Tour de Sprawl highlights sustainable development

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On Saturday, September 16, the 11th Annual Tour de Sprawl will explore the diverse geography of Woodbury, Cottage Grove, Denmark Township, and Hastings, Minnesota. The event is coordinated by the North Star Chapter of the Sierra Club and is open to both members and non-members. The bike tour of approximately 24 miles will offer an examination of South Washington County’s quickly changing landscape by following a route with predetermined stops highlighting a variety of developments.

This year’s Tour will start at Woodbury’s only true mixed-use development, called CityWalk. This new project combines attractive residential and small commercial businesses, which encourages walking and cuts down on short car trips. Much of the ride at the beginning of the Tour de Sprawl will feature Woodbury’s extensive paved bicycle/pedestrian trail system. As we travel south through the city, we will explore other significant residential developments. Dancing Waters, for example, was designed into intimate neighborhood enclaves intertwined with approximately 130 acres of permanent open space, which includes trails, wetlands, and lakes. The community plan culminates in a creatively designed and lavishly landscaped central park.

After taking a look at developed Woodbury, the Tour de Sprawl will then highlight the large tracks of land between the northern part of this quickly growing suburb and its neighbors, Cottage Grove and Denmark Township. Here we will cruise on less traveled country roads and take in sweeping vistas of South Washington County’s remaining bucolic landscape: farmland, wetlands, lakes and a few woodlands.

The last stretch of the Tour de Sprawl will take us over the mighty Mississippi River and into historic downtown Hastings – just in time for the town’s annual Mainstreet Festival! For more information please visit the Sierra Club North Star Chapter link located in the Daily Planet’s environment section.