Observation deck and trail going in at Swede Hollow Park


The nonprofit youth organization Tree Trust is currently working on improvements in Swede Hollow Park. It’s building a new observation deck and improving a primitive trail near the creek, work tied to suggestions made during the city’s ongoing process of creating a master plan for the park. (courtesy of City of St. Paul)

Look for some improvements at Swede Hollow Park this summer. 

The nonprofit organization Tree Trust, which works with youth on conservation projects, is working to improve a primitive trail and construct an observation deck near the creek in the park.

Tree Trust began the work July 8, according to St. Paul Parks and Recreation staff member Cheeneng Yang, and will spend six weeks improving the park. 

Yang is the project manager working on a master plan for Swede Hollow. 

Tree Trust worked in the park last year, reconstructing a timber staircase off the Bruce Vento Regional Trail and removing invasive species in the southern half of the park. 

According to the organization’s website, it was established in 1976 to “address two problems in our communities: the devastation of the urban tree canopy due to Dutch elm disease and the high unemployment and poverty rates for youth and adults at the time.”

The group is working in an area to the west of the creek near the middle of the park. An observation deck will be built and some brush cleared to give a better view of the creek, while a dirt path that parallels the creek will be improved and widening to four feet.

The project ties into suggestions already made during community meetings earlier this year, as the city began creating the master plan for the park. 

The master plan will help establish goals for the park and guide future improvement projects, and is expected to be finalized by the end of this year. 

Over the last three community meetings this spring, neighbors and visitors to the park shared a consensus that it should maintain a natural feel and have amenities that highlight the natural and historic features of the park — the creek, the birds, its indigenous and immigrant past.

Users of the park had suggested having unpaved paths or boardwalks near the creek to bring people closer to the water. 

Work on the master plan is still underway and an update and a refined concept for it will be shared at the Payne-Phalen Community Council board meeting on Tuesday, July 23, at 6:30 p.m. at the Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Ave.

More information about the master plan project, along with community meeting notes, can be found at www.stpaul.gov/departments/parks-recreation/design-construction/current-....

 

–Marjorie Otto can be reached at 651-748-7816 or at eastside@lillienews.com.

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