Como Park Flower shows Orchids Photos

Orchid Show at Como Park 2010

Every year during winter carnival the Orchid Society of Minnesota hosts an orchid show at the Como Park Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. I posted 50 orchid photos on my Picasa web albums site. Click on the slidshow to access “full screen” viewing options.

Como Park Conservatory Environment

Ash trees in danger

Will ash trees follow the fate of elm trees?

About 30 years ago my neighbor’s kid won a college scholarship for his sketch of the dead elm trees in front of my house marked with big red X’s. Now I fear for the the giant ash trees across the street in Como Park.

Apparently the emerald ash borer beetle (EAB) has been damaging our ash trees for years. The EAB were officially discovered in St. Paul’s Hampdem Park mid May, 2009.

Minnesota has the second highest number of ash trees in the nation after Maine. Many of them were planted to replace trees lost to Dutch elm disease a generation ago.


Where can I find information about the emerald ash borer?

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) website has excellent information. Another, multinational website with the lastest information about EAB is I also recommend the University of Minnesota Extension website page which answers questions about ash trees and emerald ash borer beetles.

Frequently asked questions are below (click on them to get answers)

What is Saint Paul doing for its ash trees?

Park director Mike Hahm says Parks and Recreation will do everything we can to protect our tree canopy. Saint Paul has been preparing for this for some time. For over 5 years, we have been increasing the diversity of the tree species in Saint Paul and have not replaced or replanted Ash trees. A Pioneer Press article titled Protecting ash trees could cost St. Paul $2.8 million annually explains:

“Hahm plans to start a campaign of removing affected ash trees at a rate of 3,000 a year and replacing them with other trees the following spring. In St. Paul’s St. Anthony neighborhood, 67 trees already have been cut down. Hahm said he plans to apply immediately for nearly $2.8 million in state and federal money to fight the infestation.”

This link will take you to the St Paul website page on emerald ash borer info.

Bonsai Como Park Conservatory Meetings Shuttle bus

Como Park Shuttle meeting June 4

Mike Hahm talks about the upcoming Como Park shuttle service and promotes attending the June 4 meeting (7 – 8:30, Street Car Museum) to discuss traffic, parking, and strategies to make the new shuttle service a success.

Como Park Meetings

Como Park Master Plan

Como Park Master Plan
Don Ganje explained the Como Park Master Plan at a District 10 Community Council open house meeting held Mar. 30, 2009 at the Street Car Museum. The best way to view videos is to choose “HQ” full screen.

Read the Como Park Master Plan
To view full screen, double click and choose “slide show”

Como Park Meetings

Alice Hausman on balancing the budget

Alice Hauseman explaining how our Minnesota budget will be balanced at the Town Meeting held at the Como Park Pavilion Feb 28, 2009.

Como Park Meetings

Town Hall meeting – John Lesch

John Lesch addressed the community at the Town Hall Meeting about the Minnesota budget at Como Park Feb 28, 2009.

Como Park Meetings

Ellen Anderson addresses Town Hall meeting

There was a town hall meeting at the Como Park Pavilion Sat. morning, Feb 28, 2009. Senator Ellen Anderson addressed the group, responded to questions, and made note of suggestions.

Town Hall Meeting, Ellen Anderson from Art Oglesby on Vimeo.

Como Park Swimming Pool

Como Pool Replacement

A process to replace the Como Pool

Last fall the City of Saint Paul explained the process for redeveloping the Como Park swimming pool. The adjacent Woodland Classroom and McMurray Field area along with their parking and traffic needs will be included. You can learn more by clicking the link below.

Como Park Swimming Pool Redevelopment


The Como Pool Planning Committee members are providing input to US Aquatics, Anthony Kell Architects, and the City Parks Design Staff & Planning Committee. One activity was to choose key words describing what they wanted. The twelve members were then told to “vote” for their top four choices via colored stickers. (Clicking on the photo makes it larger.)

Planners voted for key concepts with colored stickers
Planners voted for key concepts with colored stickers

Design Feedback

At the third planning session, project manager Don Ganje presented design concepts his team thought the group was asking for. The committee was told to voice their opinion, yes or no, as they went through these lists. (These lists should show up on the city website soon)

Como Park

Information about RS Eden and Sholom Home reuse

Sholom Home for sale

The Sholom Home at 1554 Midway Parkway is currently for sale. RS Eden is exploring development of the current Shalom Home building into an affordable, supportive, sober, permanent rental housing option for individuals. The Sholom Home sits across from the State Fair Grounds entry gate on Snelling Ave. and is a few blocks West of Como Park.

RS Eden seeks community partnership

Dan Cain, President of RS Eden, wrote an open letter to the Como community (click link to read entire letter) from which I snipped these quotes.

We asked for a meeting with the community, not to propose a project, but to determine whether or not a project would work in Como and, if so, to solicit a partnership wherein the community would be involved in planning the project. We did not make a purchase offer on the property.

Our projects all had a lease expectation of the tenants that they live sober, both on and off the premises, and that they be productive. For most of them this last means work, for some, who are disabled, this means community volunteerism.

Our projects were developed with the neighborhood as a partner and, as a result, all of them had a covenant with their host neighborhood that there would be NO sex offenders, no arsonists and no predatory drug offenders.

Reaction to RS Eden makes the media

Websites provide information

Several websites hope to help you find information about RS Eden and the Sholom Home proposal. I recommend Sale of Sholom Facts (click link to go to their home page). Their navigation box (upper left) links you to these addition pages

The District 10 Como Community Council website at has created a web page titled Sholom Home Reuse Information. This page includes a letter from the Land Use committee chair and the agenda for the land use committee meeting being held Oct 7 (7 pm) at the Street Car Museum located at Horton and Lexington Pkwy N. The process District 10 uses to evaluate land use issues is also explained.

Como Park Groups

Como Park Alliance

The gates are open at Como Park

Como Park Alliance
A group of people with an interest in preserving, maintaining, and helping Como Park have created an organization called the Como Park Alliance. Their mission is:

To preserve the park’s rich history and natural environment to ensure the integrity of the park for the future through partnerships, proactive activities and education.

The Como Park Alliance started with some neighbors who wanted to have a voice in what happens in the park, and is now extended to anyone anywhere who has an interest in helping the park achieve mutual goals. The Como Park Alliance website has a link to a Como Park Monitor article describing how Rhonda DeBough-Insook initiated the creation of the Como Park Alliance.

Como Park Pool Survey
The Como Park swimming pool will likely be closed for the 2009 season. The pool is in disrepair and needs some major work. A decision whether to repair or perhaps start fresh with a new facility needs to be made. A Saint Paul Park and Recreation task force will be created to assess the Como Park pool situation and to make recommendations about options. The Como Park Alliance wants to provide input from its community.

A Como Park Alliance pool subcommittee drafted a survey and distributed it to neighbors East and West of the pool area. The survey can also be filled out on the Internet or printed from a pdf file. They are asking for the survey to be returned by Aug. 15. The drop off is to be at 1168 Lexington Pkwy N. (C. Daly’s residence) The survey was designed to be compared with a survey already done city wide in 2005. They feel that the results of this survey, when properly analyzed, will allow them to speak confidently about neighborhood sentiments to the task force this fall.

District 10 Como Community Council

The Como Park Alliance shares many of its goals with the District 10 Como Community Council and hopes their united efforts can impact the decisions made effecting Como Park. Como Park Alliance representatives regularly attend District 10 meetings.