Winona County has big plans for the former Haake family farm site. Stone Point Park, boasting hundreds of acres of natural beauty, currently includes community garden space.
The Haake family farmed the land beginning in 1908. The Murphy family bought the property in the 1970s and the area was turned into a privately-owned landfill. Winona County purchased the land in 1983, and it was used as a public landfill until 1998.
The land has a greenhouse and well, both useful to the community garden, and a county committee has crafted a master plan to transform the area for multi-use outdoor activities that could include camping, education, dog park, nature trails, prairie restoration areas and a composting site.
The draft plan also calls for some restricted space to be used for county storage facilities, a law enforcement shooting range, renewable energy operations and a possible methane flare educational site.
Existing areas could also be used as a demonstration orchard, where citizens can learn more about the latest disease-resistant varieties of fruit and visitors could pick apples, pears, plums, and cherries.
Interpretive signage could offer guests the chance to learn more about the natural environment, the historic homestead site, and Native American archaeology.
The plans are still in draft form, and county staff are seeking public input to help finalize ideas for the park. Contact the Winona County Planning and Environmental Services Department at 457-6335 for more information.