As a response to public feedback, the Fargo Park District would like to clarify the project scope and improvements planned at Lindenwood Park this year. As previously announced, at the February Fargo Park Board Meeting the commissioners voted 5-0 to move forward with the improvement plans and awarded KPH, Inc. the project contract.
Construction on the east portion of Lindenwood Park is slated to begin this spring. This project is intended to improve ease of access to the park as a whole and is not related to parking. A new concrete road will replace the failing asphalt road starting just east of the information center and continue to loop around the main shelter and exit out near the starting point. The three shelters that are along the existing road will also be moved to align with the new road. The existing lower roadway next to the river will no longer support vehicle traffic but will still be utilized as a pedestrian trail for walkers, bikers and runners.
During this time of construction, the Fargo Park District will simultaneously repair and update outdated playground equipment near the main shelter. Playground updates such as this are regularly made throughout the city when equipment age and conditions warrant replacement. Playgrounds are regularly inspected for safety and complete updates like this are slated to ensure a continued safe experience for kids to play. The timing of this playground update was planned to minimize the impact to the public.
The existing roadway needs major repairs and its proximity to the river causes numerous closings due to the fluctuating levels in the river. Sections of the roadway are slumping as they are too close to the river’s edge, so this new road will be constructed at a higher river flood elevation, which will result in less closures and offer greater access to the park.
Throughout the planning process for this project, the Fargo Park District Forestry Team has been actively involved to ensure limited impact to trees in the park, specifically healthy mature trees. The alignment of the improved road was chosen to utilize as much of the existing road and trail footprint as possible as means of lessening the impact to trees. The maximum number trees possibly impacted by the road is 82 trees. This is a high estimate; the actual number of trees impacted may be less than 82 but will not increase. Of the trees identified, 11% of these trees are able to be relocated and replanted within the park. An additional 26% are either of a poor conditional rating or highly susceptible to loss from emerald ash borer, both of which would require removal in the next few years regardless of this project. Field adjustments will be utilized by the Fargo Park District Forestry Team to further mitigate any possible unnecessary tree impacts.
Any/all trees impacted by the project will be replaced at a 2-1 ratio. The new planting of trees also allows for further diverse plantings. A more diverse species in an urban setting lessens the risk of blights such as Emerald Ash Borer and Dutch Elm disease from wreaking havoc on our urban forest. Currently, there are over 3,000 trees in Lindenwood Park. At the highest maximum estimate, this project will impact less than 3% of total trees in the park.
The Lindenwood Road Project has been a long time in the making and attempts were made to solicit feedback. Letters were sent to adjacent residents of Lindenwood Park and media interviews were held to discuss the project. Additionally, this project was discussed at four different public meetings with Fargo Park District commissioners. While COVID-19 precautions impacted in-person gatherings, any member of the public is still able and welcome to attend any and all public meetings virtually. All public meeting announcements and agendas are posted at FargoParks.com and in The Forum in advance.
The Fargo Park District appreciates the outpouring of interest in the Lindenwood Road Project. Feedback from the citizens of Fargo is always welcome on any project, facility or program via the Public Feedback Form online at FargoParks.com.