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Looking back, looking forward

Updated: Jan 15




So much has happened every year since the Lake Links Association organized in 2017 to complete a safe route for walking, pedaling, and rolling around White Bear Lake. Looking back on 2023, our six years of momentum yielded some incredible advancements to the Lake Links Trail. Everyone came together and this is what happened:

 

  • Our first-ever winter stroll and open house event brought 125+ people through the doors of the Mahtomedi Education District Center, our best-attended event ever.

  • The 2018 South Shore Boulevard project, a rethinking of the corridor with a trail, was completed, bringing the Lake Links Trail to nearly 77% completion.

  • Bollard style lighting was added to the segment in Mahtomedi north of the District Education Center.

  • A memorial bench and bike repair station were installed at Bellaire Beach Park in memory of Efrain Santiago.

  • Our local legislators listened when the City of Dellwood anticipated needing additional funding to complete their 1.5-mile segment of the Lake Links Trail.  The Minnesota Legislature responded by granting an additional $2 million to Dellwood.

  • Mahtomedi’s efficient spending of its 2018 state grant allowed for $70,000 to be extended to Birchwood for trail improvements in that community.

  • Our sixth annual bike ride around the lake drew more than 80 participants.

  • A bike repair station was installed at Veterans Park in Mahtomedi.

  • A trail counter was installed on the trail segment in north Mahtomedi and is providing valuable data on trail usage patterns. On average the trail segment saw 170 users per day last summer; 65% were walkers or runners, and 35% were cyclists.

  • We created a second interactive Avenza map for users on the Avenza app on iPhone and Android smartphones. A Lake Links trail map and a Mahtomedi bike-ped maps are now available for free at the Avenza Lake Links store.

  • Community volunteers added landscaping and removed invasive species in the vicinity of the Depot Creek covered bridge.

  • The Depot Creek covered bridge was decorated and lighted for the holidays.

 

As we enter 2024, we look forward to more public engagement and greater collaboration toward achieving 100% completion. Anticipated activities include:

 

  • The City of Dellwood has applied for a $25,000 SHIP grant to reach out to residents about their trail segment.

  • Washington and Ramsey Counties are poised to begin a public engagement–based study of Highway 96 throughout 2024 to decide its future design.

  • Pending approval by the City of Mahtomedi, a resident group hopes to execute a detailed landscaping and trail enhancement plan in Streetcar Park adjacent to the Depot Creek covered bridge.

  • We plan to hold more walking-based supporter events to highlight different segments of the trail. Ideas includes a sidewalk chalk event for kids to add pictures and positive messages to off-road portions of the trail.

  • We’re planning informational / historical kiosks.

  • We will hold our seventh annual bike ride around the lake sometime during the summer. Sign up for our (approximately) monthly newsletter by entering your email address at the bottom of this page to stay updated on this and other events.

 

What else? We invite your suggestions for additional ways we can add value to the Lake Links Trail and help our communities become even more active and connected!


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