I first became aware of the Como Park Alliance when I noticed the signs posted in the glassed in bulletin board alongside the walking path next to the Come Park Pavilion. Curious, I went home to check out the website.
The Como Park Alliance was formed in July 2007 by a small group of citizens who were concerned about the Como Park swimming pool and the rumors that were going around about its future, according to Rhonda DeBough, one of the organizers of the alliance. As talk of updating the pool progressed, park neighbors thought about the potential effects of increased traffic to the neighborhood, and the possible loss of green space being converted to parking lots. Recently, the city Parks and Rec Department announced the pool is closed for good because it is beyond repair. This has led to additional concerns about a new pool as talk includes the possibility of a waterpark on the site.
While the pool remains a top priority, the alliance also works on other issues that include preserving the history and natural environment of the park. DeBough said they did a survey that was returned by nearly 400 neighbors who answered questions about issues relating to the park and its surrounding area. The group has also focused on the shuttle buses scheduled to begin in spring 2009, and will feature green diesel buses.
The group meets monthly at Black Bear Crossing in the Como Lakeside Pavilion. The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, December 13, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. De Bough said, “We’d love to have interested people come and participate. The more people we have, the more we can get done.”
Mary Thoemke, a lifelong resident of Saint Paul, is a free lance writer for the Twin Cities Daily Planet.