Located in the Midway Area, Midway Peace Park (416 N Griggs St.) is the newest completed component of the city of Saint Paul’s vision to create vibrant outdoor gathering spaces that strengthen community connections along the Green Line.
With that goal in mind, the park was designed with multiple spaces for park visitors to connect, including an amphitheater, an open multi-purpose green space, and benches for sitting under the shade of over 70 newly planted trees. Additionally, a play area, waking loop, public art, and basketball court round out the amenities. Clean water projects in the park will collect and filter 1.5 million gallons of runoff each year to prevent pollution from reaching the Mississippi River.
“Our vision for the Midway Peace Park in our Midway neighborhood has been realized following several years of community engagement and planning,” said Mayor Melvin Carter. “This incredible new park along the Green Line provides accessible green space for community gathering and connection to benefit our entire city.”
After partnering with the Trust for Public Land to acquire the land for $3 million in 2016, the area now boasts an additional $2.3 million upgrade. Funding for the park came from private funds raised by the Trust for Public Land, the city’s 8-80 Vitality Fund, and a federal grant. Saint Paul Parks and Recreation and the Trust for Public Land shared leadership of the project on land acquisition and engagement, with the city overseeing design and construction.
“This Saint Paul neighborhood used to lack a park close to home, but now thanks to the efforts of engaged community leaders, incredibly generous donors, and dedicated elected officials, Midway Peace Park celebrates its official opening,” said Susan Schmidt, Minnesota state director of The Trust for Public Land. “The Trust for Public Land has been proud to partner to bring the community’s dream park to life.”
The creative community engagement approach focused on identifying the cultural and neighborhood values and desired park features to inform the design of the park. This included park designers collaborating with community representatives to arrange park components and vote on the park’s name. Other partners and stakeholders include Capitol Region Watershed District, Lexington-Hamline Community Council, Gordon Parks High School, Skyline Tower, Union Park District Council, Hamline-Midway Coalition, CommonBond Communities, and High School for the Recording Arts, among many others. Notably, a handful of community organizations came together in the engagement process and formalized during construction to become Friends of Midway Peace Park.
“After more than a decade of multifaceted advocacy for the park concept, we are excited to see this space come to life,” said Amy Gundermann, representative for Hamline-Lexington Community Council. “Our park story started with a vision for green space expressed by the students of Gordon Parks High School and the residents of Skyline Tower. As a community, we rallied behind this vision. Now that the park is complete, we as ‘Friends of Midway Peace Park’ are committed to collectively empower community engagement, access, and use of this shared space into the future.”