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DL to apply for grant for Upstream Sucker Creek

Sucker Creek Preserve is located east of Detroit Lakes (outlined in yellow), and Upstream Sucker Creek (outlined in red) is located to the east of that just across 290th Avenue. The city is applying for a DNR Parks & Trails Legacy Fund grant to acquire the Upstream Sucker Creek property, which has several natural springs on the property. (Map courtesy of City of Detroit Lakes)

With the help of some local funding and a grant from the DNR Parks & Trails Legacy Fund grant, Detroit Lakes hopes to be the proud owner of a natural water source and 46 acres to boot.

Detroit Lakes resident Sally Hausken appeared before the Detroit Lakes City Council Tuesday to ask the city to be the legal sponsor for the grant application.

Hausken is also the one who pushed the city to acquire Sucker Creek Preserve, raised all of the funds to do so, and is now raising funds for the newest addition, Upstream Sucker Creek.

"Water is the gold of this century," she told council members Tuesday. "Water has surfaced to No. 1 on the world's priority list. We are wise to protect ourselves and it with ownership and responsible stewardship."

Having a freshwater source -- there are multiple springs on the land -- is invaluable to the city, she said.

The piece of property is located just across 290th Avenue from the existing Sucker Creek Preserve. It consists of 38 acres of wooded land, three acres of meadow and five acres of bog.

The land -- which Hausken owns after it was in a trust for many years -- has been appraised at $124,800.

The grant proposal will be for $450,000, though, to include construction of a handicap accessible trail, bogwalk, shelter, bathrooms, parking lot, benches and trails besides acquisition of the land.

Hausken suggested the land be used to raise soybeans to enrich the soil in preparation of prairie restoration, too.

Though the grant through the DNR requires no matching funds, Hausken said more consideration is given to those who offer some sort of matching funds, so she will be raising funds, she said. People have already donated over $2,000 and she hasn't even asked anyone yet. She raised the $410,000 it took to acquire and restore Sucker Creek Preserve.

"It's a win-win deal for Detroit Lakes," Alderman Ron Zeman said. "It's not going to cost taxpayers a dime. It's because of this lady," he added of Hausken.

Sucker Creek is a designated trout stream. Hausken said having the ability to fish a trout stream within a city park is very unusual.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.