I've had a fantasy that a new regional park could be cobbled together to make the first regional park in the inner ring suburbs out of open space along the Minnehaha Creek in Hopkins, St. Louis Park and a tiny piece of Edina. All strung through the future LRT corridor near two stations with the greatest potential for TOD development of light industrial land.
Call it the Meadowbrook Marshes Regional Park (or the impossible park,
). It would take coordination from various government agencies to make it happen. The Minneapolis Park District, Three Rivers Park District, Minnehaha Watershed District, Hennepin County, City of Hopkins, City of Edina, and City of St. Louis Park at the least and I wouldn't be surprised if I missed some. In the end, it wouldn't need to be a single park, if it were to end up as an archipelago of adjacent but directly connected parks and trails, that would be just perfect.
My hope is that the Minneapolis Park District willingly parts with the Meadowbrook Golf Course intact and not sell it in pieces for development (with this past year of flood damage shutting it down for nearly the entire year, plus public courses being a drain finances, maybe it is nearer to happening!), the Minnehaha Watershed District and Three Rivers Park District team up with the cities of Hopkins, Edina, and St. Louis Park to cobble patches of open space around the golf course and stitch them all together into this cohesive preserve. Three Rivers would have primary park operations, new boardwalks and trails would be constructed to run around the Meadowbrook Lake as have been done and are proposed along the creek north of Excelsior.
Hennepin County has proposed bike accommodations along W. 44th from Lake Harriet to Brookside Ave through Minneapolis to Edina. I would love to see it connected across the existing park trail into the boardwalk ring around the lake, then run to the future bike boulevard in Interlachan Park. I haven't included any redesign ideas for the "golf course" because I see the lake being allowed to reclaim the drained area, easily doubling in size to the west, I'm not sure what the new lake shore would be.
Notes about the fantasy regional park map.
All blue dotted
lines are from the Cities of Hopkins and St. Louis Park's bike plan documents for proposed bike lanes.
The red dotted
lines came from the Blake Corridor open house maps showing proposed off street bike and trail proposals. Hopkins' bike plan suggests cycle tracks for the Blake Road redesign.
The yellow lines are existing off street trails or being completed right now.
The watershed district owns the Cold Storage and intends to build a future pond along the creek after the facility is demolished, the green boundary includes the space for this future pond.
Fantasy Meadowbrook Regional Park
, on Flickr