SAINT PAUL PARKS AND RECREATION

TWENTY FOURTEEN ANNUAL REPORT

  • I'm fortunate to be a part of one of the nation's finest parks and recreation systems during this time of unprecedented growth. We're building the nation's finest ballpark outside of the majors. We're continuing to establish new spaces for recreation and education in challenged neighborhoods. New parks are springing to life in areas historically void of green space. Internally, we're making a move to become more modern, both structurally and technologically. Overall, last year's accomplishments were critical to our mission of making Saint Paul the most livable city in America.

    — Mike Hahm

    Director

  • Last year was an extremely successful year for many of our youth initiatives. Right Track, our youth employment program, employed more students than ever before. The Saint Paul Youth Commission continued to inform City leaders of and address issues important to youth. Lastly, we partnered with Saint Paul Public Schools and 40 community organizations to expand the reach of Sprockets, an out-of-school-time network of activities, helping us to now track the out-of-school-time participation of over 20,000 Saint Paul youth.

    — Kathy Korum

    Deputy Director

  • Our accountants, who handle the most diverse budget in the City, and communications professionals were key to many of our successes in 2014. We took the lead in transitioning to a new digital financial system and are continuing to help other City departments do the same. We also expanded our communications efforts, resulting in more social media engagement and more opportunities to demonstrate our commitment to racial equity.

    — Tom Russell

    Administration, Finance, and Planning Manager

  • Como Park Zoo & Conservatory may be best known for its diversity of plant and animal species, including an electrifying sea lion and award‑winning gardens, but it's the diversity of youth‑oriented programming that makes my job so rewarding. One of these programs, Como Residency Program, launched last year and engaged students for a full week as they immersed themselves in a STEM‑based curriculum using the zoo and conservatory as their classroom.

    — Michelle Furrer

    Como Campus Manager

  • My team of talented architects completed dozens of projects last year that helped us to maintain and expand our nationally recognized park system. New spaces, like Meeker Island Dog Park, and restored landscapes, including the channels and waterfall at Lake Phalen, are just a couple of the many projects that are helping to build communities and create cherished spaces in Saint Paul.

    — Jody Martinez

    Design and Construction Manager

  • The work we do is absolutely necessary for sustaining the beauty of Saint Paul, from increasing our participation rates in our Environmental Education programs by nearly 150% to 2,458, to removing nearly 14,000 diseased, damaged, and obstructing trees, including 600 EAB‑infected trees, and to increasing the number of hanging baskets to 592.

    — Gary Korum

    Operations Manager

  • Annually, our recreation centers draw over two million visitors a year for everything from after‑school programs to sports to educational classes. With so many visitors, many that include youth from challenged neighborhoods, we began the process of reorganizing our leadership in the recreation centers to better meet the needs of each neighborhood. We also began to utilize technology in ways that will benefit everyone. Last year, we introduced an online program to certify those interested in becoming coaches for dozens of sports that keep our youth active and engaged.

    — Gwen Peterson

    Recreation Services Manager

  • My job presents me with unique opportunities to work with contracts and outside agencies. We made many changes in 2014 to better meet the needs of Saint Paul residents, including contracting with Prom Management to handle the operations of Phalen and Como Golf Courses and partnering with local restaurateurs to bring a new, exciting space, Como Dockside, to Como Regional Park.

    — Susie Odegard

    Special Services Manager

  • Meet the Leaders

in twenty fourteen, we hauled grass

And came that much closer to bringing our future ballpark to life. We received major sponsorship from locally based CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative, and officially renamed Lowertown Ballpark as CHS Field.
The St. Paul Saints have long captivated audiences with a unique blend of sport and entertainment. We stole a page — or a base, rather — out of their playbook when we helped seal away memorabilia within the walls of CHS Field. This is just the beginning of a season to remember.
We also remained committed to providing student athletes with state-of-the-art facilities to compete and train at. Our continued partnership with Minnesota’s most prestigious private university, Hamline University, will see the Hamline Pipers play at home at CHS Field.
And we said goodbye to Midway Stadium with a final first pitch from Mayor Coleman to Saints co-owner Bill Murray.

goodbyes are hard

In 2013, we mourned the passing of Arlene Scheunemann, a Saint Paul native who fought to keep Como Zoo admission free while also caring for animals in her own home. Her story is the subject of Zoo Mom: The Life Story of Arlene Scheunemann, released in May of 2014.
Our hearts broke when we learned of the death of Alice’s newborn gorilla at Como Zoo. The sad reality is that 26% of male gorillas born in AZA-accredited zoos since 1980 haven’t survived to their first birthday — in the wild, that figure nearly doubles. Our efforts and the efforts of zoos and preservations around the world are key to preserving the gorilla population, and your support makes it happen.
We were also reminded to cherish even more the newborns who do survive and the newcomers who thrive. In 2014, Como Zoo welcomed newborn snakes, zebras, and giraffes as well as two temporarily transplanted polar bears.
And we made sure to provide for humans, too. For the first time ever, Marjorie McNeely Conservatory donated the annual harvest of the Chipotle Edible Garden to Keystone Community Services food shelves.
Speaking of, Marjorie McNeely Conservatory was also named the “Best Cold Day Getaway” in the Twin Cities.

here, we all belong

We pride ourselves with providing the best of getaways, attractions, and programs for Saint Paul. In 2014, we opened Arlington Hills Community Center to a diversity of humanity numbering in the hundreds, a true reflection “Belong Together,” the defining theme chosen by community and artists on Saint Paul's East Side.
We made good on a promise to update the aging Front Skate Park to create a safer, more open space for locals to practice their skills.
With the help of West Side community members, the Minnesota Twins, Major League Baseball, and the Pohlad Foundation, we created All-Star Park at Gilbert de la O Fields.
We placed over 700 students in jobs throughout Saint Paul through our very own youth career program, Right Track. Of course, we couldn’t have done it without 80+ partner employers.
Our new outdoor health series, Fitness in the Parks, became so popular that we had to extend it into the fall.
We showed that creativity and volunteerism belong together in AweSnap!, a program developed by Saint Paul Natural Resources to combine the love of photography with the need for surveying wildlife.
And toddlers were encouraged to put down their electronics and, instead, partake in Green Time with their parents and peers. We made that happen.

we've always belonged

As we laid down fresh grass at CHS Field, we were reminded of our own roots here in this city. We announced plans to revitalize our oldest park, Rice Park.
But we didn’t forget to keep creating green spaces in downtown. Just blocks from our oldest park, we developed a new park and flower field, Pedro Park.
And we completed Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary, a major green space stretching alongside 1-35E north of downtown Saint Paul.

just look at the numbers

$31,501,686 | SPECIAL FUNDS
$27,181,240 | GENERAL FUND
$4,430,000 | CAPITAL BUDGET
2.5 MILLION VISITORS
1.8 MILLION VISITORS
200,000 VISITORS
90,000 ROUNDS
6,000 VISITORS
85,000 VOLUNTEER HOURS
577.7 FTE

let's stay connected

Saint Paul Parks and Recreation
25 W. Fourth St. #400
Saint Paul, MN 55102
parkscustomerservice@ci.stpaul.mn.us
651-266-6400