Introduction

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"Levee Park looking northwest, Winona, Minnesota." Courtesy of the Winona County Historical Society via Minnesota Digital Library.

Once land was obtained for a park, the work of design and implementation began.

Existing topographical assets were assessed. Designs were prepared making use of or changing those features. Paths and plantings were laid out, with accompanying infrastructure like roads, bridges, and retaining walls.

Depending on the nature and purpose of the park, additional features might be included like benches, picnic tables and grills, buildings, playgrounds, and recreational facilities.

The establishment of a park could take years. Funds were not always available to accomplish all the desired elements at once. Dredging lakes, draining marshes, and re-grading terrain were significant undertakings. And trees, shrubs, and other plantings take years to grow into the lovely landscaping intended by the designer.

But with time the various elements and features come together to make a pleasant, inviting park setting for community use. It is interesting to note how regional differences in natural resources, geography and landscape options lead to tangible differences in park designs, building materials and recreational features.