Pocket Park number two coming to life

Volunteers turned up in numbers to help install the new Pocket Park at the corner of Payne and Minnehaha avenues. (photo courtesy of Crystal Passi)

A new pocket park is springing to life on Payne Avenue.

With a lease drawn up for a new small parcel of city-owned land right across from the St. Paul Police Department’s Eastern District building, Payne Phalen Pocket Parks members have begun brightening up the avenue.

The small park will be the crew’s second -- a first park sprang up last summer on a vacant lot at 752 Jessamine Ave.

A crew of Payne Phalen Pocket Parks volunteers spent the afternoon of Saturday, June 21 planting at the new pocket park on the corner of Payne and Minnehaha avenues.

Volunteers included neighborhood adults and children, students from Hope Academy and three teen volunteers from St. Paul high schools. The young helpers ranged in age from 4 to 15.

The crew planted mostly native prairie plants or native ornamental cultivars, including meadow blazing star, coneflower, monarda, butterfly weed, purple milkweed, queen of the prairie and several native grasses.
Students from Hope Academy will help maintain the plantings over the summer.

Though there are plants in the ground, there’s still a lot of work to do -- the Pocket Parks team will add a cobblestone patio area, put in grass seed, install benches and signage, and put up an art gallery area as part of a partnership with the East Side Arts Council.

Prior to the planting day, residents have been helping out, Passi said, including East Sider Steve Backlund, who brought over a Bobcat to carve out the park’s path.

For more information about Payne Phalen Pocket Parks, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/pppocketparks/.

-- Patrick Larkin


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