Arden Park Restoration
In partnership with the City of Edina, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) conducted a comprehensive restoration of Arden Park, which reoriented the 15-acre parkland and restored more than 2,000 feet of Minnehaha Creek. The project also removed an existing low head dam that had fragmented the waterway, prevented fish passage and collected contaminants. Before the restoration, stormwater runoff from neighborhoods, including the retail center at 50th and France, drained right into Minnehaha Creek, degrading water quality in the area. Poor drainage throughout Arden Park had made many areas soggy and unusable, and existing park facilities were due for replacement. MCWD and the City of Edina recognized the value of Minnehaha Creek and together, worked to restore and enhance Arden Park.
Post restoration, the creek flows uninterrupted into existing wetlands and floodplain, reducing flooding downstream. New stormwater features improve water quality, and thousands of trees planted on site increase wildlife habitat in the area and better prevent soil erosion and degradation. Recreational access to the creek encourages people to get their feet wet, and a new park shelter and accessible trails give all community members many ways to enjoy Arden Park’s ample greenspace.
2014 — The City of Edina and MCWD signed a Memorandum of Understanding, aligning priorities for the project
2015 — Project planning begins
October 2017 — Public hearing held to showcase project plan and collect community feedback
November 2017 — MCWD Board of Managers orders the project via Resolution 17-069
December 2017 — Design phase begins
January 2018 — Public design review – 30% design
May 2018 — Public design review – 60% design
August 2018 — Open house and public design review – 90% Design
December 2018 — Phase 1 construction begins
May 2019 — Phase 2 construction begins
October 2019 — Construction Complete
September 2021 — Final planting of vegetation
2022 — Complete
By the Numbers
phosphorus reduced annually
sediment reduced annually
stream length added
planted in the park
- Stormwater management features to improve water quality
- Restored stream health by removing the 54th Street dam and re-meandering Minnehaha Creek
- Invasive buckthorn and preventative ash tree removal
- Aquatic and terrestrial habitat restoration
- A new park shelter and playground
- Upgraded hockey rink
- Expanded trail system
- New boardwalk with access to the floodplain wetlands at the north end of the park
In 2014, the City of Edina and MCWD signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) identifying areas of collaboration within the realms of land use planning, stormwater management, economic development, flood mitigation, parks and public land management, greenway development, and water resource improvements. The restoration of Arden Park, as a result of that memorandum, meets the goals of both the city and MCWD by restoring a degraded section of Minnehaha Creek and improving water quality while also updating the park facilities and providing new amenities to the community.
Project Cost: $3,100,000
Arden Park Restoration’s construction costs were split between the City of Edina and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. The project also received grant funding from the Clean Water Fund, the MN Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Partners Legacy, and Hennepin County’s Natural Resources Opportunity Fund.