ST. CLOUD -- A ribbon cutting ceremony was held today (Tuesday) to officially open George Friedrich Park.

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis says the reopening of the park continues the vision George Friedrich had when the park was first opened 80-years ago.

"His vision was to make this park a laboratory of education, and a place area citizens could have for recreation and appreciate heritage and nature," says Kleis.

The park was bought by St. Cloud State University in 1921 and has been closed to the public since 1976.

Two weeks ago St. Cloud State University and the city of St. Cloud signed the land swap agreement for the 51 acre park.

George Friedrich's grandchildren were in attendance for this morning's ceremony. Becky Bierbaum says her grandparents would be proud to see the park bringing joy to others.

"Our grandmother was very sad to learn the park became a party place and closed, so I'm thinking of her today. We are so proud and she would be thrilled to know there is this much interested in putting it back to how it's suppose to be," says Bierbaum.

Kleis says the next step is to improve the water quality for swimming and to add a small parking lot for visitors.

George Friedrich park will be opened from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.

George Friedrich's grandchildren take a picture with St. Cloud State University and city of St. Cloud officials. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)
George Friedrich Park (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)