Rockville -- The first dirt has been removed from Stearns County's newest park.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Rockville County Park & Nature Preserve was held Tuesday afternoon to the delight of John and Linda Peck and those in attendance.

The Peck's are donating 190 acres of land near the Sauk River, valued at $900,000. Linda says the new park has a lot to offer those who want to enjoy its beauty.

Work will soon begin on an expanding trail system, scenic overlook, bog boardwalk and a new bridge. Stearns County officials say the nature preserve will provide for an array of activities, including horseback riding, snowmobiling and ungroomed cross county skiing trails.

Linda says she is most excited for the opportunity for kids to come and enjoy the great outdoors.

Overall, the park will span 284 acres along both sides of the river. Besides the Peck's land, an additional 40 acres is being purchased from the Cold Spring Granite Company.

The land purchase and restoration is being made possible through a Legacy Amendment grant.

Additional funding includes a $75,000 grant from a federal trails program and a $600,000 grant from the Minnesota DNR. Stearns County is also chipping in another $60,000 for the project.

County officials hope to have the work completed by the end of July or early August.

The Rockville County Park & Nature Preserve will be Stearns County's second biggest park - trailing only the Quarry Park located in Waite Park.