As with all of our work, the Arden Park restoration was born out of partnership. In 2014, MCWD and the City of Edina agreed to work together to identify areas of collaboration within stormwater management, flood mitigation, water resources improvements, parks and public land management, greenway development, land use planning, and economic development.
As part of this commitment to collaboration, in 2016, the City of Edina and MCWD identified that working together to restore Arden Park would provide natural resources benefits while meeting community goals and plans and maximizing public investment.
Throughout 2016 and 2017, the City and MCWD worked with the community to shape a concept design for the restored park. In 2018, the City and MCWD continued to refine the design and incorporate community feedback, before finalizing the design at the end of 2018.
The restoration began in earnest in January 2019. Demolition of the park shelter, playground, pedestrian bridge, and dam near the 54th Street bridge were completed in early January. In mid-January, crews began working on remeandering Minnehaha Creek and building the new streambank which wrapped up in mid-March. They then turned their attention to installing the supports for the pedestrian bridges and boardwalk before taking a pause while the ground thaws.
Construction will pick up again in May when crews will install the stormwater management features, utilities, bridges, park trails and park facilities. Summer and fall will bring the installation of landscaping, final creek restoration, and the construction of the new playground and park shelter building. The park, which remains closed throughout construction for the public’s safety, should reopen by the end of the year.
The restoration of Arden Park builds upon work being done upstream in St. Louis Park and Hopkins to restore what had been the most degraded section of Minnehaha Creek. When completed, the Minnehaha Creek Greenway will manage and treat 440 acres of stormwater and will feature 1.4 miles of restored creek, 30 acres of restored wetlands, 109 acres of public green space, and 2.3 miles of public trails. The restoration of Arden Park will manage an additional 80 acres of stormwater and will feature over 2,000 feet of restored creek, 6.7 acres of restored wetlands, and 1.3 miles of public trails.