RICE -- The Stearns County Park Commission has approved the master plan for Mississippi River County Park and it will now go to the board of commissioners Tuesday for approval.

Parks Director Ben Anderson says the 230-acre park south of Rice already has a picnic shelter, hiking and snowshoeing trails, disc golf, cross country skiing and a boat landing.

Anderson says the adopted master plan includes trying to acquire approximately 75 acres of land to the north/northwest for expansion, prairie restoration and upgrades to the bathrooms and boat landings.

A survey of county residents showed a strong interest in wanting to be able to access Bend in the River Park on the other side of the river too.

Stearns and Benton counties are working together on their park plans in hopes of being designated as a regional park complex and qualify for Clear Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment funding from the state.

Anderson says once approved by both county boards, he'll submit the Great River Park Complex application to the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks & Trails Commission.  He's hoping to get an answer on that application by the end of July.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app