School board to hear update on possible land donation

Published 7:42 am Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Albert Lea school board will hear an update on the proposed donation of land from The Nature Conservancy at its board meeting Monday.

Community Education Director Chris Chalmers will update the board about the process. A specialist from The Nature Conservancy came to a board meeting Nov. 21 to explain the possible donation.

The specialist said the organization is looking to focus on preserving larger pieces of land and said it is working to find way to gift smaller pieces of land, like the 15-acre tract west of Highway 13 a few miles south of Interstate 90.

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Scott Hanna, the Community Education environmental program coordinator, said there’s many benefits to the land if it’s donated. He hopes to use it to teach people and children how to understand and respect the environment.

The land was deeded to The Nature Conservancy in 1973 as the Paul N. Nelson and G. Myrtle Nelson Wildlife Sanctuary. The deed includes a clause that the land should be made available to organizations interested in nature studies and observations and that if it’s no longer used for that purpose it should revert back to Paul Nelson or his descendants.

The board meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday in the district’s board room at Brookside Education Center.

The board will also:

• Discuss the possibility of having a student be a non-voting member of the school board.

• Consider holding a special school board meeting to approve bid results on Brookside Education Center and Hawthorne Elementary School’s heating, air conditioning and ventilation upgrade projects.

• Discuss accepting a donation from Edwards Manufacturing of a new ironworker, pipe bender and 40-ton press to use at Albert Lea High School’s engineering and industrial technology department.

• Present certificates of recognition to Kathy Niebuhr and Connie Kabrud.