Park Notes & Bikes

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is seeking volunteers for its 9th Annual Earth Day Watershed Cleanup. Supporters of the 29th Street Midtown Greenway also would like to find volunteers to help with tree plantings.

The Park Board events start Saturday, April 19. Volunteers register at 9:30 a.m. and receive trash bags and gloves. Clean-up crews work until 11 a.m., followed by refreshments and music.

Southwest locations are:


  • Grass Lake, meeting at Kenny Park, 1328 W. 58th St.;



  • Minnehaha Creek West, meeting at Lynnhurst Park, 1345 W. Minnehaha Parkway;



  • Lake Harriet, meeting at the band shell;



  • Lake Calhoun, meeting at the tot lot near West 33rd Street and East Calhoun Parkway;



  • Lake of the Isles, meeting at Kenwood Recreation Center, 2101 Franklin Ave. W.;



  • Cedar Lake, meeting at West 25th Street and Cedar Lake Parkway; and



  • Bassett’s Creek, meeting at J.D. Rivers picnic area, at Glenwood and Washburn avenues.


    For more information, call the Earth Day hotline at 313-7722.

    The Midtown Community Works Partnership and the Midtown Greenway Coalition will host tree-plantings at four sites along the 29th Street Greenway, Saturday, April 26, 9 a.m.-noon.

    The projects are:


  • Planting a row of flowering crab trees between Kenilworth Trail and Dean Parkway;



  • Replacing trees at Chowen Avenue and the Greenway; and



  • Planting tree groupings near where the Greenway crosses both Lyndale and 3rd avenues.


    The Minnesota Tree Trust will train and assist volunteers. For more information call the Coalition at 278-7170.

    Lake Calhoun water quality improves

    By Scott Russell

    Lake Calhoun took a tick up on the 2002 Minnehaha Creek Watershed District’s water quality report card; the other lakes in the Chain of Lakes held steady from 2001.

    Lakes Harriet and Calhoun got an A; Cedar got a B+ and Lake of the Isles got a C, according to an evaluation the Watershed District released April 8. Calhoun got a B+ in 2001.

    The grading is a relative measurement. It compares lakes within the seven-county metropolitan area, the Watershed District’s Web site said. "What is a ‘C’ in one part of the country might not be a ‘C’ elsewhere," it said.

    An "A" grade puts a lake in the top 10 percent of area lakes — "crystal clear, beautiful," the Web site said. "These lakes are exceptional and are enjoyed recreationally without question or hesitation."

    A "B" grade puts a lake in the top 30 percent of area lakes, but under the top 10 percent. A "C" grade puts a lake between 30 and 70 percent, where "swimming, boating and fishing may be undesirable relatively early in the season. Algae blooms occasionally," the Web site said.

    Three factors go into a lake’s grade: a phosphorous count and a chlorophyll count, which reflect algae bloom, and a secchi-disk measurement, which measures water clarity.

    The lake grades started in 1998, when Harriet and Cedar lakes got an A, Calhoun got a B+ and Isles got a C+.

    Isles restoration will begin this month

    By Scott Russell

    The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board plans to start Lake of the Isles restoration work mid-April, stabilizing the southeast shoreline and replacing retaining walls, said Cliff Swenson, project manager.

    In July, the Park Board plans to upgrade the soccer field on the southwest corner of Lake of the Isles to make it more usable even during wet years, he said. Workers will regrade, reseed and add drain tiles to the field. The project includes adding a new wetland with native plantings and increasing flood storage capacity in the area.

    High rainfall and persistently high water levels in 2002 slowed work on the Lake of the Isles restoration project, Swenson said. This winter’s light snowfall should allow work to begin on schedule.

    The Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Association contributed $100,000 to help fix the soccer field and make other improvements in the southwest corner. Its Neighborhood Revitalization Program funds provided the needed match for state flood mitigation money, Swenson said.

    "It is really significant; it helps to move the project along," Swenson said of CIDNA’s contribution. "We are grateful the neighborhood wanted to help in this project."

    The Park Board also is overhauling its controversial plans for the West Bay and North Arm and expects to present a new plan to neighbors in May, Swenson said. The Park Board has received needed waivers to wetland replacement rules that will minimize shoreline changes.

    City planning Southwest-to-downtown bike bridge

    By Robyn Repya

    The city’s Public Works department is working to build an Southwest-to-Downtown bike bridge connection called the Loring Bikeway Bridge Improvement Project. Construction on the $3 million plan is scheduled for April 2004. The plan is still being fine-tuned, and will come before the public for comment in the next two months.

    Public Works technical engineer Kent Peterson said the bridge would run from a future Bryant Avenue bike route, beginning at Franklin Avenue. Heading north to downtown, the route would curve to the northern end of the Vision Loss Resources parking lot, 1936 Lyndale Ave. S., and fly over the I-94 interchange onto an existing bikeway on Lyndale’s east side. The bike route would then connect to the Loring Park bike path via Groveland Terrace and Oak Grove Street.

    Currently, those cycling between the Wedge neighborhood and Loring Park would have to bike amid cars under the I-94 ramps.

    The bikeway connection would take away parking in the Loring Park and Wedge neighborhoods. Peterson said the number of lost spots hasn’t been determined.

    The public can comment at two open houses on the project’s design at any of the three scheduled open houses. The next public open house is Tuesday, April 22, at the Vision Loss Resources, 1936 Lyndale Ave. S., from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. There will be two additional open houses in mid-May and early June.

    Peterson said the project costs would be paid by $2.2 million in federal funds (already secured), $200,000 in city Neighborhood Revitalization Program money and $600,000 in city money, most of which is would come from the city’s net debt bond funds.

    Peterson said the project requires no special property-tax assessments.

    For more information on the project, contact public works engineer Stephanie Malmberg at 673-3365.