At nearly 2,000 acres and more than half a million visits per year, Lebanon Hills Regional Park is the County’s largest and busiest park. Dakota County and HKGi are updating the Lebanon Hills Master Plan, to guide and prioritize park management and improvements over the next decade.
The new plan will build from the 2001 Lebanon Hills Master Plan and address needs identified since that time.
Dakota County’s 2008 Park System Plan (Great Places, Connected Places, and Protected Places), showed that people enjoy their parks but want more things to do, better access to parks and trails, and more protection of the County’s best resources.
Master Plan Citizen Panel
The Dakota County Board of Commissioners is seeking interested applicants to serve on its Lebanon Hills Regional Park 2014 Master Plan Citizen Panel to review specific elements of the park’s draft 2014 Master Plan. Read more about the scope of work for the Citizen Panel.
The panel — which will consist of no more than 20 members — is expected to meet approximately eight times between April 1 and Dec. 31, with meetings being held in the evenings and likely lasting a maximum of three hours.
To achieve a productive Citizen Panel, desirable applicants should have:
- Respect for and interest in the perspectives of other potential park users.
- An ability to work toward finding common ground and solutions on a range of controversial and/or complex issues.
- Support for the mission of Lebanon Hills Regional Park as serving the diverse outdoor recreation needs of the Twin Cities metro area and all Dakota County residents.
Applications can be mailed to the Sr. Administrative Coordinator to the Board, Dakota County Administration Center, 1590 Highway 55, Hastings, MN 55033, emailed to email@example.com, or faxed to 651-438-4405. They must be submitted by the end of the day on March 28. See the application and selection process.
Each commissioner will use the pool of applicants to nominate two representatives to the Citizen Panel. Their selections will not necessarily come from their respective districts, but will properly represent Dakota County residents and their interests. Selected candidates will be notified by phone or email, and official panel appointments will be made April 8. Download a Citizen Panel Application.
Draft Master Plan released (November 2013)
The Lebanon Hills Regional Park Master Plan was available for a 60-day public review and comment period from Nov. 19, 2013–Jan. 18, 2014.
The draft master plan builds from park concepts reviewed by the public and County Board of Commissioners in early 2013 and the comments received on the concepts.
Draft plan highlights include:
- Restored landscapes that promote cleaner water and more wildlife.
- 46 miles of natural trails for hiking, mountain biking, skiing and more
- A 6.5-mile connector and up to 1.5 miles of lake loop trails that are ADA-compliant to provide more recreational opportunities for all abilities in all seasons.
- Lakeside picnic areas, camper cabins and natural play areas.
- Something for everyone in a beautiful natural setting.
Draft Lebanon Hills Regional Park Master Plan
Nov. 12 Physical Development Committee Presentation
A print copy of the draft plan may also be viewed at any Dakota County Library branch or the Lebanon Hills Visitor Center, 860 Cliff Road in Eagan. Comments may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by completing a comment card at the Visitor Center.
Stay informed and share your ideas
- Send your comments to email@example.com.
- Subscribe to Dakota County Parks E-News.
- Find Dakota County Parks on Facebook.
2013 Master Plan Goals
- Strategically protect and improve the park’s ecological resources
- Complete existing visitor use areas, while maintaining the park’s natural character
- Fill gaps in basic, popular park activities, such as picnicking, bicycling and walking
- Design the park connector trail and regional greenway connections
- Strengthen partnerships to deliver effective and efficient services
Earlier Master Plan Steps
Park Research Notes (completed in 2012)
- Annual visits have doubled between 2001 and 2012 from 274,000 to 543,000.
- A diverse trail network draws regional visitors for hiking, skiing, mountain biking and horseback riding.
- Recreation preferences vary widely, but people strongly appreciate the park’s emphasis on nature-based recreation and education.
- People value the park’s wild character and features, although the landscape is showing impacts of past agriculture, erosion, and invasive species. Soil conditions limit growth and lifespans for native trees. Oak woods are declining where invasive species shade out groundcover and oak seedlings.
- Wildlife and birds are abundant. Some native species are scarce.
- Lebanon Hills has more than 100 waterbodies. Holland Lake is the deepest, with good water quality and fisheries. Nine other lakes are shallow warm-water fisheries. Lake sedimentation is a concern.