North Loop might be in line for a new park

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September 24, 2012 // UPDATED 9:15 pm - January 1, 2013
By: Jeremy Zoss & Sarah McKenzie & Dylan Thomas
Jeremy Zoss & Sarah McKenzie & Dylan Thomas

NORTH LOOP — Community leaders have launched a feasibility study for a new park in the fast-growing neighborhood.

While the area is bordered by the riverfront, many areas in the North Loop are starved for green open spaces. The neighborhood has industrial roots and is dominated by brick and concrete.

The North Loop Neighborhood Association has tapped St. Paul-based Great River Greening to help explore plans for a park, said Karen Rosar, vice president of the neighborhood group.

“The need is stark,” she said. “We have a beautiful riverfront that many of us use. Unfortunately, there are areas of the [North Loop] that are quite a distance from the riverfront. … In order to have a sustainable community in those areas underserved by civic/green spaces we need to initiate them.”

Neighborhood leaders are considering a park site somewhere within the area bordered by 5th Avenue, 10th Avenue, Washington and 4th Street North.

Deborah Karasov, executive director of Great River Greening, said the nonprofit is working on a scoping study to take a look at many issues surrounding the possibility of a new park.

The study explores the potential costs, stakeholders and site possibilities, among other things.

There are plans for a community meeting in early October to discuss the study.

“Everyone recognizes that the North Loop has experienced tremendous growth, expecially residential, but that open space is key to the quality of life for the residents,” Karasov said.