We support restoration of two parks, and continued care for a restored park.

Built in the 1930s, Graeser Park in Robbinsdale, MN and Rock Island in St. Louis Park need to be recognized as historic treasures.

Eighty+ years have been hard on these handcrafted parks.

Thanks to the City of St. Louis Park, we can encourage Lilac Way fans to visit the beautifully restored Lilac Park and be inspired by their dedication.

Preserve and restore Graeser Park’s beehive fireplace and rock garden

Robbinsdale, MN

Status, Fall 2020

MnDOT installing picnic tables, removing invasive plants in 2021
  • After speaking with park supporters and seeing community enthusiasm, Historic Roadside Property Program (HRPP) Manager Andrea Weber dedicated funding to improve Robbinsdale’s Graeser Park before the land transfers to the City.
  • MnDOT currently owns the right-of-way for Graeser Park.
  • According to its website, MnDOT’s plans include:
    • Stone masonry repair or stabilization at the overlook wall, “beehive” fireplace, and rock garden trail at the east end of the rock garden and as needed where stones are loose
    • Replacement of disassembled stone picnic tables and benches from existing salvaged materials
    • Vegetation removals including trees impacting rock garden and invasive shrub removal
    • Interpretive sign
    • Potential volunteer involvement with new plantings
  • In 2008, City of Robbinsdale moved some original 1939 Lilac Way stone materials from MnDOT’s ‘Beehive Graveyard’ to City storage for future restoration options; MnDOT will use these resources to install tables back in park
Title Transfer
  • MnDOT currently owns an easement over the property giving them full control of the land.
  • Underlying the easement there are multiple private property owners from the 1930s.
  • The City of Robbinsdale will work on acquiring the “fee title” to these parcels.
  • Once they have the title, MnDOT will convey the easement (excluding the new stormwater pond area) to the City of Robbinsdale.
  • City Manager Marcia Glick and MnDOT’s Andrea Weber were interviewed by CCX Media, discussing Graeser Park title transfer
Volunteer efforts
  • Graeser Park has been under the proud volunteer stewardship of the Robbinsdale Lions Club since 2008.
  • Successful application to MnDOT’s Highway Sponsorship Program would allow continued volunteer cleanup.
    • Before volunteers can continue to work in Graeser Park, an application must be approved for MnDOT’s Highway Sponsorship Program.
    • We are grateful that the Robbinsdale Lions Club will apply to MnDOT’s program. If approved, they will continue their stewardship of Graeser Park in 2021
  • Restore Lilac Way and Robbinsdale Historical Society are raising public awareness through social media, events and presentations

Preserve and restore Rock Island (AKA Monkey Island)

St. Louis Park, MN

STATUS, FALL 2020  |  Raising community awareness to encourage preservation

  • Only this north section Rock Island of original Lilac Park on Minnetonka Blvd. remains today, with a rock garden, a pond, island and L-shaped bench
  • In 2012, the City Council reached a consensus that staff resources or money should not be spent to restore this 1939 Lilac Way ‘Rock Garden’
  • We encourage them to review and reconsider that decision
  • There is growing community interest to preserve and restore this rare Lilac Way park designed by landscape architect Arthur Nichols

Promote and raise awareness of restored Lilac Park

St. Louis Park, MN

STATUS  |  Restored, 2008-2009

  • Lilac Park was beautifully restored by a dedicated group of the City of St. Louis Park and local community groups
  • Features one of only two remaining 1939 Lilac Way beehive fireplaces in the U.S., saved and moved to avoid being razed for road construction
  • Fully restored and popular, located right off major bike trail