Supporters of the golf course at Fort Ridgely State Park have scheduled a public rally Jan. 19 at the Fairfax Community Center starting at 7 p.m.
As part of the event, State Rep. Tim Miller will release information on the pending bill that will have been introduced at the legislature, allowing the City of Fairfax to lease and operate the golf course at Fort Ridgely State Park.
Miller will talk about the bill and how he sees the effort will proceed.
There will likely be hearings in February before the House environment and natural resources committee.
There will be an opportunity for golf course supporters to sign up for a bus trip to attend these legislative hearings and perhaps testify. This legislation has bipartisan support in the legislature.
The rally will also give supporters of the golf course the opportunity to make a pledge commitment to the Friends of Fort Ridgely /City of Fairfax to acquire the necessary equipment to operate and manage the golf course as well as the clubhouse.
Later in the spring, there will be an opportunity to purchase season passes, once the legislation passes.
This legislative effort is an attempt to give Minnesota citizens a chance to be involved in this impactful decision.
The Fort Ridgely golf course is one of the oldest in southern Minnesota, celebrating its 90th year in 2017. The unique course winds through the prairies and ravines above the Minnesota River valley. Nearby is the historic Fort Ridgely museum and battle site. For generations, the golf course has exposed its users to the unique nature and history of the region, while driving attendance at the state park.
The golf course was successfully renovated with grass greens in 2006 at the cost of $2.1 million. It is an existing public recreational asset that will be destroyed through the proposed conversion to prairie grass. This conversion and loss of this recreational destination, would dramatically reduce state park attendance and create a negative economic blow to the City of Fairfax, other surrounding communities and Nicollet County. The Fairfax Community Center is located at 300 South Park Street.
For more information, call Marcia Seibert-Volz, Fairfax city administrator,  at (507) 426-7255.
The public is encouraged to attend.