Fish Creek Open Space Area, City of Maplewood
Waterfall at Fish Creek Open Space Area. Photo courtesy City of Maplewood
Keeping with the Fund’s goal to save favorite outdoor places, we helped the City of Maplewood acquire 70 acres around the Fish Creek Open Space Area, increasing it by 50 percent.
The Fish Creek Natural Area Greenway stretches from the Mississippi River in St. Paul, through Maplewood, to Carver Park in Woodbury. The heart of the greenway is Fish Creek and Ramsey County’s 142-acre Fish Creek Open Space. Once pasture land, the tracts currently feature open rolling hills with wide views, prairie remnants, oak and aspen woodlands and a pine plantation. The southwest corner of the site is comprised of Mississippi River bluff land that offers a dramatic vista across the River Valley.
Maplewood had been interested in adding this land to their open space for the past 20 years but it was privately owned and never came up for sale. That is, not until 2011.
When the property went on the market, Maplewood’s Parks and Recreation department needed time to get funding in place. Not wanting to miss out to another buyer, they approached the Fund for assistance. We used our Mississippi Revolving Fund, to purchase the property and plan to hold it for two years so Maplewood can raise the necessary funds to make it part of Fish Creek.
At the Fund we believe open space improves the quality of life in a community. That will be the case in Maplewood as the city and and the county will work together with several local non-profit groups to develop and implement a master plan that will guide the restoration and recreational use of the property. Also included is a plan to restore the property’s natural forested and grassland habitats for the benefit of a variety of wildlife species. This is a great win-win for wildlife and people.