Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hazel Triangle

Charlie's in the middle of this triangle.
Located south of the Hazel-Ross Pond, west of Hazel, lies this moderate-sized traffic triangle. Nokomis and Bush are the streets forming the other sides of the triangle.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Devil's Ditch

This large open space north of East 7th Street and west of Birmingham was (I believe) once owned by a family named Van Kirk and was used as a dump for (mostly) clean fill, but being unsuitable for building has become part of the rainwater abatement system of the east side. "Devil's Ditch" is a local nickname for the area.

Hazel Place

Hazel Place was acquired by the St. Paul parks department in 1886, being the site of a train station that has been gone almost a century. It is where Ames Place intersects Flandrau Street and is about 0.03 acres southest of the train tracks.

Sackett Park

Sackett Park is named for a police officer killed in the line of duty in the 1970's. It is connected to the Boys and Girls Club. On the eastern end is a wooded area with a stream running through it, part of the outlet from Beaver Lake (to the east).

Barclay Ave. Open Space

Not part of the park system, this is the right of way of Barclay Street south of Magnolia, making a pedestrian shortcut.

Ames Lake

Ames Lake is one of the newest parks in St. Paul. Formerly the site of a shopping center that was built on a filled wetland, the wetland has been restored. Southeast of Lake Phalen, it is north of Magnolia, south of Rose, west of Barclay and east of Johnson Pkwy.

Lane Park

This small park just south of Lake Phalen is a triangle formed in the split of Lane Place and Jessamine Ave. Both the park and the street were named for developer Den. E. Lane. There are some picturesque cottages surrounding the park, offset by signs warning of ordinances and crime watches.

Duluth and Case Recreation Center

Formerly the Duluth Playground, this is south of Cook and East of Duluth (Case Street ends in the southern part of the field, just north of the yard waste recycling area).

Lockwood Playground

South of Magnolia, north of Cook, West of Forest and East of Mendota is this playground, which is not as developed as most playgrounds. The twin towers of St. Casimir's church are visible from it.

Dragonback Poetry Park

Dragonback Poetry Park is completely contained within Phalen Regional Park and is not recognized as being separate from it. It consists of a triangular stand with poems attached to it, a bench and some pavers with messages inscribed into them. It is south of Wheelock Parkway, west of the athletic fields.

Phalen Regional Park

Charlie can see his house from here!
Phalen Park is 500 acres, roughly half of it being the lake and needs no further description here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Hazel Park Playground

60 feet 6 inches is a long way to pitch for a horse with no arms.
Located west of Hazel, East of Van Dyke, south of Case and north of Stillwater Ave., the one unusual feature of this park is the row of boulders placed along the south side, presumably to keep cars from the alley off the playground.

Hazel-Ross Pond

Part of the route of water drainage from the Beaver Lake area, the large Hazel-Ross pond has a berm in the middle. Hazel Street separates it from the more permanent, but much smaller - and privately owned - pond to the east, north of Nokomis.

Nokomis Triangle

This tiny triangle is located at the intersection of Nokomis, Ruth and Algonquin. In the winter, it's sometimes a huge mound of plowed snow.

Waukon Open Space

The sign says Open Space.
Beaver Lake naturally drains to the south and much of the water's route is underground, but just south of the lake is this wooded ditch west of the alley behind Waukon Street. There's another alley on the other side of the ditch, at a lower elevation.

Beaver Lake Park

Charlie wishes he had a fishing license. This looks like a good spot.
Beaver Lake is a large, rather suburban-feeling lake (the eastern side is in the suburb of Maplewood), with a path running along the west side. There's a parking lot, some picnic area and a dock that goes far into the lake, affording pleasant views of the entire area. There are some rustic wooded areas as well as manicured grass.

Edgewater Boulevard

Edgewater Boulevard has a median that runs from Case Street north to Maryland Avenue, with a triangle at the north end, totaling about a half mile.

Maryland Avenue Open Space

Look very carefully and Charlie's in the middle of the picture.
This space is listed as being at 2100 Maryland Avenue and can only be reached legally from the east, being surrounded by private property (from the west, Maryland ends at railroad tracks; there may be a public right-of-way over the tracks, as there are utility lines that cross them, but there are Private Property signs posted). Between 2491 and 2495 Nokomis Ave., there is a driveway that the adjacent property owners would like you to believe is private. At the end of this is a pond which is part of the open space, making this one of the more obscure public lands in St. Paul.

Prosperity Park

Charlie likes community gardens, but horses generally are banned.
This park is north of Maryland Avenue, south of Ivy, in a sliver between Hazelwood and Kennard. There's an easily-overlooked pumping station on the Maryland side, part of the extensive storm water projects on the east side of St. Paul. There are some community gardens, a large pond with a mostly paved path surrounding it and a surprisingly steep hill in the northwest corner.

Roger Pulchreiter Stormwater Pond

Charlie watched the ducks without trespassing.
Probably technically part of Prosperity Park, this pond is on the south side of Ivy Ave. and across the street from the Prosperity Heights Playground. Of the many storm water ponds, this is the only one that's named for a person.

Prosperity Heights Playground

Charlie's on the drinking fountain.
This playground is located between Germain and Kennard and between Cottage and Ivy. Most of the area is athletic fields, with children's equipment on the north end by the (pictured) restrooms.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Furness Park

A surprisingly long but narrow park, this is the space between east and west Furness Parkway, from Hoyt to Ivy. The paved path that runs the length of it (and continues south) is a handy bicycle shortcut diagonal through this part of town. Created in 1982, this parkway was once part of the streetcar route from St. Paul to White Bear Lake.

Hayden Heights Playground

Charlie doesn't play tennis, but is an excellent line judge.
In the northeast corner of the city, between Darlene and David and between Idaho and Hoyt, this playground has the typical amenities and it's hard to pick out an unique feature, except being quieter than many playgrounds.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Hillcrest Knoll

Hillcrest Knoll is one of the newer parks in Saint Paul, created after a flood in 1997 caused several houses to be condemned; a commemorative plaque is on the south side of the park, on Montana Street, between Kennard and Flandrau. The Hillcrest area, as the name suggests, is one of the higher elevations of the city, but this low spot (knoll) is now a catch basin for rain; it is usually a fairly dry area with a meandering path and one picnic area.

Frost Lake Park and Playground

Charlie's on a table under the birch.
Frost Lake Park is a fairly large park, with paths leading through thick woods circling the lake itself, which is much smaller than it was 100 years ago. There are adjacent playing fields, used by the elementary school to the east. The one large open space is on the south side, north of Hoyt Street, between Birmingham (almost a dirt road) and Winchell; there is a prominent birch tree on the hill. The playground is on Idaho Ave at Manton.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Bruce Vento Trail Sliver

Charlie's on the monument.

The sliver of public land next to the Bruce Vento Trail on the east side of Lake Phalen would be unnoticed except for the memorial to Joe Bergeron, a police officer who was shot to death while on duty. He was killed right where the park is, at the corner of Arlington Avenue and English Street (Charlie wishes this were an April Fool's joke).