The first steps to save Graeser Park have already been taken.

This’ll be a marathon, not a sprint. Stay tuned.

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Robbinsdale’s Graeser Park Could be Closer to City Ownership

A September 2020 CCX Media video discusses Graeser Park’s ownership with Robbinsdale City Manager Marcia Glick, as well as MnDOT’s Andrea Weber. Both indicate that they may be getting closer to an agreement.

Read a transcript of the CCX video.

Once Graeser Park is owned by the City, we hope plans to preserve and restore the park will begin.

Sept. 4, 2020. ‘Robbinsdale’s Graeser Park Could be Closer to City Ownership’, CCX Media. Thanks to Neil Pursley. Length: 3:08.

Volunteer cleanup efforts are on hold.

MnDOT has informed Restore Lilac Way that volunteer efforts to preserve Lilac Way parks must stop:

“These properties are owned by MnDOT. No one may perform work such as digging, planting or removing vegetation, posting signs, or making any other changes without a permit from MnDOT. Doing so without a permit is considered trespassing.”

We could never get a permit, the requirements are far too extensive.

Volunteers hope to apply for new MnDOT program.

Graeser Park Beehivers and supporters are reviewing the application for MnDOT’s new Highway Sponsorship Program. It partners with businesses, civic groups, or individuals to expand the beauty, livability and environmental sustainability of state highways. All preservation efforts are on hold until the application is approved.

If you support saving this park, you’re also a Graeser Park Beehiver.

You’re in good company, alongside the Robbinsdale Lions Club and volunteers who maintain the park, people who enjoy and share the experience of the park, and everyone who wants to see this rare 1939 beehive fireplace saved for future generations.

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Non-profit group will launch fundraising after title is transferred

The Graeser Park Restoration & Preservation (GPR&P) group is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that will launch fundraising after the City of Robbinsdale has received the title for the land (date TBD).

Created by a group of dedicated supporters, GPR&P supports saving this historic Lilac Way park and its rare beehive fireplace. Follow their Facebook group for updates.

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VIEW ALL GRAESER PARK PHOTO ALBUMS

What 1939 structures could be restored in Graeser Park?

Beehive fireplace
Picnic tables
Rock garden
Limestone benches

Graeser Park’s restoration can happen with

  • Local government involvement
  • Local and national fundraising efforts
  • Community support
  • Tie-ins with local Historical Societies
  • Crowdfunding
  • Corporate sponsorship (but not naming rights—since park is named for Carl Graeser, it’s important to keep name)
  • Strong social media campaigns
  • Matching gift drive
  • and more…

Funding Graeser Park’s restoration will require community support.

Let Lilac Park’s restoration be your inspiration. This 2009 project in St. Louis Park came with a $225,000+ price tag. And Graeser Park is much bigger—with more structures—than Lilac Park.

Picnic tabletops, bases, and limestone saved from MnDOT’s ‘Beehive Graveyard’ can be used to restore Graeser Park.

When MnDOT dismantled three Lilac Way parks for road construction, they saved the fragments, tabletops and bases in the Beehive Graveyard.

Robbinsdale has some of those fragments in storage for safekeeping until they can be used to restore Graeser Park.

How much will it cost? Estimates will be determined after MnDOT clears the title of the land, and transfers it to the city of Robbinsdale. Fundraising will be needed for restoration.

Graeser Park, 2020
Maintaining Graeser Park, 2020
Graeser Park, June 2019

The 2020-2029 Robbinsdale Capital Improvement Plan shows $190,000 allocated for Graeser Park Improvements.

Robbinsdale Capital Improvement Plan, 2020-29 (detail). Projects and funding sources for Park System.
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Follow Graeser Park Restoration & Preservation nonprofit group on Facebook.