By Gordy Leach, WCCO-TV

HOPKINS (WCCO) — It doesn’t happen very often that buildings are demolished to make way for a park. But that is just what is going on in Hopkins at Blake Road and Lake Street.

“We’re a couple miles downstream of Lake Minnetonka, Grey’s Bay, which is the headwaters of Minnehaha Creek and the outlet to Lake Minnetonka,” said Renae Clark with the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

The water in Minnehaha Creek is running fast these days, but by the time it slows down enough for canoeing, many buildings along it should be gone.

The acre of land that is left, combined with a little park next door, will make a 3-acre natural space. The City of Hopkins is working on a final design.

 “It’s really just a process that we’re starting right now with input from community members, the park board, planning/zoning and the watershed district,” said Hopkins Mayor Gene Maxwell. “We’re gonna invite a lot of people in to design the park, how it’s gonna look and the usage that we want to have.”

The Minnehaha Watershed District provided the money to buy these properties and do the demolition. They say major work will be done by the end of April and the area will be green by early summer. It is up to the City of Hopkins what is added next.

“Maybe recreational opportunities, such as a canoe landing, it will be restored creek banks, there will also be storm water management features, such as rain gardens to clean storm water and slow it down before it enters Minnehaha Creek,” said Clark.


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