ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) – A new park is coming to Rochester and it will be open to the public sooner than anticipated. The Cascade Lake Park Development received its final round of funding Tuesday afternoon, moving up the park’s completion by several years.
That last big check from the J.A. Wedum Foundation now means the work will be done this fall. It was three years ago that the Wedum Foundation unanimously decided to support the project by donating $2 million over the course of four years.
It didn’t happen overnight.
“We started this project back in 2004 as our master planing effort,” Rochester Parks and Forestry Division Head Mike Nigbur said. “We built trails around the lake over the last 20 years. The last group culminating in the beach construction in the south side here in 2014-15.”
And now, the end is in sight.
“Between Wedum’s donation of 2 million and the legacy funds of 1.5 million, we’ll have a park completed by the end of this summer,” J.A. Wedum Foundation President Jay Portz said.
“We are super excited for the folks at Shorewood who are going to have this in their backyard,” Portz continued.
225 acres in all, 26 of which are right behind Shorewood place.
“In this 26, we are developing 13 acres to make it more highly landscaped,” Nigbur said. “More amenities laced around this area for the community for both Wedum senior housing and others in the community to enjoy.”
Amenities like benches, a bridge across the ravine, a beach and tables for cards or checkers.
“Landscaping like i said is just going to be amazing,”Nigbur said. “Highest quality of landscaping in the city.”
Two year Shorewood resident Art Maley is looking forward to when it’ll all be done.
“Oh, we will use it. right now its complicated to do walking,” Maley said. “There will be a ramp right out here with a little ridge to get out to the pond out that way.”
But it’s not over yet.
“The park isn’t done. We have future plans along with that,” Nigbur said.
One of those future plans includes an amphitheater on the southeast side of the lake.The project has officially been in the works for 15 years, with the idea even older than that.