Parks Notebook: Pearl Park organics drop-off successful, expansion likely

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August 22, 2014
By: Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson

Pearl Park organics drop-off site successful, expansion likely

A pilot organics collection program undertaken by the Tangletown Neighborhood Association and Hale-Page-Diamond Lake Community Association has been deemed a huge success by Park Board Superintendent Jayne Miller, and now the Park Board is looking to expand the program to other parks throughout the city.

At the end of July more than 6,000 lbs. of organics had been collected at the Pearl Park drop-off site from more than 500 participating households. The project kicked off on April 26 and will continue to run as the city works on getting its county-mandated organics collection program up and running.

As of Aug. 1, the site is available 24/7 to all registered program participants. Previously volunteers had to staff set drop-off times on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings.

Organics accepted at the drop-off site include food scraps, food-soiled, non-plastic lined paper products, dryer lint, vacuum cleaner contents, animal hair, floral trimmings and houseplants and certain types of compostable plastics. Check for a more complete list and tips on composting. 

Registration open for Minneapolis Bike Tour

The Park Board’s annual showcase of its iconic system of trails encircling most of Minneapolis is back Sept. 14, with a new starting location this year.

The eighth annual Minneapolis Bike Tour will begin and end at Boom Island Park, with three routes ranging from 16-32 miles to choose from.

The longest route heads south along the western side of the Mississippi River (with a short detour around the landslide that has kept West River Road closed since late June) to Minnehaha Falls and west along Minnehaha Parkway, circling Lake Nokomis. Then the route turns north, skirting Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun, Cedar Lake and Wirth Lake before heading back east along Victory Memorial Parkway and south to Boom Island along Marshall St. NE.

Riders must be on the course by 8 a.m. Registration prior to Sept. 10 costs $40 for adults, $15 for youth and children under 5 are free. After Sept. 10 registrations costs $5 extra, but kids are still free.

The Minneapolis Bike Tour is not a race; there are no prizes or times kept. Five stations are set up along the route where water, snacks and bike repairs will be available. After the tour there’s a party with beer, food trucks and music at Boom Island until 2:30 p.m.

To register go to

Architect chosen for Sculpture Garden refresh

Thomas Oslund and Associates has been chosen by the Park Board to design and oversee a $10 million facelift for the Sculpture Garden.

After 25 years of operation and more than eight million visitors, the Sculpture Garden is showing signs of strain. Walkways and stone structures through its 11 acres are beginning to crack, along with the parking lot pavement, and poor drainage has caused plants to either become overgrown or die off from disease.

Landscape architects from Thomas Oslund will work to address those concerns and come forward with a public plan by next spring. Right now repairs are scheduled to begin by July 2015.

The project is being paid for by $8.5 million in state bonding money and a $1.5 million grant from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization.

In Minneapolis, Thomas Oslund previously designed Gold Medal Park and Target Plaza in front of Target Field, among numerous other award-winning outdoor public spaces. The firm is being paid $772,500 for the initial design work.