Chester Creek Restoration Almost Complete

Chester Bowl Welcomes a New Landscape Nearly Six Years After Historic Flooding Wiped out Parts of Chester Creek

DULUTH, Minn. – Every year thousands of people stroll through Chester Bowl along Duluth’s scenic Skyline Parkway, but six years ago, massive flooding made for a big mess in the park.

Now, reconstruction work is close to being complete.

“Just that gurgling noise you can hear in the background, people love that as a relaxing sound,” said Dave Schaeffer, Executive Director at Chester Bowl.

Year round, folks flock to this popular Duluth destination for natural beauty, education and entertainment.

“We’ve had people fishing on this bridge already,” said Schaeffer. “What we see behind us is a great project and we really watched visitors enjoy interacting with it and hearing people comment how much they like the new creek.”

This season curious visitors to the park will notice a big change in the landscape.

“The channel was reshaped and excavated in a certain way that it kind of steps down to the level where we stopped the restoration,” said Conservation
Specialist Kate Kubiak with the South St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District.

Work began in October, 2017, and already much of the heavy lifting is finished.

“This was all part of the mini master plan to take out the bridge and to restore the creek so that it can handle future floods so that there’s trout habitat,” said Kubiak.

Massive flooding in 2012 caused the Department of Natural Resources to reevaluate the popular trout stream and redesign it to better withstand Mother Nature.

“When we talk to people who like to fish they’re recognizing the better fish habitat,” said Schaeffer.

Signs are now posted surrounding a green fence stating, ‘No Walking Here,’ to help planted vegetation grow quicker and keep people and animals off the redesigned area.

“We’ve got maples and cedar to plant in the coming days. It’s a trout stream so we want to provide shade but it’s also such a popular park we want it to look nice,” said Kubiak.

Erosion matting will help keep grass and wild flower seeds in place, while fans of Chester Bowl experience a new pedestrian bridge and soak up the
sights and sounds of a newly designed destination.

Superior Construction is in charge of the project, along with Prairie Restorations out of Cloquet.

Officials with St. Louis County say the project cost around $200,000 dollars.

The money has come from a fund set aside by the Minnesota state legislature.

Click here to learn more about Chester Bowl.