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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.
No. The park remains closed for the public’s safety. The park is still under construction with heavy equipment being used to move materials throughout the site. Equipment operators cannot see people easily, especially if people are not wearing reflective clothing, which is required in construction zones.
You can safely observe the project’s progress through email updates.
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The old one was outdated and, with the creek realignment, was in the new creek path. The new building under construction now will be a much more welcoming space with windows overlooking the park and creek. Its overall design will better reflect the neighborhood and the nature focus of the park.
Yes! The hockey rink is even getting a makeover with new boards before the skating season. It and the open skating area will reopen this December with the City's other outdoor rinks.
Skaters also will enjoy the new shelter building that serves as a warming house. It will be much nicer than the previous one.
The stream banks, stormwater system, trails, bridges, and plantings should be complete during the second week of August. Work on the new park shelter building and playground will continue into September, followed by some final trail construction and planting. Visitors should be able to use the park again in the late fall.
The concrete paths on the perimeter of the park will be 7.5 feet wide to match existing sidewalks.
The main paved trails will be 8 feet wide, the secondary paved trails will be 5 feet wide, and the crushed granite trails will be 4 feet wide.
The concrete paths and paved trails were designed to accommodate city maintenance and snow plowing equipment. Asphalt was chosen for the interior park paths because of varying grades within the park and the ease of maintenance.
Thousands of trees and shrubs were planted throughout the park, and they will fill out the space as they grow.
These include 10 large, spaded trees (watch video), more than 400 potted trees, 3,200 potted shrubs, 1,800 bare root trees and shrubs, and nearly 30,000 herbaceous plants. Many of these trees, shrubs, and plants were planted when they were small so it may take a few years before they are fully mature.
Thank you for your patience as the restoration takes shape.
Some small tree limbs have been damaged during construction and will be pruned as the work wraps up. The City of Edina Forester has been working closely with the contractors to advise on protecting trees during construction activity that is occurring near tree roots and limbs.
The new stream banks are holding up well despite high creek flows caused by record precipitation this past spring, which was the fourth wettest on record. The stream banks were still under construction when the high water came, resulting in some damage that is currently being repaired. Once the plants that are incorporated into the stream banks are established, they will anchor the soil against future high water. The creek is also now connected to the floodplain where excess water can be stored when the creek overflows its banks.
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 and those paddling or tubing down the creek.
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 with better access 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.
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. There you also will find links to the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District's project page and a signup for regular email updates sent right to you.