ST. PAUL, Minn. (Sept. 1, 2015) — A “Pop-Up Park” on Saint Paulʼs Dale Street will soon gain seating, entranceways and public art, thanks to a grant from the Laura Jane Musser Fund.
The Fund has awarded $26,850 to Frogtown Green, a neighborhood initiative, to make improvements to the vacant lot on the southeast corner of Dale Street and Lafond. The long vacant, city-owned lot is one that volunteers known as the “Tree Frogs” have been using as a temporary, pop-up tree nursery since 2010. More than 125 trees have been stored on the lot over successive summers, and given away each fall to neighborhood residents who promise to care for the trees.
The funding was awarded to enhance the Pop-Up Park by adding benches, paths, an entry archway and outdoor sculpture. Improvements will be planned by Frogtown Green and the Tree Frogs over the fall and winter, and installed next spring, according to Frogtown Green coordinator Patricia Ohmans.
Frogtown Green is a volunteer-based, resident-led initiative to promote green space and sustainable development in Saint Paulʼs most diverse neighborhood. In addition to managing the Pop-Up Tree Park, Frogtown Green coordinates a 40-bed community garden; a monarch butterfly “sanctuary”; and an Asian-American Elders vegetable garden. The group also carries out recycling and composting education in the neighborhood and publishes a bimonthly newspaper, Greening Frogtown.
“This funding recognizes the hard work the Tree Frog volunteers have done over the past years to increase Frogtownʼs tree canopy,” said Tree Frog leader Lara Christley. “Weʼre thrilled that weʼll be able to make our Pop-Up Tree Park more attractive. It will be one more step toward making Dale Street a more pleasant, pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare,” Christley said.
“The Musser Fund proudly supports urban environmental initiatives like Frogtown Green that improve and preserve our open spaces,” said Board Chair Tom Drean. “Our fund was among the first to recognize Frogtownʼs potential for green development, when we made a grant in 2010 to help develop early thinking about Frogtown Park & Farm. Weʼre excited to recognize and support additional projects that show Frogtownersʼ commitment to a greener, healthier and more beautiful neighborhood.”