Rice Park Revitalization


A World Class Park in the Heart of Downtown St. Paul

Neighborhood: Downtown

Amount Raised: $1 Million plus a $250,000 maintenance fund

Project Partners: Saint Paul Garden Club, City of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, Rice Park Association

Project Background

Rice Park has served as the first city public square, the centerpiece of downtown Saint Paul since its designation in 1849. Today the park is alive, hosting daily visitors, weddings and annual festivals making it a four season destination which has provided more visitors to Rice Park than ever before.

The revitalization of Rice Park was completed in June 2019. The re-designed park complements the focused investment in downtown Saint Paul, providing a welcoming space for all members of the community to enjoy the heart of the city.

After COVID related delays, the final touch will be in place in 2021 – an imaginative LED and metal lighting feature wrapping the fountain designed by artist Jeff Bartlett. Ongoing support from past donors and new friends alike will help grow the maintenance fund to keep this park downtown’s jewel for years to come.

Learn more about the Rice Park Renovation Project on the
City of Saint Paul’s Website

Rice Park Improvements

The redesign adds more green space for family gatherings and public events, electrical upgrades with additional lighting and trees for shade in the fountain plaza.  A new irrigation system was added to ensure adequate moisture for the green space, trees and garden areas, resulting in a healthier, more colorful and beautiful Rice Park. 

The historic fountain was kept in place with the addition of artistic, seasonal light features.  The plaza recieved new permeable paving, signature tables and chairs plus a new east-west pathway from Market and Washington Streets better connects the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and The Saint Paul Hotel.  The location of the stage and open lawn areas provide an area for concerts, dramatizations and other artistic expressions, while enhancements to the electrical power adds to the event capabilities in the park.

More gardens were added giving the park  constant color and interest throughout the year. Safety bump outs were added at all four corners, and a seat wall was reconstructed at the bus stop.

Rice Park History

Since 1849, nine years before Minnesota was admitted into the United States of America, Rice Park has served as the centerpiece of downtown Saint Paul.  Rice Park was named after Minnesota Senator Henry M. Rice who, with Saint Paul banker John Irvine, donated the land in the downtown district.  In 1860 the city planted shade trees and in the early 1870’s a bandstand and fountain were added. Rice Park served as the focal point for the first Saint Paul Winter Carnival in 1886.

Men read newspapers on benches in Rice Park in this undated photo, sometime between 1914 and 1917. Construction of the Latimer Central Library can be seen in the background. (Pioneer Press file photo)

The Saint Paul Garden Club

City of Saint Paul Parks & Recreation

Rice Park Association

Donor Recognition

Our heartfelt thanks for all of the gifts made toward the Rice Park Revitalization Project! With your support, we were able to match $1.0 million from the City of Saint Paul to bring the revitalization into reality in 2019.  We also have established a $250,000 fund with the Saint Paul Foundation as a resource for additional maintenance and upkeep ensuring the park stays looking as beautiful and inviting as it does today.

Legacy Donors: $100,000 & Above

F.R. Bigelow Foundation
Hardenbergh Foundation
John and Ruth Huss Fund of the Saint Paul Foundation
The Saint Paul Foundation

Leadership Circle: $50,000 & Above

Bremer Bank
Joan Duddingston
Mardag Foundation
Nicholson Brothers Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation:
David and Barbara Nicholson, Richard and Nancy Nicholson, Ford and Catherine Nicholson, and Todd and Martha Nicholson

Benefactors Circle: $10,000 & Above

2002 Irrevocable Trust of Frederick T. Weyerhaeuser
A and B Team
Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation
Cedar Fund
Dellwood Foundation
District Energy St. Paul and Ever-Green Energy, Inc.
Colleen FitzPatrick and Kevin Murphy
Marge and David Hols
Margaret H. and James E. Kelley Foundation, Inc.
HRK Foundation: MAHADH Fund, Art and Martha Kaemmer Fund, Mary H. Rice Foundation
Hubbard Broadcasting
James E. Johnson and Lucy Rosenberry Jones
James J. Hill Center
Jim and Merrie Stolpestad

