Sochacki Park Water Quality Study Begins

April 28, 2020

Three Rivers Park District, in coordination with Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, and the Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission, will begin assessing the sub-watershed in Sochacki Park this spring to identify potential improvements to its wetlands.

The assessment is the first step toward improving the ecological health, aesthetics, and condition of the wetlands and providing additional outdoor recreation and education opportunities. 

Sochacki Park is a 37-acre natural area located in Golden Valley and Robbinsdale. The two cities operate it in partnership with Three Rivers Park District. The park includes a paved trail, picnic shelter, picnic tables, and a dog off-leash area.

Two ponds within the park, North Rice and South Rice, are classified as shallow wetlands by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. As part of the two cities’ stormwater management systems, these ponds receive runoff from the surrounding areas before draining into Bassett Creek. Common to wetlands in urban areas, North and South Rice Ponds have high amounts of nutrients that contribute to algae growth, prompting concern from residents and park visitors.

The sub-watershed assessment is expected to take about two years to complete and will include opportunities for community engagement. A project steering committee, including staff from the partner agencies, the consulting engineer, and a neighborhood citizen liaison, is meeting quarterly to help guide the process. 

Following the assessment, a report will detail the findings and recommend potential options and costs to improve water quality and ecological health of the wetlands. Three Rivers Park District Water Resources staff will assist throughout the process and identify citizen science opportunities once the assessment is complete.

For more information, please contact Angie Smith, Three Rivers Park District Director of Natural Resources, at 763-694-7841 or Angie.Smith@threeriversparks.org.