MCWD coordinated with the City of Edina and concerned citizens to create a strategy for restoring Pamela Lake and improving water quality in Minnehaha Creek. Pamela Park, a 64-acre city park located in Edina, is home to Pamela Lake and a protected wetland that discharges into Minnehaha Creek. Ultimately MCWD and the City of Edina implemented a series of projects, including dredging Pamela Lake and nearby stormwater ponds, constructing three wetland-settling ponds, and building a new nature trail. The new wetland-settling ponds capture and store phosphorous, preventing it from contaminating Pamela Lake and downstream Minnehaha Creek.  

Historically, existing wetland areas within Pamela Park were part of a much larger wetland complex that drained 500 surrounding acres and discharged into Minnehaha Creek. Over the years, development of the city park and adjacent residential areas has resulted in substantial filling of wetland areas and sediment deposit from municipal storm sewers. Nutrient and sediment loads flowing into Pamela Lake from urban storm water runoff affected the lake’s water quality and reduced water depths. Shallow water levels in Pamela Lake contributed to dense weed growth and significant reductions in the fish population.  

At a Glance

  • Edina
  • Minnehaha Creek Subwatershed
  • Status: Complete
  • 2002

MCWD Staff Contact

Josh Wolf



Supporting Materials

Pamela Lake Project Map

Project Cost


Project Timeline

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Planning Phase

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Planning Phase

January 2000 — Feasibility study completed

September 2000 — Cooperative agreement signed

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Design Phase

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Design Phase

April 2000 — Plans finalized

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Construction Phase

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Construction Phase

Winter 2000 — Excavation begins on Pamela Lake and Pamla Lake stormwater basins

March 2001 — Stormwater basin construction completed

August 2001— Planting and seeding

2002 — Excavation ended on Pamela Lake and stormwater basins

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Project completion

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Project Completion

2002 — Project Completed

2019 — Pamela Park Pond 1 (the most northern pond) was dredged to remove 1,800 cubic yards of accumulated sediment

By the Numbers



of stormwater treated by North ponds



of stormwater treated by settling basins



of phosphorus reduced annually


cubic yards

dredged from Pamela lake



of additonal wet detention storage

Project Highlights

  • Increased regional wet detention storage
  • New nature trail system provides access to the park
  • Enhanced aquatic habitat
  • Improved water quality with stormwater ponds


In 1999, the City of Edina, concerned neighborhood citizens, and MCWD met to discuss approaches to restoring Pamela Lake, improving water quality conditions, and reducing external phosphorus and sediment loads to the lake and downstream to Minnehaha Creek. A collaborative partnership was formed between the City of Edina and MCWD to design, fund and implement the lake cleanup. MCWD provided financial and technical support and the City of Edina managed the project long-term. The Pamela Lake Association was instrumental in supporting improvements to the park and providing neighborhood input throughout the planning process. 


Project Cost: $776,474

MCWD covered the project’s technical costs and the City of Edina covered the short-term and long-term costs associated with managing the project.