UMore Park Interpretive Center: Planning and Design
In 2001, the newly adopted management plan for UMore Park, “Cultivating a Landscape for Knowledge: Management Plan for the University of Minnesota Outreach, Research, and Education Park”, identified the need to interpret the diverse physical, social, and cultural features within the park for the citizens of Minnesota. These features include the artifacts of natural systems and prior human occupation of the land as well as the University’s extensive engagement of the site as a platform for a wide range of land-based research programs. The Management Plan introduced the concept of an interpretive center linked to the broader landscape by a series of interpretive, recreational trails serving the varied needs of the greater metropolitan region.
The concept of an interpretive center was explored further by the Precision Agricultural Center, Retail Food Industry Center, and Center for Rural Design as a conceptual framework for AgTech-21: Food, Land, and Agricultural Technologies Interpretive Center. AgTech-21 was envisioned as a state-of the-art facility for interpreting modern agriculture and food production technologies for a predominantly urban audience and as a training center for agriculturists in modern farming and information management methodologies. In 2003, the UMore Park Management Team issued a Strategic Plan for UMore Park that identified an interpretive center as one of three projects submitted as part of the parks six-year capital request.