ST. CLOUD -- At the end of University Avenue in St. Cloud is our next stop on our Hometown Tourist series, Friedrich Park.

The 51-acre park was owned by St. Cloud State University from 1934 - 2015 when the city took control in a land swap deal. SCSU had planted 400,000 tree seedlings, and the park was a popular spot for decades until SCSU closed it in 1976.

Scott Zlotnik is the Parks and Recreation Director for St. Cloud. He says the park actually has many historic features.

"There was a study done along with the university corridor and there's dozens of historical features that have the potential to be listed. Whether it's just listed as a feature or on the list of historical register."

The city reopened the park in September 2015 after the land swap was approved.

Zlotnik says you can thank "green infrastructure" for the park's remote feel in the heart of the Granite City.

 "You wouldn't know it, we have the railroad corridor that goes through here, we have Highway 10 right around the corner. Once you have all of this green infrastructure and you put it into place, you kind of disappear, we're right in the urban center just blocks away from the Mississippi River, the University [SCSU] and the east side of St. Cloud, you just wouldn't know it, you park your car and start walking down the trails and you kind of forget."

Zlotnik says the city's top priorities are improving water quality, and removing graffiti from the park's features.

The city would also like to buy some undeveloped land around the park, bringing the total acreage up to 119.

Photo: Chrissy Gaetke, WJON
Photo: Chrissy Gaetke, WJON

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