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.

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR CORPORATE AND FOUNDATION DONORS

3M Foundation

A and B Team

Katherine B. Andersen Foundation

Bank Cherokee

F.R. Bigelow Foundation

BNSF Railway Foundation

Bremer Bank

Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation

Dellwood Foundation

District Energy St. Paul and Ever-Green Energy, Inc.

Equity Services of St. Paul, Inc


Hardenbergh Foundation

Hawkins Family Foundation

HRK Foundation

Hubbard Broadcasting

John and Ruth Huss Fund of the Saint Paul Foundation

Margaret H. and James E. Kelley Foundation, Inc.

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Mairs and Power, Inc.

Mardag Foundation

Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures

Minnesota Landmarks


Minnesota Wild

Nicholson Brothers Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation

The Saint Paul Foundation

Saint Paul Hotel

Securian

Spire Credit Union/Dan Stoltz

Travelers, Inc.

Visit Saint Paul

Wells Fargo Foundation

Western Bank

Xcel Energy Foundation

SPECIAL THANKS TO THESE GENEROUS INDIVIDUALS FOR THEIR SUPPORT

James E. Affolter

James Allard

Cindy Angerhofer

Margaret Anosti

Steve and Nancy Apfelbacher

Amar Archbald

John Bennett

Bob and Joan Bierscheid

Mike Bisanz

Gerald and Marlene Bohn

Gerald D. Brennan

Peter Butler

Greg Conn

Patrick Connolly

John and Page Cowles

John and Kathleen DesLauriers

Kathy Doyle

Richard and Catherine Ehrmanntraut

Kris Emerson

Karen Eno

J. Marie Fieger

Nancy T. Field

Kevin FitzPatrick

Patrick and Mary Pat FitzPatrick

Sheila FitzPatrick

Susan Flynn

Douglass Forbes

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

John & Carla Henry

Mary Hilfiker

Marge and David Hols

Annie Huidekoper, In loving memory of my parents, Mary B. Huidekoper & Peter G. Huidekoper

Patrick and Mary Ann Igo

Theodore Jessen

Kim Johnson

James E. Johnson and Lucy Rosenberry Jones

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

Laurel J Lapore

Aaron A. Mann and Emily B. Herr

Jan Martland

Malcolm McDonald

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 Brothers Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation:
David and Barbara Nicholson,
Richard and Nancy Nicholson,
Ford and Catherine Nicholson, and
Todd and Martha Nicholson

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

Larry and Sandy Schwartzbauer

Paula and Jeff Soholt

James and Mary Stahlmann

Jim and Merrie Stolpestad

Tom Swain

Megan and Trey Titcomb

Mary Turbak

Roddie Turner

Megan Orme Voelke

Shelley Wefald

Helen Marie Wagner

Western Bank

William Welch

Shannon Whitaker

Pat Wolf

Michael and Molly Wolterstorff

Ellison and Kristofer Yahner

Craig and Karla Zellmer

Mike Zipko

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

Federal EIN 26-2788415

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR CORPORATE AND FOUNDATION DONORS

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 
Laurel J Lapore 
Aaron A. Mann and Emily B. Herr 
Jan Martland 
Malcolm McDonald 
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 Brothers Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation: 
David and Barbara Nicholson, Richard and Nancy Nicholson, Ford and Catherine Nicholson, and Todd and Martha Nicholson 
Diane Nixa and Kurt Hochfeld 
Nancy Oregman 
Michael Parish 
Brooke Pope 

CONTACT

651-300-7876
office@stpaulparks.org

1611 County Rd B West Ste 315
Saint Paul, MN 55113

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Help name Saint Paul's newest parks! #lovesaintpaukparks

www.facebook.com/112493619344/posts/10159457577429345/?sfnsn=moSaint Paul is excited to introduce four new parks coming to the Highland Bridge development, and we need your help naming them!
For full details, visit: stpaul.gov/HighlandBridgeParks.
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Help name Saint Pauls newest parks! #lovesaintpaukparks

https://www.facebook.com/112493619344/posts/10159457577429345/?sfnsn=mo

Our tails are wagging over the first winner of #SaintPaulBARKS - who is named after a Beatles tune. Meet Penny Lane! www.saintpaulparksconservancy.org/2021/02/saint-paul-barks-winner-named-after-a-beatles-tune/ ... See MoreSee Less

Our tails are wagging over the first winner of #SaintPaulBARKS - who is named after a Beatles tune. Meet Penny Lane! https://www.saintpaulparksconservancy.org/2021/02/saint-paul-barks-winner-named-after-a-beatles-tune/

Who couldn't use a bouquet to get through until spring? Support Como Friends ! ... See MoreSee Less

Thank you Saint Paul Winter Carnival for showing us all once again how adding artists to snow makes for a wondrous use of outdoor space! And congratulations on your amazing pivot this year!In 2nd Place for Snow, the People's Choice vote goes to: Redemption!

Sculpted by team Pig's Eye Pirates: Shelden Moe of St. Paul, Jason Moe of Minneapolis and Kevin Wynn of Minneapolis

Thank you to our sponsors City & County Credit Union and Soapy Joe's Car Wash for helping us see a life-sized Yoda!
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Thank you Saint Paul Winter Carnival for showing us all once again how adding artists to snow makes for a wondrous use of outdoor space! And congratulations on your amazing pivot this year!

Thank you Saint Paul Natural Resources and Lower Phalen Creek Project for sharing the wonder of winter nature and connecting us to the Dakota history of our public lands!

www.facebook.com/196064817089002/posts/4194550610573716/Yamnúmnuǧapi (the Dakota name for hackberry) produces dark purple colored fruit called drupes that remain on the tree throughout winter. They can be eaten by birds, small mammals, and people! The thin layer of fruit tastes like licorice, dates, or figs, and the hard, crunchy seed within is packed with protein.

Thank you Lower Phalen Creek Project for sharing the Dakota language to cultivate a deeper connection to Indigenous land.

#mystpaulparks #treesofinstagram #treephotography #nature #winter #exploreoutdoors
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Thank you Saint Paul Natural Resources and Lower Phalen Creek Project for sharing the wonder of winter nature and connecting us to the Dakota history of our public lands!

https://www.facebook.com/196064817089002/posts/4194550610573716/

The Feburary volunteer spotlight shines on Jim Stensvold, who helps restore native plants to our parkland. Read more here and consider becoming a park volunteer this year! www.saintpaulparksconservancy.org/2021/02/volunteer-spotlight-jim-stensvold-restoring-native-plants/ ... See MoreSee Less

The Feburary volunteer spotlight shines on Jim Stensvold, who helps restore native plants to our parkland. Read more here and consider becoming a park volunteer this year! https://www.saintpaulparksconservancy.org/2021/02/volunteer-spotlight-jim-stensvold-restoring-native-plants/
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