County gift births Baldwin park

by Jeffrey Hage

ECM Publishers

Goose Lake will someday be home to Baldwin Township’s second park.

Sherburne County has donated about 37 acres of land to Baldwin Township so the park can be established. Rachel Leonard, who represents part of Baldwin Township on the Sherburne County Board, made the action official Saturday, Oct. 6, at a presentation in Young Park, Baldwin Township’s first park, and presented Township Chairman Jay Swanson with a quit claim deed to the property. “I’ve come here to double Baldwin Township’s parks,” Leonard proclaimed.

Sherburne County Commissioner Rachel Leonard shook hands with Baldwin Township Chairman Jay Swanson.

Goose Lake sits northwest of the Fairway Shores Golf Course between Little Elk Lake and Cantlin Lake. Baldwin Township, at the request of its parks board, requested that Sherburne County turn the property over to the township. “As we talked about it, I said why not give it to Baldwin. We’re not doing anything with it,” Leonard said.

So the Sherburne County Board worked diligently and set out to make the land donation a reality. Leonard said the 37 acres has just five acres of high land. The rest is wetlands. “And there is probably a lot of geese there,” she said.

Swanson pledged to Leonard and Sherburne County that the township would make a strong commitment to making Goose Lake Park a reality. “We will work hard on this. We will work as hard as we have on Young Park,” Swanson said.

Baldwin Township Supervisor Kimberly Good, who served on the park board for about 20 years, noted that the future park land, once known as Jenson’s Slough, had long been landlocked because of a housing development. Land for an access road to the property has recently been obtained. Good doesn’t see a day when the park will be utilized as Young Park, with a playground, pavilions and, someday, a sandlot ball field. With only five to 10 acres of high, dry land, Good sees the future park as more of a place to carry in a canoe, hike, or sit down and have a picnic while enjoying the sights and sounds of this natural environment lake.