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Hopkins' Newest Park Features Restored Minnehaha Creek

Local leaders laud environmental and community benefits of Cottageville Park
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Group cutting a ribbon at Cottageville Park
Ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 30

Cottageville Park and Minnehaha Creek are taking center stage in Hopkins. After being hidden from view for decades, the park has been expanded and the creek has been restored into a community asset for all to enjoy. The 5-acre park includes a new playground and great lawn area, trails, community garden and other amenities. It's the newest addition to the Minnehaha Creek Greenway, which is a network of more than 50 acres of newly-accessible green space along the creek in Hopkins and St. Louis Park.

The project was made possible by an innovative partnership between the City of Hopkins, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, Blake Road Corridor Collaborative and Clean Water, Land & Legacy Fund.

"The restored Cottageville Park is an incredible new amenity for this community," said City of Hopkins Mayor Gene Maxwell. "It provides much needed open, natural space and important connections throughout the community. It is no small feat to get so many people and groups to cooperate on a project of this scale, and we are so thrilled with the result."

Before and after aerials of Cottageville Park

Cottageville Park is located on the Blake Road corridor, a concentrated neighborhood in Hopkins with a high percentage of low-income residents. Since 2006, the Blake Road Corridor Collaborative – comprised of residents, business owners, educators, faith community leaders, and city and county staff – have worked to address the needs and issues in the area.

"The future of this area is bright thanks to smart investment and a commitment to quality amenities, of which Cottageville Park is a shining example," said Rev. Scott Searl, Pastor of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church and a member of the Blake Road Corridor Collaborative. "Parks, green space and access to natural resources are critical for thriving communities, and with the park, we have more of all of those things."

The Cottageville Park expansion is the latest chapter in the restoration of Minnehaha Creek through its most degraded section in Hopkins and St. Louis Park. MCWD has restored the curves to the previously straightened creek west of Methodist Hospital and is planning major improvements at a warehouse site that sits on 1,000 feet of creek-frontage just south of Cottageville Park. It is among the largest urban stream restorations in Twin Cities? history.

"This project is a great example of how groups with different goals can all achieve more when they work together," said Sherry White, President of the MCWD Board of Managers. "The community and city wanted better park land and open space along Blake Road. The MCWD wanted to restore the area around Minnehaha Creek and catch polluted runoff before it can enter the stream. We found that those interests overlapped quite a bit, and in the end, everyone got more of what they wanted." 

The Cottageville Park expansion will clean polluted stormwater that previously flowed untreated from the surrounding landscape into the creek. It will keep 26 pounds of phosphorus (which equates to as much as 13,000 pounds of algae) and nearly three tons of eroded soil from entering the creek per year. It also improves wildlife habitat and provides areas to peacefully enjoy the iconic creek.

A community celebration to mark the park's grand opening is planned on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 4 p.m., with a movie in the park beginning at 7 p.m.

Learn more on MCWD's website or Hopkins' website.