Past D10 Initiatives
District 10 was incorporated in 1977. This page will certainly never comprehensively show every initiative D10 Como Park has ever planned or sponsored. These are the projects that have either ended or are no longer being actively pursued by the district council. If you happen to be a community historian and have copies of something you think we should add to this page for posterity (or in an effort to re-engage the board in the project), email email@example.com.
Como Holiday Decoration Maps/Contests
Another pandemic community initiative was three years, 2020-2022, of holiday decoration maps and competitions in October and December.
2020 Como Scavenger Hunts
Staying “safe” during the pandemic no longer means we have to stay home all the time. To help us get rid of the cobwebs, the Como Community Council has created a Como Scavenger Hunt. This family friendly activity helps you discover your neighborhood, past and present, get some fresh air, and exercise your body and mind along the way. There are two hunts: one east of Lexington, one west of Lexington.
2019 A Vision for Como Park Paths
The Como Community Council on Sept. 17 approved a series of recommendations from its Pathways work group to make bicycle and pedestrian paths in Como Regional Park “more useful to more people more often.”
The recommendations include giving Saint Paul Parks and Recreation specific suggestions to improve the condition and function of paths; upgrade signs along paths; create maps, kiosks, interpretative displays and other “wayfinding” tools; and upgrade amenities along paths.
The recommendations will go the the city’s Como Regional Park Advisory Committee and the Parks and Recreation Commission for their endorsement and inclusion in Parks construction plans.
Also on Sept. 17, the community council voted to support a proposal to convert Ayd Mill Road into a linear park, with two lanes of traffic (instead of the current four), and new bicycle and pedestrian paths.
2011 Como Lake Turtle Study
The District 10 Environment Committee in partnership with the Como Zoo conducted a turtle study from May-August 2011 in Como Lake. The study was two parts; a basking study where turtles were counted from shore, and a trapping study where turtles were caught in traps. This is not a count of all of the turtles in the lake but a start at determining the species and number of turtles in the lake.
Painted and Snapping turtles were the only types of turtles found in the lake. The basking study, where the turtle seen laying on rocks, or downed trees or in the water, counted 2,052 Painted turtles and 47 Snapping turtles. The trapping study caught 118 Painted turtles, 32 Snapping turtles, and 407 fish (including an 18 inch Northern Pike). The largest painted turtle was about 8 inches long and the biggest snapper was about 17 inches long. The heaviest snapper was about 40 pounds (we did not weigh the painteds).
D10 Environment Committee Reports
Como Lake Macro-invertebrate Survey, May – September 2007
Como Park Bird Community and Habitat Analysis
Study on bird habitat in Como Park conducted in 2006 (doc)
Updated: 2019 study on birds observed around Como Lake and in the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom.
There are now far more bird species around Como Lake and the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom, according to a just completed, yearlong survey. But it’s uncertain how much can be credited to improved habitat.
The new bird survey, carried out by 15 community volunteers from February 2019 through January 2020, counted 109 species around the lake and 80 species in the Woodland. That’s a big increase from a similar 2006 survey, which counted 84 species around the lake and 48 species in the Woodlands. Thirty-four of the lake species and 40 of the Woodland species were not spotted at all in 2006. (On the flip side, nine species at the lake and eight species in the Woodland were seen in 2006 but not in 2019.)
Como resident Mike MacDonald, who organized the latest bird survey, said results from 2006 and 2019 can’t be compared directly. The areas surveyed were similar, but the latest effort had far more volunteers who recorded sightings over much broader ranges of the day, for example. That, at least in part, could explain the 30 percent increase in species around the lake and 67 percent increase in the Woodland.
Improvements in habitat also could play a role, though MacDonald says it is not possible to make a direct correlation. In the years between the surveys, Como Lake’s shoreline was converted almost entirely to native vegetation, which replaced turf grass, rip rap, and invasive plants. The restoration reduced polluted runoff that reached the lake, and cut down on the dominance of harmful wildlife such as geese. The Woodland also underwent extensive work to remove invasive species, to support a more varied plant community, and to create six distinctive areas representing plant communities found in southern Minnesota.
In both locations, the highest number of species were sighted in May. But even though the locations are, at points, only about a half-mile apart, the types of species sighted were significantly different. Year-round species dominate the Woodland, while migratory species dominate the lake.
Species that were sighted regularly in 2019 that were not seen at all in 2006 include the bald eagle, bufflehead, common goldeneye, common loon, hooded merganser, pine siskin, red-tailed hawk, trumpeter swan, and house wren.
Conversely, the rock pigeon is the most notable bird that was prominent in both locations in 2006, but not seen at all in 2019.
You can download a summary of the survey below, including comparison tables. If you really want to dive into the details, you can download the spreadsheets that document each sighting.