Phase I of Improvements Done at Duluth’s Riverside Park

Ribbon cutting held with Parks and Rec and community members.

DULUTH, Minn.- Members of Duluth’s Riverside community came out to an unveiling of a newly renovated Riverside Park Tuesday.

It’s the first phase of improvements to parks along the St. Louis River Corridor.

Riverside is one of the 13 parks along the Corridor selected in the 2016 council-approved mini-master plan. The St. Louis River Corridor Initiative hopes to improve trails and neighborhoods along the river.

On Tuesday Riverside was one of those neighborhoods, as the ribbon was cut at the park, celebrating Phase I of renovations.

According to Parks and Recreation Officials, funds for the improvements came from the Half and Half Tourism Tax, which all 13 parks in the initiative are eligible for, and $10,000 matched by the Riverside community.

“We’re really really fortunate for Riverside being a really small neighborhood,” said Assistant Park Manager Lisa Luokkala. “They’re really tight knit and what that does is allow them to communicate and get the word out about opportunities like this.

“And they rallied and they brought funds and they brought volunteers and they made it happen.”

Phase I improvements include a brand new playground, planted trees, a new porta potty slab, and the replacement of the old rec center with a basketball court and new parking lot.

According to kids in the area, that makes things a lot safer at the park.

“In that, the building was there and people would go like behind it and do bad stuff,” said park-goer Zoey Moder.

“It’s better ’cause there’s actually a parking lot and a basketball court instead of they were both the same thing.”

The improvements also make the park more suitable for all ages, Luokkala said, and more accessible.

The Tourism Tax and neighborhoods funds raised only covered Phase I of improvements. City officials said funds for Phase II will be determined next year.

Meanwhile Irving Park is where renovation will be completed next, sometime this year.

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