Frogtown Park and Farm Opens in Saint Paul
Saint Paul's newest park, Frogtown Park and Farm, opened to the public today with a day-long celebration, giving the city a new park destination, which includes one of the largest urban farms in the country.
Representatives from Frogtown Farm, The Trust for Public Land and the City of Saint Paul spoke at a short program, as the community gathered to celebrate the opening and participate in activities, such as a land blessing, family activities and sampling food from neighborhood restaurants.
"Frogtown Park and Farm is another fantastic addition to the nationally-renowned parks system here in the City of Saint Paul, and furthers our work to create vibrant spaces and places across the city for people of all ages and backgrounds," said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.
The 12.7-acre park and farm are situated at the top of a hill in the Frogtown community, and will serve as a hub for health, recreation, local food, and a connection to nature. Development of the 5-acre farm and the portion of the park near Minnehaha Avenue are almost complete. The City of Saint Paul will finalize development of the recreation area on the eastern portion of the site, hopefully in time for the 2016 sledding season.
Frogtown Farm, which will operate on leased park space, is one of the largest contiguous urban farms in the country, and at 5 acres will offer enough space to feed thousands of people every year. It will grow year-round with the installation of a hoop house in 2015, and construction of a green house in 2016. Strengthening the community and increasing access to locally grown food is the focus of Frogtown Farm. Produce from the farm will be sold and distributed on-site, to community partners, local food shelves, at farmer's markets, and in grocery stores and restaurants.
"The Grand Opening is a celebration of what can be achieved when our community gets together, has a vision and sees it through," said Eartha Bell, Frogtown Farm Executive Director. "Frogtown Farm is an unprecedented opportunity to increase access to fresh, local food at this scale, while also using food as a catalyst to bring people together and build a stronger, healthier community."
Frogtown Park and Farm is in a neighborhood previously underserved by close-to-home parks. The Park, located on the previous home of the Wilder Foundation, is ideally situated with strong neighborhood roots, and proximity to the new Green Line, restaurants along University, and arts and cultural organizations.
"Frogtown Park and Farm is unlike any other park in Minnesota, and a model for cities across America looking to make parks work to benefit the communities they serve," said Susan Schmidt, Minnesota director for The Trust for Public Land. "Frogtown Park and Farm gives us a place to play, sled, learn about farming and healthy eating, and to be inspired."
The opening events mark the culmination of a multi-year, grassroots effort that would not have been possible without the partnership of the Frogtown neighborhood, the City of St. Paul, The Trust for Public Land, Frogtown Farm, and a wide range of supporters and very generous donors including the previous landowner, The Wilder Foundation.
Frogtown Farm will be a hub for a healthy food system that fills gaps in food production, storage, manufacturing, and distribution. With spokes that reach beyond its acreage and the Frogtown neighborhood, Frogtown Farm will be recognized as a destination for those seeking learning, innovation, reflection, celebration, and authentic community. Rooted in values of social equity, justice, and inter-connectedness, this urban farm on the hill will serve as a model for multi-cultural community and a catalyst for economic development, wealth creation, community pride, and sustainability. To learn more about Frogtown Farm, visit www.frogtownfarm.org.
Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, The Trust for Public Land's 2015 #1 Park System in America, is a nationally accredited and gold medal award-winning organization that manages over 170 parks and open spaces, AZA-accredited Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, 25 city-operated recreation centers, more than 100 miles of trails, an indoor and two outdoor aquatic facilities, a public beach, a variety of premium sports facilities, municipal golf courses, and Great River Passage – which is the new identity for all proposed public development along Saint Paul's more than 17 miles of Mississippi riverfront. For more information on Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, visit www.stpaul.gov/parks.
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.
Generous support for Frogtown Park and Farm was provided by foundations and individuals. A portion of the funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative?Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).