The following press release was issued by the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District:
The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD), in partnership with the City of Edina, is starting construction on the restoration of Arden Park. The project is a combination of natural resource and park facility improvements that will increase ecological health and recreational enjoyment of the park while retaining the park’s natural character.
The natural resource improvements planned at Arden Park include adding curves to Minnehaha Creek which flows through the park, removing the 4-foot dam at 54th Street to restore a flowing creek with pools and riffles, installing stormwater management features to filter street runoff before it enters the creek, and improving wildlife habitat. Facility improvements include a new park shelter building, playground, trails, creek accesses, and an upgraded hockey rink.
“The design for the park was informed by a robust community engagement process,” said Laura Domyancich, MCWD Project Manager. “We listened carefully to community concerns and look forward to seeing the project they helped us develop begin to take shape.”
The first phase of construction will include demolishing the park shelter, pedestrian bridge and dam, and removing selected trees. Following this initial work, crews will remeander Minnehaha Creek and install utilities and stormwater management features.
Trails and park facilities will be built in the spring. The final creek restoration and the installation of new plantings and trees will occur in the summer. The new park shelter building and playground will be constructed prior to project completion in November 2019.
“Kids like to watch the heavy equipment on site and adults like to watch the progress take shape, but make sure to keep a respectful distance for safety. We will be closing the park to promote safety,” said Ross Bintner, City of Edina Engineering Services Manager. “We do our best to reduce construction impacts, but it will be messy and noisy at times, and we appreciate residents’ patience throughout the construction process.”
To reduce impacts on the neighborhood, construction hours are limited to between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays and between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturdays. Construction is not allowed on Sundays or holidays. An erosion control barrier will be installed around the perimeter of the park to prevent soil and other debris from leaving the site. Trucks hauling material from the park will be limited to entering and exiting the park from established entrances and exits on Minnehaha Boulevard. Trucks will access Minnehaha Boulevard from the north on 52nd Street and will leave via 54th Street to France Avenue. The streets will be cleaned daily.
Due to construction, there will be no ice skating or hockey at Arden Park this winter. Edina has 11 other parks with outdoor rinks, including nearby Pamela, Todd and Weber Parks, to accommodate skaters.
The restoration of Arden Park is part of a larger effort along Minnehaha Creek that is returning the formerly ditched and straightened stream into a healthy resource that connects and enhances communities. Project outcomes include a healthier creek, improved habitat for fish and wildlife, a larger and more diverse tree canopy, a drier green space, and more recreational opportunities.
To learn more about the Arden Park restoration project and to subscribe to project update emails, visit www.minnehahacreek.org/arden-park-restoration.
About Minnehaha Creek Watershed District
The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) collaborates with public and private partners to protect and improve the 178 square miles of land and water within its boundaries, including Minnehaha Creek, Lake Minnetonka, the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes and Minnehaha Falls. Through collaborative planning, aligned investments, streamlined permitting, technical expertise and educating/engaging residents, MCWD seeks to create a landscape of vibrant communities within the 27 cities, two townships and two counties (Hennepin and Carver) that are in the District. For more information, visit www.minnehahacreek.org.