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.

At a Glance

  • Edina
  • Minnehaha Creek Subwatershed
  • Status: Complete
  • 2022

MCWD Staff Contact

Michael Hayman



Supporting Materials

Project Cost


Project Timeline

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Planning Phase

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Planning Phase

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

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Design Phase

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Design Phase

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

October 2018 — 100% Design Completed, Board approves design with Resolution 18-105

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Construction Phase

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Construction Phase

December 2018 — Phase 1 construction begins

May 2019 — Phase 2 construction begins

October 2019 — Construction Complete

September 2021 — Final planting of vegetation

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Project completion

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Project Completion

2022 — Complete

By the Numbers



phosphorus reduced annually



sediment reduced annually



streambank restored



stream length added



planted in the park

Project Highlights

  • 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.

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