Park board’s planning its plantings


The triangle median in the middle of the roadway on Stinson Parkway, just north of St. Anthony Parkway, is set to get some attention from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB); even though the long-term goal might be to pay less attention to it.

It’s one of eight MPRB-maintained areas that will benefit from a $50,000 budget item to buy and plant ornamental shrubs and hardy perennials “strategically planted to reduce operation costs, including mowing in selected locations. In addition the plantings will increase habitat for birds and butterflies,” according to a memo to the board from Park Operations Director Lisa Beck.

“Many of the initial selected planting sites have unique features. For example, some of the sites abut roadways and are exposed to heavy sand and salt or some sites are in a right-of-way,” Beck wrote.

What will the plantings look like? That’s not certain yet, and the plan is to tailor the plant selection to the characteristics of each site. “For example, some plants need to be drought resistant and some plants can tolerate contaminates. Some locations may lend themselves to a formal grouping of plants and others can tolerate a mass planting of a more aggressive nature. Ideally the selected shrubs and perennials will provide a good combination of summer blooms and winter interest features,” she wrote.

These plantings are designed to be “low maintenance,” but might not be that way at first. “Although long term, the plant varieties chosen will require a relatively low level of maintenance, a critical part of this initiative is to provide the necessary care in the first few years. A maintenance plan will be developed for the areas to provide the appropriate care both for the early stages and the long term.”

“The staff team is working on a variety of avenues to make this initiative as cost effective as possible including using volunteers along with staff and interns for plantings. Staff also recommends utilizing the budgeted funds to leverage additional grant dollars if possible,” Beck wrote.

The other locations for this project’s plantings are:

  • Lake Nokomis-the Conservation Corps project around the lake/ the ragweed area
  • Longfellow Gardens-the upper northwest corner triangle
  • Minnehaha Park-the parking lot at Godfrey Road and 46th Street
  • Lake of the Isles Parkway-the Peavey Fountain Area at Penn Avenue and West Lake of the Isles Parkway
  • 17th Street Overpass-between 1st and Second Avenue South
  • Irving Triangle-Irving Avenue and 22nd Avenue North
  • Humboldt Greenway-Humboldt Avenue North and Humboldt Lane North

She wrote that nearby people will know what’s going on, because park staff people “will assure communication with residents throughout the process and will work in conjunction with Environmental Education staff to place interpretive signs where appropriate.”

Beck can be reached at 612-230-6400.