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Plan to Rename St. Croix State Park Abandoned

The plan to rename St. Croix State Park after Vice President Walter Mondale has been abandoned by after push back local leaders and Pine County Residents.

What was supposed to be a simple way to honor Mondale for his work in preserving the river, quickly gained the ire of residents in both Chisago and Pine County due to lack of community input.

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler now says that he will propose that a section on the St. Croix River be named after the Vice President.

The proposed "Walter F. Mondale Scenic Riverway" would connect a number of state parks, including Interstate State Park and St. Croix State Park.

Winkler introduced a bill to rename Interstate State Park last month which was met with strong oppisition from area residents. The Mayor of Taylors Falls, Mike Buchite even testified in front of the committee to express the City's displeasure with the idea.

St. Croix State Park became the next target and received even more resistance from local residents. The Pine County Board passed on a resolution in mid-April demanding public be involved in the change.

In his statements against the rename, Nelson relied heavily on the history of the park's name over the price tag of a total rebrand.

"St. Croix State Park has become very special to generations of local families who have not only worked there over the years, but have camped and hiked there," he wrote in an April 15, 2019 column.

However, Nelson wanted to make sure it was clear that the resistance from Pine County residents was not due to the dislike of Mondale.

“They say to me, ‘I would support the guy again today, but I don’t support the name change for the park,’ ” he told the StarTribune. “That’s because it’s been St. Croix State Park since the 1930s. Their grandparents worked at the park, built it, founded it.”

Minnesota was the only state to vote for Mondale during his 1984 Presidential campaign against Ronald Reagan.

The amendment to name a section of the river the "Walter F. Mondale Scenic Riverway" also looks at an option to rename a scenic overlook, trail, or visitors center instead.

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