winter Recreational Facility at Braemar. I don't know of the person who started it, but I agree with the petition. I signed it online. If you share the same thought, please spend five minutes to go to website braemargreen.org to express your opinion.

    0 Comments 16 Supports Created

    The Park Board is meeting on August 8 at the Braemar Clubhouse to approve the $3 million ski facility on Braemar Hill. The July 13 open house comments should be heard at this meeting along with comments by residents present at the meeting. This is your best chance to have some influence on this project. A development request for the area 3 years ago was rejected by the Park Board and did not even get to the City Council. Go to the meeting august 8.

    9 Supports Created
    Small2_edina_parks_strategic_plan

    The Braemar Winter Recreation Plan is a $3 Million proposal that is not in the Parks & Rec strategic plan. This is what Edina residents said they wanted, according to the strategic plan: Walking/Biking Trails (85%), Nature trails (69%) and natural areas and wildlife habitats (56%). What is also in the plan, ironically, is to hire a natural resources manager to guide natural resource efforts. Not only is this proposal unplanned and not reflective of what citizens said they wanted, it is being rushed in, with very little attempt to engage Edina residents, even though our tax dollars will be needed to plow man-made snow on Gleason. There was one informational meeting in July - the notice went to a subset of residents. This $3M proposal affects ALL Edina residents and everyone should have been informed. If you watch the June 21 city council meeting on Edina TV, you'll learn that there almost wasn't a public forum (Sept 7), and it was almost set for August, when many people are on vacation. Get informed on what this proposal is all about and attend the public forum on September 7th. You almost didn't get this opportunity. Thank you!

    22 Supports Created

    X-C skiing is great but this is a really bad plan with really high envirnomental costs and burdens on the people living nearby. We should helpm the Nordic team keep Hornet Hills where they train now below the high school and keep the east ridge in its natural state. This is a money losing proposition from the start. So not just initial cost but all the interest on the debt plus strong likelyhood that it will lose money operationally as well and need subsidies. This is a really bad idea trying to do a good thing. Many other options for X-C skiing besides this exact plan being fostered on us by consultants trying to make money on the deal.

    20 Supports Created

    Justifying a premier golf and winter recreational facility in the aftermath of obliterating wonderful trees, displacing/killing wildlife from an accustomed ecosystem, and creating road hazards and other potential risks and aggravations for homeowners who moved to this specific area for its serene and natural beauty would be unimaginable. A $3M price tag is not prudent use of taxpayers’ money when it benefits a small population and the proposal is riddled with negative impact issues. The Council should definitely say NO to this project on September 7. Instead, alternative Braemar redevelopment proposals should be reworked or come forward that are environmentally friendly, financially responsible, aim to satisfy the majority and, upon completion, the facilities will invite and engage the broadest section of the community to participate. There is no going back, let’s all speak up now, work together, and get this right.

    26 Supports Created

    Justifying a premier golf and winter recreational facility in the aftermath of obliterating wonderful trees, displacing/killing wildlife from an accustomed ecosystem, and creating road hazards and other potential risks and aggravations for homeowners who moved to this specific area for its serene and natural beauty would be unimaginable. A $3M price tag is not prudent use of taxpayers’ money when it benefits a small population and the proposal is riddled with negative impact issues. The City Council should definitely say NO to this project on September 7. Instead, alternative Braemar redevelopment proposals should be reworked or come forward that are environmentally friendly, financially responsible, aim to satisfy the majority and, upon completion, the facilities will invite and engage the broadest section of the community to participate. There is no going back, let’s all speak up now, work together, and get this right.

    0 Comments 12 Supports Created

    Please stop this project. It is too expensive, unneeded, unwanted, dangerous for nearby residents, and a noise and light pollutant.

    0 Comments 25 Supports Created

    I have a picture showing five adult-size deer in a single picture, at the edge of the woods of the proposed ski route. The picture was taken just last year. The woods is a favorite location harboring wild animals in Winter time. I think the large animals pose serious threats to skiers in the woods. Nobody wants to hear a news that a kid is injured or killed by a roaming herd of deer (or other animals), while doing cross-country skiing inside the city’s park. Safety is my number one concern.

    My friends were amazed by the picture when I showed them. They were all surprised that Edina, a city so close to downtown, can have such high centration of large wild animals, which is a nice indicator of rich natural resources we possess. This is what we should be proud of. Once we open the trail in the woods area, the human activities and the noisy machines will be a threat to the eco system. After losing the habitat, the large animals may be forced to run into the neighborhood. On textbooks and newspapers, we criticize the third world for deforestation. At least, the third-world people cut trees to grow crops and meet basic needs. The proposed ski trail at Braemar offers a bad local example: the city cuts the tress because a bunch of high-school kids think the existing skiing area at High-land park and Normandale lake, which is just 10 minutes away, is not exciting any more for them.

    0 Comments 25 Supports Created