Several new parks in the mix in Rosemount, but is it enough?

Work begins on Flint Hills park location

With the support of an in-kind donation from Dakota Aggregates, the city broke ground on a new three-field athletic facility on the northeast corner of Akron Avenue and Bonaire Path earlier this week in Rosemount. (Photo by Andy Rogers)

With the support of an in-kind donation from Dakota Aggregates, the city broke ground on a new three-field athletic facility on the northeast corner of Akron Avenue and Bonaire Path earlier this week in Rosemount. (Photo by Andy Rogers)

If there’s one thing people know about Rosemount, it’s that kids like to play sports and the city is attracting new families.

The growing popularity of lacrosse and soccer has left the Rosemount Area Athletic Association scrambling for space in recent years.

There was a record number of 9- and 10-year-old teams for traveling soccer this summer, and that number is expected to rise.

“As we grow, we’re going to be, at minimum, double in size over the next few years,” Rosemount Parks and Recreation Director Dan Schultz said. “Our comprehensive park plan shows us building 10-15 more parks. Some day we’ll be the size of Apple Valley and Eagan.”

Rosemount currently has about 28 parks, but Schultz said he envisions 20 more parks “if we continue to see the development planned for Rosemount,” he said.

Finding places for all those families to play has been a challenge for RAAA.

“They’re capped out,” Schultz said. “They have to double up on facilities and shift people around. When you double up, it increases the wear and tear on the field. It just compounds the problem. We want to make sure we have enough (fields) and our staff does a good job of keeping the fields in good shape.”

Greens spaces are in high demand in Rosemount for soccer, lacrosse and football. (Photo by Andy Rogers)

Greens spaces are in high demand in Rosemount for soccer, lacrosse and football. (Photo by Andy Rogers)

One of those parks is becoming closer to reality on Flint Hills Resources-owned land on the northeast corner of Akron Avenue and Bonaire Path.

Last month, Rosemount received an in-kind donation from Dakota Aggregates of $280,705, the estimate of the work they will do to grade the future 57-acre athletic facility, along with the sand and gravel. Work on the project started on Monday.

The facility with have three 240-by-360-foot green spaces for soccer, football and lacrosse.

Earlier this year, city staff discovered a thin layer of clay underneath the site, which would have caused several problems with water drainage, erosion and soil quality. The discovery forced the estimated costs for the project to grow to more than $1 million with additional drain tile and topsoil considerations, but the donation brings the total to approximately $800,000.

The Rosemount City Council approved the financing through the capital improvement program. Friedges Landscaping Inc., from Lakeville, was the lowest bid and was awarded the project earlier this week.

If all goes as planned, the city will seed the land by late summer and the fields should be ready by 2015.

There’s still space at UMore Park and Flint Hills-owned land for further expansions. There are two ball fields by UMore that should be operational soon.

“We’ve got all kinds of projects,” Schultz said. “We have lots of residential development, including three more neighborhood parks as well as trail projects.”

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