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Dakota County is looking at $22 million worth of improvements to the 58-acre Thompson Park and they want your input. The second oldest park in West St. Paul—donated to the county in 1976—sees more than 55,000 visitors every year. Proposed ideas in the draft master plan include a lighted sledding hill, daylighted creek, amphitheater, increased parking, play areas, and more.
You can read the summary and the detailed, 121-page draft master plan, and then share your input via an online survey or public meetings:
- Tuesday, November 5 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Dakota Lodge in Thompson Park.
- Thursday, November 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Wentworth Library.
You can also get more information from Dakota County.
The plan features short-term and long-term goals, including a five-year ($5.8 million), 10-year ($3 million), and long-term plan ($13.6 million). Some of the ideas include:
- A lighted sledding hill and fire pit.
- A gateway and rest area for the River-to-River Greenway Trail.
- An amphitheater and lakeside plaza next to the Dakota Lodge to increase gathering spaces and rental opportunities.
- An inclusive playground, sensory garden, picnic area, and hammock opportunities.
- Multiple potential areas for public art.
- A daylighted stream that flows from Thompson Lake, through cascades to the retention pond at the south end of the park.
- A 110-foot observation tower is proposed as part of a farmstead interpretive area.
- A 50-to-300-foot wide land bridge over Highway 52 that connects Thompson Park and Kaposia Park. It would include vegetation and trails, giving people and wildlife safe access and a buffer from highway noise. An alternate plan would shift the land bridge north of the existing pedestrian bridge, allowing for a loop through both parks.
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