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Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary opens just north of downtown St. Paul

About a mile north of downtown, the former railroad yard is being turning into a 42-acre natural area. 

Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary

St. Paul has been crowing lately about its urban amenities — particularly the Saints ballpark and lively action in Lowertown — but Saturday the Capitol City celebrates a more bucolic achievement: the grand opening of a nature sanctuary, a little over a mile north of downtown.

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It’s the Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary, 169 Jenks Ave.

The public is invited to check it out between 12:30 and 3 p.m. There’s a ceremony at 1 p.m.

Earlier in the day, 200 Great River Greening volunteers will plant more trees, shrubs and plants along the brook, as work continues on the site.

When finished, the area will provide prairie, savanna, maple-basswood forest, wetlands, recreational trails, and stormwater management, just west of I-35E, as it approaches downtown from the north.

The city’s vision for the site:

… to create a nature preserve in the heart of a heavily urbanized area. The residential area to the west was at one time perched on a bluff that overlooked the Trout Brook valley. The Trout Brook ran from McCarron’s lake in Roseville to the Mississippi River. With the development of the railroad and industry, the creek was filled and put underground in the Trout Brook storm sewer. The natural valley was lost and, in turn, the neighborhood connection to the natural environment.