June 20, 2013 Keller Regional Park, Friends of the Parks and Trails Annual Picnic and Awards
Park Volunteer Awards: Del Case and Marge Case
Del was Friends of Mears Park Coordinator from 2005 to 2012, assisted by his wife Marge. Del listened to the concerns of the gardeners and encouraged new gardeners and accepted gardener applications. Del managed over 80 volunteers. Marge passed away this past March, and she is sadly missed in the park by everyone.Del and Marge took advantage of flower donations through MN Green. They had their truck ready to pickup flowers for the gardeners at any given date. Del coordinated the dates for Friends of Mears Park to meet with the City every spring and fall plus a FoMP volunteer meeting before annual meetings with the City. This meeting was a social hour. It was important to Del and Marge that the gardeners got to know each other.
Del and Marge loved working with the gardeners, sharing their gardening skills, helping or assisting in any way they could.
Park Volunteer Award: Doug Olson
Doug is currently the Parks and Gardens chair for the Ramsey Hill Association whose area encompasses six public parks. Doug is responsible for purchasing plants and recruiting volunteers for all of the parks.Under his supervision these volunteers plant and tend the gardens throughout the season. He also researched and planted a rain garden in the renovated Holly Tot Lot, one of the six parks.
From 2000 to 2010 Doug was head of the Public Parks Committee for the Garden Club of Ramsey County. In addition to the above Doug maintains the garden at the Sunray public library.
Public Service Award: St. Paul City Council Member Russ Stark
Russ initiated the Green Line Parks and Commons Initiative, which is now being led by the Trust for Public Land and the Mayor’s office. This is an effort examining the possibility of a parks corridor between downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis bordering the Central Corridor line, or Green Line.He worked with neighbors to help develop a dog park at Meeker Island Park to get more people using it for recreation and to discourage illicit activities. Russ also initiated the creation of the Como Regional Park Advisory Committee to ensure that the Parks and Recreation Department and the neighborhood stakeholders are in good communication about Como Park.
Russ led the passage of a resolution supporting Complete Street (making sure street projects consider all users – pedestrians, vehicles, bikes, buses, trucks) in the City, and a Compete Streets Design Manual is now being written with funding from the US Department of Transportation.
He also initiated the creation of a Transportation Committee of the Planning Commission to better integrate transportation (including bike trails) into City planning decisions.