Parks Update // Drainage concerns slow dog park at Lyndale Farmstead

When the Minneapolis Park Board in December finally picked a site for a new dog park in Southwest, officials had hoped to have selected a contractor by spring and started construction by summer. 

 

But issues with drainage at the selected site — Lyndale Farmstead Park —  have slowed the process, said Jennifer Ringold, manager of public engagement and citywide planning. The Park Board had planned to use a wood chip base

on the land, but Ringold said the city of Minneapolis raised concerns about the impact of floods washing the chips into the nearby stormwater pond and damaging the system. 

 

Instead, the Park Board is planning to use a crushed granite material, which Ringold described as being similar to that used on baseball diamonds but with a stronger bond to prevent runoff. The Park Board is planning an Aug. 22

meeting at Lyndale Farmstead Park to discuss the material with neighbors and members of a citizen committee that chose the site. 

 

Some neighbors are frustrated by the delay. Many had hoped for a late summer opening, but now it appears that the contract for construction won’t go out to bid until later in August with a September groundbreaking. 

 

Ringold said the city is on board with the idea of using a gravel surface and the goal is now to have the park done before January. 

 

“I think that people are concerned it’s taking so long, and we’re definitely apologetic for that and wanting to move it along as fast as we can,” she said. 

 

Ringold said it’s not possible to use a grass surface because the park will be relatively small and it wouldn’t last with dogs running over it. 

 

David Brauer, who was a member of the citizen committee that chose the site, said he actually prefers a harder surface to woodchips. Woodchips, he said, are kind of ugly and get dirty from dog feces.

 

Brauer plans to attend the Aug. 22 meeting because he wants to know more about the new material as well as to get more details on any potential changes to the concept plan for the site passed back in December. 

 

He’s not upset by how long it’s taken, though he did expect the park to be open this fall at latest. 

 

“I’m not outraged. I don’t get the sense that the Park Board was dragging its feet,” Brauer said. “I am way more concerned that they do this right than do it fast.”

 

The Aug. 22 meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. 

 

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Bryant Park fields get facelift courtesy of Twins, Toro 

 

Volunteers from the Minnesota Twins organization and The Toro Company updated Bryant Square Park’s two multi-purpose sports fields on Aug. 7.

 

Projects included replacing backstops; adding new benches and bleachers; re-anchoring bases; and removing grass that covered the edges of the baseball diamonds.

 

“We look at things that are going to make the field more playable,” said Chris Iles, corporate communications manager for the Twins.

 

They primarily work on areas of the field that need updating for safety reasons, Iles added.

 

Bryant Square is the third Minneapolis park to undergo these renovations since the Twins organization and Toro joined together in 2010. Phelps Park and North Commons Park have already been renovated. 

 

Each year the Minneapolis Park Board chooses a location that needs updating, said Judson McNeil, president of The Toro Foundation. The foundation oversees funds for The Toro Company’s charitable contributions.

 

“We come out with about 75 volunteers and totally renovate the fields,” McNeil said. “We like to be in a different part of the city [each year].”

 

The Twins Community Fund and The Toro Foundation each contribute $10,000 to cover the cost of the work, McNeil said. Toro provides field maintenance products and utility vehicles.

 

Reach Nick Halter at nhalter@mnpubs.com.