The Lilydale River Project

by Bill Daly | Mar 25, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

"I propose using the money to enhance an existing project that has taken shape but is far from being finalized. This project's beginnings go back several decades when The Lilydale River project lost out to the folks at Spirit Mountain in Duluth, MN. If you remember, the city of St.Paul closed the Lilydale Marina in the late 1970's with the purpose of expanding the city's parks program to include a wonderful section of the South shore of the Mississippi River as it passes through the downtown area. The plan involved closing the existing marina and improving upon the site with a lavish park. The existing marina was privately owned and operated, with river access for small boats and a dozen or so houseboats who established a year-round community on the shores of the river. The marina had a small bar and restaurant, accessible parking and launching facilities, and was operated by a private entrepreneur who was forced to close up shop by the city. My recollection is the folks in Duluth received federal money to open up Spirit Mountain Ski Resort and the City of St.Paul was left with an empty shoreline and no funding to complete the job.To this day, this area remains essentially the same, with a concrete boat launch and large parking area, but no facilities or restaurant available. Near this site is Pickerel Lake(see map). This site is essentially unimproved, with a canoe launch and small parking area, but little else. Adequate road access is available for both areas,and a good bike trail connects the areas to other trails along the river. My proposal would resurrect the plans from the 70's. The plan would need to be modified but would minimize start-up planning costs. The land is already owned by the city so no procurement expense would be required.The deal would hinge on building a small restaurant with adequate parking and security to allow small boat operators to enjoy the river, have access to dock space, boat access(electric motors only)for fishing on Pickerel Lake.

About You

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About You

First Name

Bill

Last Name

Daly

City

Saint Paul

County

Ramsey

Country

United States, MN, Ramsey County

Website (if you have one)

Names of others who helped contribute to my idea

How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

About Your Organization (if applicable)

Organization Name (if applicable)

Organization Website

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Organization Address

City

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United States

Your idea

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Title of your idea

The Lilydale River Project

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

"I propose using the money to enhance an existing project that has taken shape but is far from being finalized. This project's beginnings go back several decades when The Lilydale River project lost out to the folks at Spirit Mountain in Duluth, MN. If you remember, the city of St.Paul closed the Lilydale Marina in the late 1970's with the purpose of expanding the city's parks program to include a wonderful section of the South shore of the Mississippi River as it passes through the downtown area. The plan involved closing the existing marina and improving upon the site with a lavish park. The existing marina was privately owned and operated, with river access for small boats and a dozen or so houseboats who established a year-round community on the shores of the river. The marina had a small bar and restaurant, accessible parking and launching facilities, and was operated by a private entrepreneur who was forced to close up shop by the city. My recollection is the folks in Duluth received federal money to open up Spirit Mountain Ski Resort and the City of St.Paul was left with an empty shoreline and no funding to complete the job.To this day, this area remains essentially the same, with a concrete boat launch and large parking area, but no facilities or restaurant available. Near this site is Pickerel Lake(see map). This site is essentially unimproved, with a canoe launch and small parking area, but little else. Adequate road access is available for both areas,and a good bike trail connects the areas to other trails along the river. My proposal would resurrect the plans from the 70's. The plan would need to be modified but would minimize start-up planning costs. The land is already owned by the city so no procurement expense would be required.The deal would hinge on building a small restaurant with adequate parking and security to allow small boat operators to enjoy the river, have access to dock space, boat access(electric motors only)for fishing on Pickerel Lake.

Website address (if applicable)

Innovation

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What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Taking a second look at an old plan, such as the 1970’s Lilydale park project
would call for a degree of courage but has some inherent advantages. Much of the initial site is still intact, the city owns all of the property and the bulk of conceptual plans and drawings are still on file. The idea of having a high quality river park with a small boat access, multiple docking spaces and indoor rest rooms plus a restaurant would fill a need that does not exist today. It would restore what was taken away from the small recreational boater in the ‘70s and was not replaced. This improved park would create a new destination for bikers, hikers, fishermen and small boat owners to enjoy the beauty of the Mississippi River and take advantage of what makes St. Paul a great river town.

Impact

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This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

St. Paul is a historic town. We remember things, and many of us will never forget the 2008 Republican Convention and the world-wide attention the
Convention brought to this city. The easiest way for people to recognize the association of the revitalized Lilydale Park with the Convention would be to rename the park “Convention Park” and have an appropriate memorial plaque consigned with references to the extraordinary events that took place in 2008.

I would be happy to expand on this general idea at a time that is convenient for you. The Mississippi River is what made St. Paul great in the first place, and my idea, although not a new idea, could be part of your overall plan to continue the city's greatness.

Sustainability

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Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

The Mississippi River is dotted with charming river towns all along its flowage. A few years ago in 2004 the “Grand Excursion” celebration took place commemorating the Millard Fillmore grand flotilla that sailed up the river with
St. Paul as its destination. It was a thrilling event and energized communities all along the river. Recently St. Paul has taken great strides to bring people back to the beautiful Mississippi waterway. Enhancing the Lilydale park would give other communities an example of how to continue to utilize this great resource and enjoy our park system to its full potential.

Megan Lisbon said: For sure there would be anyone who would really fins this helpful for all of us which is concerned about this. - Kris Krohn about this Competition Entry. - 2562 days ago read more >

Bill Daly submitted this idea. - 2855 days ago