On Aug. 9, 2022, the City of Saint Paul celebrated the opening of Uncií Makhá Park (2230 Montreal Ave.), a brand-new 6.4 acre park at the Highland Bridge development. The new park features an off-leash dog park, nature-based playground, two beach volleyball courts, fitness lot, hammock grove, two picnic shelters, and a newly restored section of Hidden Falls Creek.
Uncí Makhá (pronounced Oon-CHEE ma-KAH) translates to “Grandmother Earth” in Dakota. The name was recommended by Dakota community members and represents the significance of the water within Unci Makhá Park flowing through the creek into nearby Bdote, a sacred site central to the Dakota creation story.
Prior to its restoration, the creek leading to Hidden Falls had been routed underground through a storm sewer in preparation for construction of the Twin Cities Assembly Plant around a century ago. The newly daylighted creek now flows through a bedrock ravine that serves as a unique place to explore during drier periods and is designed to flood with stormwater during rain events.
The creek flows along a pedestrian path that travels under Mississippi River Boulevard and leads to a plaza above Hidden Falls. The path to the plaza, known as Mississippi River Boulevard Crossing, will open in September. A second phase of the Mississippi River Boulevard Crossing project will eventually connect the network of trails within Highland Bridge to Mississippi River Boulevard Regional Trail and Hidden Falls Regional Park.
This is the second of four new City of Saint Paul parks to be constructed at the Highland Bridge development.
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