We support continued restoration and preservation of Lilac Way’s remaining parks.

Only two of the original seven parks remain, plus the rock garden of a third park. Completed in 1940, Graeser Park in Robbinsdale, Minnesota was transformed when MnDOT’s Historic Roadside Properties Program completed a $500,000 restoration project in 2023.

St. Louis Park’s beautifully renewed Lilac Park draws many visitors to its blooming 100′ lilac hedge every spring.

Also owned by the city of St. Louis Park, Rock Island Park is one of only two rock gardens in Minnesota.

These handcrafted parks are treasured historic parks in the community.

Graeser Park logo 2023 300px, small version

We advocate for continued preservation and restoration of Graeser Park during and after MnDOT’s conveys the easement to the city of Robbinsdale, MN.

Graeser Park, June 19, 2022. Beehive fireplace, preservation by MnDOT Historic Roadside Property Program. New accessible walk.
Graeser Park, June 19, 2022. Beehive fireplace, preservation by MnDOT Historic Roadside Property Program. New accessible walk.
Graeser Park, June 28, 2023. One of four benches, repaired and repointed.
Graeser Park, June 28, 2023. One of four benches, repaired and repointed.
Graeser Park, Oct. 25, 2023. Rock garden with pond and cone fountain. Photo: Mark Christman.
Graeser Park, Oct. 25, 2023. Rock garden with pond and cone fountain. Photo: Mark Christman.

Graeser Park has been transformed by MnDOT’s $500,000 preservation and restoration project.

From 2021-2023, Graeser Park was beautifully preserved and restored by MnDOT’s Historic Roadside Preservation Program. Now restored to National Park Service Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, the result is breathtaking.

Lilac Park logo 2023 300px, small version

We encourage the city of St. Louis Park, MN to continue to maintain and preserve Lilac Park’s renewed beehive fireplace and stone structures.

Lilac Park, renewed, August 2019. Beehive fireplace.
Lilac Park, renewed, August 2019. Beehive fireplace.
Lilac Park, renewed, August 2019. Picnic table in front of 100-ft. lilac hedge.
Lilac Park, renewed, August 2019. Picnic table in front of 100-ft. lilac hedge.
Lilac Park, renewed. May 11, 2020. Park signage, designed by Karen Laukkonen/Laukkonen Design.
Lilac Park, renewed. May 11, 2020. Park signage, designed by Karen Laukkonen/Laukkonen Design.

Formerly known as St. Louis Park Roadside Park, this 1939 Lilac Way park has been renovated and is now a popular local park.

First, MnDOT transferred ownership to the city of St. Louis Park, MN. Then the remaining beehive fireplace and picnic table from the old ‘Lilac Park’ on Minnetonka Boulevard were moved here, saving them from demolition.

After restoration, the park’s name was changed to Lilac Park to honor that lost park. The 100′ wall of mature lilacs bloom in mid-to-late May every year.

Rock Island Park logo 2023 300px, small version

We hope to partner with the city of St. Louis Park, Rock Island’s new owners, to preserve and restore this rare rock garden.

Rock Island, May 20, 2020. Staircase, handcrafted bench and island with footbridge.
Rock Island, May 20, 2020. Staircase, handcrafted bench and island with footbridge.
Rock Island Park, Sept. 8, 2021. The curved hand-cut stone bench, built as one of MN's largest WPA projects.
Rock Island Park, Sept. 8, 2021. The curved hand-cut stone bench, built as one of MN's largest WPA projects.
Rock Island Park, Sept. 8, 2021. A 10′-long footbridge comprised of two slabs of limestone on limestone piers leads to island.
Rock Island Park, Sept. 8, 2021. A 10′-long footbridge comprised of two slabs of limestone on limestone piers leads to island.

On May 1, 2023, the St. Louis Park City Council voted YES to a resolution accepting Rock Island Park’s south rock garden parcel for $0 from MnDOT.

The city also purchased the north meadow parcel for $189,000, with future use TBD.

Rock Island is all that remains of the old Lilac Park on Minnetonka Boulevard and Highway 100 in St. Louis Park. It is one of only three remaining Lilac Way parks, one of only two rock gardens left in Minnesota, and a sister park to renewed Lilac Park just south on Highway 7 near Nordic Ware.

It has an oval pool, a 10′ footbridge to an island and handcrafted curved stone bench with stone pathways. It is one of only two rock gardens in Minnesota.

It took a village of supporters, years of patience and a supportive City of St. Louis Park team to save this important piece of history.