Hause Park playground to be updated

The Sky Run Zip Track includes a seat for a child to sit on as they slide across the track.

The Scrambler play structure includes a double swerve slide, arched loop ladder, twister climber and rock climbing wall.

The existing playground at Hause Park was built in 1996 and shows its wear and tear; it has outlived its 15 year lifespan.

Much to their delight, area children will soon be crawling on a new play structure in North St. Paul. At its May 16 meeting, the North St. Paul City Council approved the construction of a new play structure at Hause Park, located on Charles Street North between Fourth and Fifth avenues. 

As part of the approved project, the existing play structure will be removed and replaced with a new one — called the Scrambler — and another fun component: a “zip track.” The Scrambler includes two slides and a rock climbing wall, as well as other features.

In addition to the new play equipment, the sand at the playground will be replaced by fiber playground chips to improve safety; drain tiles will be added to reduce the possibility of flooding; a concrete curb will be built around the playground area; and a walkway connecting the street to the playground will be built. 

The city is also throwing in a couple benches for parents and guardians.

The updates to the Hause Park play area were included in the Park Improvement Plan that was adopted by the council in January 2013; the full $41,000 designated to the project will be taken from the city’s park fund. 

At the May 16 meeting, Debra Gustafson, the city’s strategic operations director, told the council the existing equipment is 21 years old, though it was designed to last 15 years when it was built.

“So, it’s a little bit past its life expectancy,” she added with a smile.

She also explained that the park commission held a community meeting at Hause Park in April to get feedback from residents on potential improvements for the park. The community said the number one priority was to update the playground.

The Parks and Recreation Commission recommended the city host a “community build” on a weekday to install the playground, and Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kelly Unger offered to take the lead in organizing the event. 

“[A community build] would not only save money — about $9,000 — but it would also bring that community pride that we’ve been seeing with a lot of these other community builds that have been going on citywide,” Gustafson said.

Council member Terry Furlong, who is the council liaison to the Parks and Recreation Commission, said residents were excited about the idea.  

Council member Jan Walczak questioned whether the updated park would be up to speed with the Americans with Disabilities Act — wondering if the play area and structure itself would be accessible to those with disabilities. 

The answer: although some components are ADA accessible, the play structure is not entirely accessible.

“Hause wouldn’t be the ideal location for a fully ADA accessible playground,” Gustafson explained.

“That would be [better] for a site like Casey or Silver Lake since they require a lot of space.” 

Gustafson told the council that the project is expected to be completed by either this fall or next spring, depending on the availability of public works staff, who will need to remove the existing equipment before the community build can take place.


Aundrea Kinney can be reached at 651-748-7822 or




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