Via the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources:
A historic Stillwater area landmark will get a facelift this summer thanks to a $500,000 federal grant being overseen by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Construction is expected to begin around April 26 at the St. Croix Boom Site, a former Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) wayside rest area that was turned over to DNR in 2008. The project will include:
- A reduction in the parking footprint to enhance visitor experiences and reduce water quality impacts to the Wild and Scenic St. Croix River.
- Curvilinear walkways that meet federal disability requirement, linking parking, river views and services.
- A new shelter enclosure that will provide screening for portable restrooms and a garbage dumpster, improving aesthetics and privacy.
- A new interpretive kiosk, new picnic tables, low impact lighting, and stormwater improvements.
The project is scheduled to be completed sometime around mid-summer. The site will be closed while work is underway. The nearby public boat access will not be affected.
Located about 2.5 miles north of Stillwater on Hwy. 95, the 26-acre Boom Site overlooks a wide area on the St. Croix River where an estimated 15.5 billion feet of logs from the pine forests of the St. Croix valley were gathered and sorted before being floated downstream to sawmills between 1856 and 1914. The Great Depression era Works Progress Administration developed the site as a roadside recreational area in the 1930s, and it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966.
Since 2008, the DNR has been partnering with MnDOT, Washington County, the Friends of Washington County and the Friends of the St. Croix Boom Site to improve the site.