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From there the water flows into the Sims Agate stormwater pond, where it’s held before being released underground into the river.
“We want a stream channel that can ultimately support life such as fish and waterfowl,” Fossum said.
Right now, the only water in the brook comes from the sky. But when the diversion is opened next year, the brook will drain about 200 of 240 acres in the immediate area with the stormwater tunnel handling the balance.
Kathleen Anglo, the city’s project manager who designed the preserve’s trails and overlook, said it would be nice to someday open up the brook all the way to the Mississippi. But it will take time as parcels are redeveloped, she said.
“We’re in a built environment and we don’t have a lot of instances where we’re getting these park spaces back,” she said.
The final task at Trout Brook is planting white oak trees and shrubs, a job being led by Great River. About 2,500 have been planted, with more on the way, Karasov said.
Last weekend, in a ceremony attended by Minnesota Twins owner Jim Pohlad and former Twin Randy Bush, Great River received a $65,000 All-Star Legacy grant from the baseball team for plants at Trout Brook.
The next St. Paul stream to be daylighted? Perhaps Hidden Falls Creek, a channel that’s open in the park but has been buried for years where it crosses the site of the former Ford plant. Redevelopment of that site could provide the opportunity.
In the meantime, Jungwirth is relishing the prospect of finishing Trout Brook.
“Twenty years of trying to make it happen — it’s just hard to believe it’s happened,” she said.
Kevin Duchschere • 651-925-5035