Nestled just outside of downtown St. Paul, Lilydale Regional Park is home to diverse plants, wildlife, and environmental features that make it a destination for 500,000 visitors annually. The area’s historic bluffs overlook the Mississippi River, making it a beautiful area for hiking, biking, bird watching, and even fossil hunting.
Unfortunately, the park is in serious need of environmental restoration. The area experiences significant erosion, including landslides following persistent rains. The eroding bluffs not only present safe concerns, but also affect water quality in the nearby Mississippi River and Lake Pickerel. Heavy rains wash away soil and dump it in both waterways, polluting the water and threatening aquatic life.
Grant from local charitable foundation expands scope of restoration
Great River Greening has been working toward a solution since 2013 in partnership with the City of St. Paul and Outdoor Heritage Fund. Recently, the Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS® Charitable Foundation dedicated a $50,000 grant towards the area’s restoration. As part of the grant, Great River Greening will restore an additional 16 acres of degraded land at Lilydale Regional Park this fall. The site requires extensive buckthorn removal to prevent erosion and make room for native flora.
The mission of the REALTORS® Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of life within communities where members live and work.
We are dedicated to building better communities so we are excited to partner with Great River Greening in this phase of the Lilydale Bluffs project! Restoring ecological factors and improving the outdoor experience adds value for the many people who enjoy this area of St. Paul.
– Amy Peterson, President of Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS® Charitable Foundation.
“The timing of this grant couldn’t be better,” shares Great River Greening Operations Director, Todd Rexine. “The grant allows us to fast-track native plantings and buckthorn removal on a critical piece of land along the bluffs.”
In true Great River Greening fashion, the community will play an important role in the restoration. On October 5, 100 volunteers will join us to plant native flowers and grasses. Once established, the plants will hold down soil, sustain native wildlife, and naturally filter stormwater before it flows into the Mississippi River and Lake Pickerel.
The result? Cleaner water, healthier wildlife, and a beautiful visitor and resident experience.