Cook County logo. WTIP file photo
WTIP file photo

Administrator shares update on Passion Pit, human rights committees

Cook County officials are seeking members of the public to serve on a committee that will assist the county board in determining whether the county should acquire a Minnesota Department of Transportation property east of Grand Marais, locally known as the Passion Pit.

The Passion Pit area located off of the Old Shore Road has been used by local residents and tourists as an access to a small beach on Lake Superior. As the land is potentially for sale, there has been some interest expressed in maintaining the property in public ownership due to its historic connection with the old Chippewa City area and heritage, and as a local access to the beach, according to Cook County Administrator James Joerke.

The county aims to develop an 11-member committee consisting of local government, parks and trails and historical society membership, as well as members of the public to run through a very deliberative and public process, according to Joerke. Of the members from the public, the commissioners are hoping to gain representation from residents of the immediate area as well as from the overall community at large, and from Grand Portage and historic Chippewa City family descendants, Joerke told WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs during an interview March 4.

This Passion Pit committee has been set up for a 12-month period of time that would start from its first meeting date, which is anticipated to take place in late April or early May. Applications will be accepted from the public up through 5 p.m. on Friday, March 26.

Applications can be dropped off at the Cook County Courthouse or emailed to Land Services Director Tim Nelson. Click here to email Tim Nelson.

Also discussed during the March 4 interview is an update on the previously proposed Human Rights Commission at the county level. This was an idea supported by former Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk that has not surfaced during any public meetings in 2021. There was a lengthy discussion around this topic during a July 2020 meeting of the board in the committee of the whole format.

Joerke spoke with WTIP about the status of this proposed committee that would address issues of social and racial justice in Cook County.

Listen to the full interview in the audio shared below.