Parks & Recreation

Lincoln Park Improvement Project

Lincoln Park Artists Lo Res

Project Status: Post-Construction

Project Overview:

Lincoln Park Mini Master Plan was completed in February of 2016. The plan called for significant reinvestment and restoration to the park, including addressing safety, programming needs, and accessibility. Construction of the project is substantially complete. A Reopening Celebration was held for Lincoln Park on Tuesday, October 17, 2023. The event included the dedication for the commemorative naming of the stone pavilion in honor and memory of Councilor Renee Van Nett, and a ribbon cutting for the recent park improvements.

Highlights of the project included:

  • Restoration of the picnic pavilion, including ADA restrooms
  • Relocation, expansion, and reconfiguration of the playground and picnic area
  • Installation of stormwater management practices including rain gardens and bioswales
  • Two new parking lots, one on the upper and one on the lower terrace
  • Restoration of the existing pavilion
  • New full sized basketball court on the upper terrace
  • New nature playscape and picnic pavilion on upper terrace
  • Lincoln Park Drive stabilization and repaving

Environmental Assessment:

Following extensive historic review and several plan changes, the final concept plan has now been set and is included below. There remains one adverse effect, as identified in the "Lincoln Park Determination of Adverse Effect Letter 09/09/2021" document below, which consists of the removal of two retaining wall sections labeled as Wall 1 and Wall 3 in the concept plan. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) has been finalized and is presented in the document list below. The purpose of the MOA is to mitigate the adverse effects of removing those two retaining wall sections.

Project Update:

Staff have begun developing the interpretive plan for the park, which is a condition of the Section 106 MOA. The plan will include efforts to memorialize the retaining wall that will be removed and highlight the historic and cultural significance of the park in our community. The City is collaborating with the Fond du Lac tribal staff on including indigenous history and Ojibwe language into the interpretive signage. 

Visitors to the park are encouraged to limit use of lawn areas until the turf is established. Parks & Recreation will begin taking reservations for the park, including the stone pavilion, in January 2024.


Funding Source:

In 2016, the City of Duluth was awarded $750,000 from the MDNR Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program to support the implementation of the Lincoln Park Mini-Master Plan.

Land and Water Conservation Fund Logo

In 2019, the City was awarded $299,525 from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources Clean Water Fund Competitive Grants Program to install stormwater management practices at Lincoln Park. Learn more about Minnesota's Clean Water Fund program here:

Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment Logo

Additional project support includes 1/2 and 1/2 Tourism Tax proceeds, the City’s Community Development Block Grant Program, U.S. Bank Foundation, Super Bowl Legacy funding, Essentia Health, Maurices, St. Luke’s, and Minnesota Power.