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Katherine B. Andersen Foundation
Mairs and Power, Inc.
Aaron A. Mann and Emily B. Herr
Minnesota Landmarks
Minnesota Wild
Myers Family Fund of the Saint Paul Foundation
Saint Paul Hotel
Paula and Jeff Soholt
The Saint Paul Garden Club
Spire Credit Union/Dan Stoltz
Travelers, Inc.
Wells Fargo Foundation
Xcel Energy Foundation
Ellison and Kristofer Yahner

Friends of the Park: $1000 & Above


3M Foundation
James E. Affolter
James Allard
Cindy Angerhofer
Margaret Anosti
Steve and Nancy Apfelbacher
Amar Archbald
John Bennett
Bob and Joan Bierscheid
Mike Bisanz
BNSF Railway Foundation
Gerald and Marlene Bohn
Gerald D. Brennan
Peter Butler
Greg Conn
Patrick Connolly
John and Page Cowles
John and Kathleen DesLauriers
Dowell Management
Kathy Doyle
Richard and Catherine Ehrmanntraut
Kris Emerson
Karen Eno
Equity Services of St. Paul, Inc
J. Marie Fieger
Nancy T. Field
Colleen FitzPatrick and Kevin Murphy, in honor of Rowan, Charlotte and Maisie Murphy
Kevin FitzPatrick
Patrick and Mary Pat FitzPatrick
Sheila FitzPatrick
Susan Flynn
Douglass Forbes
Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library

Ellen and Tom Fridinger
Clint and Catherine Fritter
Jim Ganger
Carolyn Ganz
James and Joan Gardner
Teddy and Jim Gesell
Jim and Ginger Giefer
Darryl Grauberger
Mike Hahm
Thomas and Susan Handley
Hawkins Family Foundation
John & Carla Henry
Mary Hilfiker
Annie Huidekoper, In loving memory of my parents, Mary B. Huidekoper & Peter G. Huidekoper
Patrick and Mary Ann Igo
Theodore Jessen
Kim Johnson
Kristine and Martin Johnston
Tom and Marlene Kayser
Nancy Kehmeier
David and Betsy Kelly
Scott Knudson
William Klein and Hildy Boweer
David and Susan Klevan
Pam Krank and Bryan McGee
Keith and Toni Kuffel
James and Gail LaFave
Landmark Volunteer Association
Laurel J Lapore
Jan Martland
Malcolm McDonald
Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures
Amy and Marek Mino

Garth Morrisette and Trina McNeely
Brenna Murphy and Austin Ditzler Murphy
Conor, Mollie, Rowan, Charlotte and Maisie Murphy
Edward Murphy III
Paddy Murphy and Lindsey Reif
Elizabeth Myers
Nicholson Family Foundation, Todd and Martha Nicholson Fund
Diane Nixa and Kurt Hochfeld
Nancy Oregman
Michael Parish
Brooke Pope
Mark and Jeanne Rancone
Mark Rancone, in memory of Gene and Bernie Rancone
John and Barb Regal
James Rustad
Dana and Ellen Schnobrich
The Schubert Club
Larry and Sandy Schwartzbauer
James and Mary Stahlmann
Tom Swain
Megan and Trey Titcomb
Mary Turbak
Roddie Turner
Visit Saint Paul
Megan Orme Voelke
Shelley Wefald
Summer Fund
Helen Marie Wagner
Western Bank
William Welch
Shannon Whitaker
Pat Wolf
Michael and Molly Wolterstorff
Craig and Karla Zellmer
Mike Zipko

The Saint Paul Parks Conservancy
is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Federal EIN 26-2788415



1611 County Rd B West
Saint Paul, MN 55113

© 2020 Saint Paul Parks Conservancy |  Created by: Katie Thering Photography & Design