In the early 1990s, a townhouse development was proposed for an acre of old growth trees. This green space is between Highway 169 and Blake Rd, south of Highway 7 at Cambridge St and Hiawatha Ave.
A group of stakeholders with the goal of preserving the trees came together to take action and formed the non-profit Minnehaha Oaks Association.
Members agreed to make payments to the City of Hopkins for the forest, designated Hiawatha Oaks Preserve. This small neighborhood group—known as the Oaks Folks—was supported by area businesses and organizations and people in 22 states.
The supporters met the payment goal to preserve the area in 2004. In 2005, the Hopkins City Council passed a resolution to prohibit development of this preserve. Three trees were planted in October 2007 and additional future renewal is planned. For more information, visit the website www.oaksfolks.org.
The Hiawatha Oaks are a wonderful example of our native forests. The people who saved them serve as a great example of how citizens can influence local decision making. For those two reasons, the Hiawatha Oaks Preserve is a Point of Interest.