About one year ago, Curt Olson watched as a ripped through his neighborhood. Olson’s home was covered in debris and about a dozen trees were damaged by the storm, but the destruction at his neighborhood park was worse.
“The tornado came through and just spun all the trees into a circle and dropped them to the ground,” Olson said. “I remember thinking they looked like Lincoln Logs not trees.”
For Olson the destruction to the park was tough to see. He grew up in the area and played in that very park.
“The park is a field now, not a park,” he said. “It’s a big green, desolate space.”
The city has replaced the playground equipment and is now working to replace the trees. Golden Valley’s Park Maintenance Supervisor Al Lundstrom says the tornado destroyed 50-70 tress in the park. Through grant money, Lundstrom hopes to plant saplings in the park this year to compensate for some of the loss.
“We are hoping to start planting this year,” Lundstrom said. “Plus, city staff has worked to regrade and seed an area of the park, which should enhance its overall look.”
While Olson appreciates the city’s efforts to replace trees, he knows there won’t be shade in the park for decades. To remedy the problem, Olson has decided to do some fundraising to buy mature trees to assist the city’s planting efforts. Olson would like to raise about $15,000 to buy 15 mature trees for the park.
“I know it’s expensive,” Olson said. “But we need to get the community involved because the park is more than just a place where kids play, it’s a legacy that will be passed from this generation to the next.”
Those interested in donating to the North Tyrol Tree Fund can send checks to:
City of Golden Valley
7800 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN 55427
Be sure to add North Tyrol Park in the memo area on the check.