NEWSBRIEF: County park land will continue to be farmed in 2018

Minnesota Municipal Power Agency recently installed a solar array at North High School as part of the Hometown Solar Grant program. submitted photo

Farmers will continue to farm portions of Washington County Parks that are not ready for park development, after, on Nov. 28, the County Board approved contracts with them for next summer.

When Washington County acquires farmland within a regional parks, some of the land is often kept agricultural until it’s needed for park purposes. Washington County has just under 270 acres of land that is leased for farming — just under 160 acres in Lake Elmo Park Reserve and just over 110 acres in St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park.

David See Farms will farm the land in Lake Elmo Park Reserve, and Gordon Tank and Myron Tank will farm the land at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park.

As part of Washington County’s commitment to pollinators, the county is including a provision in the 2018 farmland lease that prohibits the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which are linked to declines in wild bees and butterflies.

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