Native yellow sunflowers in a field
Boy walking on pond boardwalk at Sibley State Park
December 1, 2011

Friends help shape the park’s management plan

The last park plan for Sibley State Park, the 2,059-acre state park in Kandiyohi County, was put together in the 1970s. Work on an updated plan began in October, when an open house was held to gain public input.

“We’re excited it’s going to happen because the current plan is out of date,” said Ron Erpelding, chair of the Sibley State Park Improvement Association [SSPIA]. “This will give park users and other folks who have an interest in the park, to be a part of this process.”

“Members of the SSPIA will be able to provide input and participate in a fairly lengthy process with advisory committee sessions and input sessions,” said Jack Nelson, Sibley Park Manager.

The goal of the park plan is to identify resource management and development priorities. Advisory committees and a technical committee, consisting of community members, DNR staff and SSIA members, will meet throughout the winter months.

One important aspect of the new park plan will be the vegetation resource management. There have been significant changes in mapping technologies since the last park plan was developed. Invasive plant species are also crippling resource management capability. Putting together the new plan will help staff better organize how to manage the invasive species.

Another important element in the new plan for Sibley State Park, is the push for extending the nearby Glacial Lakes State Trail into the park. This would provide a safe, non-motorized link between the park and the communities of New London and Spicer. “That’s a pretty significant development for the communities at large as well as guests that use the park,” said Nelson.

The plan will also address whether park boundaries should be expanded or changed. Some parts of the park remain undeveloped and there is potential for nearby parcels of land to be added into the park.

“The planning process is the basis for the future of Sibley. We’re happy we have that opportunity now,” said Erpleding. “Things continue to change; putting in place a plan will provide what we need to move things forward. Sibley State Park is one of the jewels of the state park system. We’re so pleased it happens to be located in Kandiyohi County and we want to make sure it’s there for many years in the future.”

Be sure to check out Sibley State Park’s page on the DNR’s website for updates on the planning process and how you can stay involved!