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Deal finalized for new park in St. Paul's Frogtown neighborhood

The Trust for Public Land said today that they've completed a deal to purchase 13 acres in St. Paul's Frogtown neighborhood for use as a park and urban demonstration farm.

St. Paul officials have long said that Frogtown, an old designation for the area around University Avenue and the Thomas-Dale neighborhood, hasn't had enough park space.

TPL said it paid $2.2 million for the vacant land, which had been appraised at a much higher price. Said the group:

The Wilder Foundation agreed to sell the property at a substantial discount to further its charitable mission and serve the Frogtown neighborhood. Wilder is a non-profit community organization that had owned this property since 1969.

Planning for the park and urban farm has been brewing for years. The TPL announcement today brought praise from city officials.

"I am thrilled that we are adding a natural area in this historic neighborhood, said Mayor Chris Coleman. "For far too long, Frogtown has gone without enough parkland. Today’s announcement is truly a celebration for one of Saint Paul's iconic neighborhoods."

Dai Thao, who was elected to represent the area last month, said:

"Too often we see roadblocks for these types of initiatives, but having all of these partners coming together to address a community need, is exactly the type of progress we need for Frogtown and the City of St. Paul."

The Trust for Public Land is a national, nonprofit land-conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Established in 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 90,000 acres of important lands for conservation in Minnesota.

Officials said money for the deal came from state lottery funds, through the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, as recommended by the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources;  the City of St. Paul and many individuals and foundations.

In addition to funding for purchasing the land, The Trust for Public Land is also raising funds for initial improvements at the park, community engagement and capacity-building for Frogtown Farm, the nonprofit that will lease a portion of the land to operate a demonstration farm.

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