"I would call it good news. The site's budget is stable and there are no current plans to close the site," said Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) manager of Community Outreach and Partnerships Tom Ellig, anticipating the meeting sponsored by the Friends of Forestville, the Minnesota Historical Society and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Parks and Trails, slated for Tuesday, Oct. 30, at the Wykoff Community Center to discuss Historic Forestville's future.

He said the society is considering different ways to operate and interpret the site.

"This effort could lead to new programs as well as strengthening partnerships. To begin this new planning, the society would like to hear from and have input from Historic Forestville area residents about how they view the site and what is important to them to have happen at the site.

"The society is trying to be proactive in thinking about all of the sites in its historic sites and museums division. Important to this pro-activity is to get public input about the sites, and we want this input at the beginning of the process."

The meeting's primary intent is to allow for a lot of question and answer time. "We are looking for input from local people. It is very important that people attend," noted Ellig.

"We would like to see a lot of people at the meeting and that these people will not be afraid to offer their views about the site. We want to hear from people as to how they view the site's operations, their expectations for interpreting the site, and ideas they have for other activities that could be incorporated."

Ellig said Historic Forestville serves as an "important site that helps people better understand rural life in Minnesota, especially that history of southeastern Minnesota at the turn of the 19th century."

"Area residents are especially attuned to that history, and it's important that we hear from them as we conduct our planning. Also, the hosting organizations have been working hard to provide a quality program at the site. In order to continue to do so, we want to be proactive in developing options for the future."

Refreshments will be served at the meeting.