April 7, 2016
By Ellen Stewart, Open Space Planner, City of Saint Paul
The neighborhoods along the Green Line are increasing residents and businesses, a trend expected to continue over time. We have the rails, the tree-lined streets, a cutting edge stormwater system, and sidewalks. And not inconsequentially, we have new developments moving forward all along the corridor. The development of the Green Line and the work that the City has committed to beyond the construction of the rails has connected people to amenities, work, shopping and housing. The trees and stormwater are connected into an integrated system that slows runoff and waters the street trees, which in turn, provide shade and an inviting streetscape.
Essential to the livability of the neighborhoods along the corridor and of greater Saint Paul, we also have the challenge and opportunity to connect people to each other and to their environment through the acquisition of open space and creation of great parks and plazas.
The exciting and trusted partnership between the City of Saint Paul and Trust for Public Land has resulted in space for a new park on Griggs Street south of University Avenue – an area that is outside the service area of any public park. The Lexington Station Area Plan (2008) and Hamline Station Area Plan (2011) mapped conceptual green space totaling over 7 acres of small plaza spaces and neighborhood scale parks in this area where no parks currently exist. Working together, the Trust for Public Land and the City of Saint Paul seized the opportunity to acquire enough property to create a significant park to serve both existing and future residents and developments in the area.
Getting the land is just the beginning. While the funds for acquiring the land were provided by the City’s 8-80 funding opportunity and matched through the efforts of Trust for Public Land and forward-thinking private donors, we have not secured the dollars necessary to plan and construct a park. That will take some time, but we are on our way. In the coming months, the City, working with The Trust for Public Land, will collaborate with the community and involved stakeholders to name and provide input on the design of the park over time.
Click here for a design draft of parkland at Griggs Street.