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Environment and Parks

Our Environment and Parks Committee usually meets on the third Wednesday of each month from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. at the Merriam Park Recreation Center. Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 17th 2020.

For details on how to join please email

The Committee identifies community needs within our current parks and explores ideas for future ones, works to secure improvements to our parks, and supports activities within them. The Committee also makes recommendations on the use of funds earned through a cell phone tower lease agreement, for park activities and improvements. If you have an issue you’d like to bring to the Committee, please contact

St. Anthony Berm

This last fall MnDOT - in partnership with Xcel and the Union Park District Council - began the planting of native and flowers and grasses to replace what had been mowed over by Xcel Energy on the berm between the Aldine Pedestrian Bridge and Fairview.

You can read the work plan here and see the project scope below:

Project scope includes but is not limited to the below listed activities.

Tree & Shrub Planting Area Establishment

  • Timing of activities are weather dependent.
  • Inspect and routinely Water “Tree & Shrub Planting Area” per MnDOT 2571
  • Weed “Tree & Shrub Planting Area” per MnDOT Specification 2571
  • Mow around all planting beds in “Tree & Shrub Planting Area” per MnDOT Specification 2571

Native Prairie Area Establishment

  • Timing of activities are weather dependent.
  • July 15th – October 31st 2019, Mow prairie when average height reaches 18”, mow to a height of 8”-12” (this will be about once a month).
  • Prune and treat any woody plant material with tryclopyr herbicide, such as tree or shrub saplings or vines as needed during the growing seasons
  • Spot-spray perennial weeds such as Canada Thistle, Crown Vetch, and Birdsfoot Trefoil as needed to prevent flowering (if mowing is not sufficient to prevent flowering).  Use Clopyralid herbicide and any adjuvants recommended on label.
  • Perform a 2020 spring mowing (April 1st – May 15th) where residual vegetation is cut as close to the ground as possible and rake away cuttings.  
  • If biennial weeds such as Sweet Clover, Burdock, Wild Parsnip, etc. appear mow again at approximately 18” when weeds are in full flower (June 1st – June 30th)

Scouting & Reporting

  • Scouting reports are required and shall be electronically submitted to the inspector twice a month from April – October and once a month from November – March. 

Establishment Project Schedule

  1. Contractor must start the work by July 15th of 2019
  2. Contractor must continue establishment work through June 30th of 2020

Carry out all work only between the hours of 7 am and 7 pm.

2019 Cell Tower Funds

The Environment and Parks Committee will begin discussing potential projects for the 2019 Cell Tower Funds. Have an idea to improve a local park in Union Park? Attend the next EPC meeting or email

2040 Comprehensive Plan - Saint Paul for All

The City of Saint Paul has released the draft of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan - Saint Paul For All.

Please give your opinions on the draft plan in the comment form through this link, or in-person at the public hearing at 8:30 a.m. on Friday January 11, 2018 in Room 40 (basement) of City Hall, 15 W. Kellogg Boulevard. The public comment period will end on January 11, 2019.

Community Dog Run proposal

Neighbors have come forth with a proposal to transform the greenspace at the southeast corner of Hamline and Ashland Avenues into a small dog run for off-leash dogs. UPDC has supported the proposal and neighbors are currently working with the City of Saint Paul on the project. 

This project has currently stalled as the champion of the project is no longer carrying it forward. UPDC will not go forward with this project unless there is neighborhood support.

Midway Peace Park

Union Park will have a new park opening on Griggs street in the Fall of 2019; for more information, check out the City's website

Merriam Park Master Plan

We have developed a planning document for future improvements to Merriam Park. [ Review the Master Plan here ]

Naming a "Union Park"

Our ten-year community plan contemplates naming a park or green space within our boundaries "Union Park" -- so the District Council will have a namesake, the park will have strong stewardship, and the area's history will be honored. In late 2017, we explored the idea of changing the name of Iris Park to Union Park, which was Iris's original name. After community outreach and conversation, the organization decided to keep looking for the best place to carry the name Union Park. Read more about this proposal here ]