St. Paul: Monkey Island rebuild to begin this summer

Construction of a new play area at Hendon Avenue and Branston Street in St. Anthony Park will begin this summer and take approximately two months to complete.

The city removed the park’s 1960s playground equipment in May 2012 without public notice citing safety concerns. Residents were told that the city had no plans or funds to replace the equipment.

Neighbors quickly banned together to work with the city to replace the playground. The project will be funded through the city, private donations from the neighborhood, Sunrise Banks, St. Anthony Park Community Foundation and with a $10,000 grant from the BNSF Railroad Foundation.

The new playground will feature a picnic table and a swinging bench, along with some fun smaller features that will incorporate natural elements, such as boulders and, possibly, animal tracks in the concrete sidewalk, said Deanna Seppanen, a neighbor who was a part of the playground replacement effort.

Two trees will be removed at the park but will be replaced in 2014.

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