Westgate Commons Park is a new 1.5 acre park located at 717 Berry Street in St. Paul, just three blocks south of the Westgate light rail station on the border of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The park features a picnic area, barbecue grills, small play structure, and open lawn area.
SAPCC partnered with CURA Graduate Student Researcher, Ezgi Ozcelik to provide essential information about who is using the newly established Westgate Commons Park, how local residents and non-residents are engaging with the space, and what other amenities park users would like to see in the area.
Based on responses collected at SAPCC’s Popsicle Event, an online survey, and her observations and interactions with park-goers throughout the summer, Ozcelik has compiled community input on the park in a survey map, available below. Scroll down to see the full report.
Among 138 valid survey responses, the key findings of the survey indicated:
- Community members most often use the park in the afternoon or evening. Respondents indicated that they tend to use the park at later hours, especially in the summer, due to a lack of shade and too much direct sunlight.
- 85% of respondents frequently walk to get to the park
- The top three favorite park characteristics among respondents were the open space, the climbing play structure, and the greenery.
- The three most disliked park characteristics among respondents were the lack of shading, no playground equipment for young kids, and the poor quality of the ground cover.
- Respondents agreed that the park needs more of existing amenities, especially trees and a wider variety of playground equipment.
- Among choices for new amenities, respondents were most interested in the addition of a pavilion for gatherings and a water fountain.
In an open-ended question about additional recommendations for the park, the most common community suggestions included:
- Better quality grass that is not patchy or rocky
- More playground equipment, especially for kids ages 5 and under
- A pavilion and/ or more trees for more shade
- Fenced dog park for residents’ dog to run off-leash
- More trash cans and better maintenance of existing cans
- Native plants for pollinators and easier maintenance
Latest Update – December 21, 2023: SAPCC has secured a $5,000 grant from the Good Neighbor Fund to increase the public art funds for Westgate Commons Park. The Department of Parks & Recreation and SAPCC will work together to select the strongest artist proposal that fits within the funding and timeline limitations. The Department of Parks & Recreation will oversee the production and installation.