Double the fun! Great River Greening celebrates 20 years
while St. Paul cuts the ribbon on a longtime community vision.
May 30 was a special day at Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary. Even though. since spring of 2014, more than 600 volunteers have planted native grasses, flowers, and trees, and cleared the 42-acre site of invasive plants. And even though it will take many years to complete the transformation of this former railroad site into a public urban green space. May 30 was special: The City of St. Paul held a Grand Opening celebration for the site and Great River Greening hosted a community celebration, to commemorate 20 years of restoring the land and water that enrich our lives.
“There is nothing more lovely than Great River Greening choosing to celebrate their 20th birthday by restoring this sanctuary. It is a wonderful doubling up with the opening of this facility.” -Amy brendmoen, St. Paul City Council, Ward 5
The City of St. Paul turned to Great River Greening to engage the community in transforming the sanctuary, and use its unique engagement and education programs to bring people to it and learn from it.
“We are so honored to be a partner in this amazing project. This is a tremendous moment for the people who worked to create this very special place. It is a story of hope and promise and my hope is that is will inspire others throughout Minnesota to take a role in their communities to restore land and water.” -Deborah Karasov, Great River Greening Executive Director
Two hundred volunteers started the day and many stayed after lunch, as more community members arrived for the ribbon cutting. Anniversary fun and learning activities included building birdhouses, playing with colored sand, creating green cities, and learning about water quality by counting the variety bugs that live in it.
Cutting the ribbon on a much sought-after park
For more than two decades, the Tri-Area Block Club, a group of St. Paul’s most deeply rooted residents, fought long and hard against a bus yard, a burn site, a construction business and other developments proposed for the land that is now the sanctuary.
“If you look at what we have, it was worth it. … It’s our little bit of nature.”Linda Jungwirth, Original Tri-Area Bluck Club member