University of Minnesota
UMore Park

UMore Park: University of Minnesota Outreach, Research and Education Park

The Time Line

The U.S. War Department acquires about 12,000 acres of farmland in Dakota County for construction of the Gopher Ordnance Works, a facility designed to manufacture smokeless gun powder and related products.

Jan.–Aug. 1945
Smokeless powder is manufactured at Gopher Ordnance Works.

The Gopher Ordnance Works property is deeded over to the University of Minnesota by the U.S. Government.

The Rosemount Agricultural Experiment Station is established, joining five others across the state to engage University researchers in regional agricultural projects.

June 1962
Longtime research projects of the University’s aeronautical engineering department conclude.

March 1963
Groundbreaking commences for the U.S. Navy’s pioneer global positioning satellite system on 18 acres of land rented from the University.

The legislatively requested report “Rosemount Property Long Range Planning Framework” concludes that there would be “no significant development pressure or potential until the 1990-2000 decade.”

December 2000
“UMore Park:  Cultivating a Landscape for Knowledge,” a management plan for the property, is submitted by Urban Strategies Inc. of Toronto, in conjunction with the work of a University task force.

December 2001
The University’s 7,686-acre Rosemount/Empire property is formally named the University of Minnesota Outreach, Research and Education (UMore) Park

July 2004
A comprehensive resources inventory of UMore Park is completed by the University’s Center for Rural Design.  The inventory describes land use, land resources and facilities, research, environmental stewardship and other attributes.

September 2005
The University’s UMore Park Executive Committee submits its report “Creating a Lasting Legacy for UMore Park:  Advancing the University of Minnesota’s Academic Mission,” and recommends immediate planning actions to realize regional opportunities on the 7,686-acre property and to ultimately provide resources for a legacy endowment that supports the academic mission.

November 2005
Board of Regents presentation and discussion focuses on UMore Park as a key element in realizing the University’s goal of becoming among the top three public research institutions in the world.

December 2005
UMore Park’s 11-mile Lone Rock Trail opens to cross country skiers.

February 2006
The Board of Regents approves Sasaki Associates, Inc., of Boston, as the University’s consultant for strategic planning to explore the potential for the UMore Park property.

March 2006
The Board of Regents, in a special meeting, approves by 11-1 vote a plan that would provide increased state funding for a Gopher football stadium in exchange for a parcel of University-owned land on the UMore Park property.  Future use of the parcel remains consistent with the University’s vision of open space and environmental amenities.

April 2006
The University publishes “A Historical Interpretation and Preservation Plan for UMore Park,” which begins with the story of explorations of the property as early as 1680.

May 2006
The Minnesota state legislature approves legislation for a Gopher football stadium and the intended transfer of a 2,840-acre parcel of UMore Park land to the state following 25 years of joint University-Department of Natural Resources oversight of the land.  Signed into law by Governor Tim Pawlenty, May 24, 2006.

August 2006
More than 2,000 people enjoy the third annual community Open House at UMore Park: horticultural gardens, trails, educational presentations on research, history, nature, and strategic planning.

October 2006
The Sasaki team of strategic planning consultants submits a comprehensive report to the UMore Park strategic planning Steering Committee.

November 2006
Strategic planning vision and recommendations are presented to the Board of Regents by the Steering Committee.

December 2006
A Board of Regents resolution directs the University to (1) plan for the entire property, with attentiveness to the academic mission, (2) pursue concept master planning, and (3) make the land ready for development.

May 2007
Six academic mission task forces are launched to address ways that research, education and public engagement could be integrated into the envisioned University-founded community.

August 2007
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ begins an environmental site inspection to determine potential contamination at the site of the former Gopher Ordnance Works.

September 2007
Community listening sessions are held to seek public discussion on characteristics that can shape a University-founded community of the future. A consultant geotechnical firm begins an aggregate assessment to determine the quality, quantity and location of sand and gravel deposits on the property.

November 2007
Developer-planner consultant team Design Workshop begins concept master planning for the 5,000-acre property. The University’s Center for Rural Design begins concept master planning for the Vermillion Highlands property under the direction of the joint management steering committee representing the DNR, the University and Dakota County.

December 2007
The UMore Park Executive Committee charges a subcommittee to recommend best practices and options for structuring a management entity for UMore Park development.

March 2008
The report "Distinctiveness through Academic Mission: The Vision for a University-Founded Community" at UMore Park is published. The report includes the recommendations from task forces on education, energy, environment, health, transportation and interdisciplinary opportunities.

April 2008
Board of Regents approves its intent to serve as the Responsible Governmental Unit for a sand and gravel Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

June 2008
Four concept master plan scenarios are presented to the Board of Regents and the public for discussion and comment. Board of Regents approves contract for the initiation of a sand and gravel EIS.

November 2008
An Academic Mission Advisory Board comprised of University faculty, staff, and students is established to help ensure that University research and learning resource opportunities are leveraged in the planning and development efforts of UMore Park and Vermillion Highlands.

December 2008
Board of Regents affirms the Concept Master Plan for UMore Park and directs the University to frame a Limited Liability Company (LLC) to manage development of the property and to pursue formation of a legacy fund to capture revenue from future development to support academic mission pursuits.

June 2009
The Scoping Decision Document which identifies the issues and alternatives to be studied in the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed sand and gravel mining project is approved by the Board of Regents.

October 2009
The University Board of Regents approves the articles of organization of the UMore Park Limited Liability Company (LLC) which will manage planning and development at UMore Park. The board also authorized the creation of the UMore Park Legacy Fund, a quasi-endowment for income generated by activities on the property that will be used to support the University's academic mission.

December 2009
The nine founding members of the UMore Development Limited Liability Company (LLC) Board of Governors are appointed by the University Board of Regents.

June 2010
The University of Minnesota Board of Regents approves publication of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in the UMore Park Sand and Gravel Resources Project.

July 2010
The Office for UMore Park Academic Initiatives is established to ensure that University research, teaching and learning, and outreach are seamlessly integrated into planning and development in ways that add value to the property and enrich the community.

November 2010
The Board of Regents affirms and determines that the final Environmental Impact Statement for the UMore Park Sand and Gravel Resources Project adequately addresses all environmental issues and concerns. The Board also authorizes the administration to execute a 40-year lease agreement to Dakota Aggregates LLC to conduct phased gravel mining and locate ancillary facilities on 1,722 acres of the UMore Park property.

February 2011
The board approves the transfer of 27.5 acres of the UMore Park property to the City of Rosemount for joint-use ballfields. The transfer serves as a credit of public park land, meeting state requirements, as the UMore Park community is developed.

June 2011
The University of Minnesota and Dakota Aggregates, LLC, executed a 40-year lease agreement for phased aggregate mining on the University property in Dakota County.