For immediate release
(January 15, 2019) A modest trail system with two interpretive signs welcomes visitors to Pilot Knob/Oheyawahe, and shares information about this historic blufftop, located in Mendota Heights, that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.
Funded by the American Express Foundation, plans have been drafted to improve the visitor experience as it relates to education and accessibility.
Community input is being sought on these plans, between now and February 20, 2019.
The draft from the steering committee of Pilot Knob Preservation Association, Mendota Heights, and Dakota County can be found here: Oheyawahe_Historic Landscape Plan
Once comments are incorporated, the plan will be brought before the Mendota Heights City Council.
More about Pilot Knob/Oheyawahe
It’s relatively rare for a site, rather than a building or structure, to be included on the National Register of Historic Places. But the land is of cultural importance to Native Americans and significant in Minnesota’s statehood. Today it offers dramatic views of both the Minneapolis and Saint Paul skylines. To Dakota people, who called it Oȟéyawahe, “the place much visited”, the location was strategic — as it was for early Europeans. It exists as public land today due to efforts made by the City of Mendota Heights.
In 2003 Mendota Heights owned about 9 acres of Pilot Knob/Oheyawahe and acquired 25 more between 2006 and 2008 using grants and funds from the state, city, county, organizations and individuals.
Efforts to restore the city’s parcel to its pre-European settlement state — prairie with stands of oak trees — began a decade ago, said Wiley Buck, program manager for Great River Greening, a nonprofit that does ecological restoration work.