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A manmade dam is being removed and Minnehaha Creek is being restored to a more natural flow to improve the health of the entire creek and its surroundings, including plants and wildlife. In addition, the park will get a new shelter building, playground and trails.
The creek restoration is part of a larger project by the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) to improve the health of the creek all along its route. With this section of creek running through Arden Park, the City and MCWD are teaming up to make improvements all at once.
A new one is coming! Parents and kids in the neighborhood picked the final design and colors. Engineered wood fiber, which is ADA-compliant, will be at the bottom. It has lots of swings, slides and fun features to climb on. See the design.
The old one will be removed because it would be in the new creek path. The new building, to be constructed a short distance away, will better reflect the neighborhood and the nature focus of the park.
The rinks are closed for safety during construction. Please visit the City’s other outdoor rinks this winter at Countryside, Highlands, Lewis, Normandale and Weber parks. Centennial Lakes Park also offers ice skating in a picturesque setting.
The plan is to start this winter and wrap up in fall 2019.
No. For safety reasons, the park will be closed. The old shelter building and playground will be removed in the initial construction stages. The ice rinks were not flooded this winter.
Yes. Construction will require about 79 trees with trunks eight inches or larger in diameter to be removed. Of those 79, 22 are Ash trees that would eventually be killed by the emerald ash borer, and two are oaks in the free skate area that are already dying.
Another 57 Ash trees are expected to be removed from the park because they will die and collapse from the invasive ash borer. Several prominent Ash trees in accessible locations will be treated against the pest in the hopes they can be saved.
Many of the smaller tree removals will actually be invasive buckthorn, which is choking out other tree species across the park.
More than 400 high-quality native trees will be planted during the project to create a diversified forest.
Of note, the three willow trees near 54th Street will remain in the park.
Yes. It was created by the 4-foot manmade dam installed in the 1930s. The problem is the dam harms creek health downstream. Instead of a single dam, the creek will have a series of riffles and pools. It will still produce the sounds of water rushing but be more friendly to fish.
Fishing should improve in Arden Park. Not only should the improved creek health and design be more accommodating to fish, but the park will include new spots specifically designed for anglers. The fishing hole at the 54th Street bridge should remain.
We hope not. The stormwater management aspects of the project should create a much drier, usable lawn area.
Yes. Obvious changes will be the new shelter building and new playground.
In addition, the views across the park will open up when the buckthorn and most ash trees are removed. Access to the creek will increase without those obstacles.
Over time, as the new trees grow, nature will erase the marks of construction and fill in the park.
The entire Arden Park restoration project is estimated at $5.3 million.
The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and the City of Edina are each expecting to pay 40 percent of the cost. The other 20 percent would come from grants. Edina’s portion would come from existing funds.
The City of Edina has a webpage full of project information at EdinaMN.gov/ardenparkproject.