McMorrow structures to be moved to other parks

Structures from the current McMorrow Field playground will be moved to other parks in the city to make way for renovation of the field.

Starting the week of Aug. 8, McMorrow Field will undergo a major renovation project. 

At the Aug. 1 meeting, the South St. Paul City Council unanimously approved moving some of McMorrow’s park equipment to three new locations within the existing park system.

The biggest part of the renovation will be the addition of four soccer fields and one football field along with parking lot revisions.

Chris Esser, parks and recreation director, said there had been extensive conversations about what to do with the existing equipment. 

An assessment of the play structure currently at the park revealed it has three large components. The assessment showed two of those structures would work somewhere else in the city’s park system. 

“We do not want them to end up in a landfill first and foremost, and if they can have play value somewhere else in the community that’s what we’re looking for,” Esser said. 

The swing structure will be relocated to Northview Park. When the Northview playground was built, the budget did not allow for swings. 

The second structure to move is the pipe and deck modular structure. It will be moved to Spruce Park. The current play container would be expanded to allow room for the new structure. The contractor is licensed to refurbish the pieces as well. 

There was also the recommendation to move the picnic shelter from McMorrow Field to Lorraine Park. This would give Lorraine Park two shelters.

“Lorraine Park is the most popular picnic shelter we have for rentals,” Esser said. Based on current demand, he said it seemed appropriate to move the shelter to Lorraine. Total cost for the project is roughly $41,000. The Park Dedication Fund would pay for relocating McMorrow’s shelter.

Council member Lori Hansen voiced her support, explaining she thinks it is a great idea to relocate these structures and repurpose them.

“It will enhance more of our parks,” Hansen said.

Council member Dan Niederkorn asked if it would be possible to move some of the existing trees from McMorrow Field to other parts of the city like Kaposia Landing. 

Esser said most of the trees at McMorrow Field are ash trees. Because emerald ash borers have been spreading into Minnesota, he said the city would not want to invest in moving an ash tree. It is also cheaper to plant new trees.

Not all of the trees are being removed. Esser said with the project, all the internal trees are being removed but workers will try to leave as many other trees as possible.


Hannah Burlingame can be reached at 651-748-7824 or



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