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Steamboat Park in need of cleanup

The Afton City Council hopes to keep Steamboat Park clean of all trash by holding monthly park cleanups.

If you've ever been to an Afton government meeting, you've witnessed the pride the city has for its community, but some residents are asking where's that same pride when it comes to keeping their parks clean?

At the June 29 meeting of the Afton City Council, council members discussed the poor shape of Steamboat Park, located off of St. Croix Trail South in downtown Afton, and ways to maintain it.

Afton resident Rich Myhers brought these concerns to the council.

Meyers and a small group of volunteers continually try to maintain the park by picking up trash and trying to prevent other's from breaking the rules of the park; there is no camping and no campfires.

Myhers has taken it upon himself to enforce the laws against camping and campfires, but he said people keep doing it and it is becoming a problem.

Myhers informed the council that the campfires are the biggest problems because people are just covering up the fires with sand, and the coals are still hot underneath, and if the coals should reach the neighboring marina, they would be in for a world of trouble.

Having campfires is bad enough, but they are scattered all around the park so they are an even bigger problem, Myhers said.

Visitors to the park are also riding four-wheelers, which damages the park, and building dams, which causes the stream to divert and wash away a lot of the beach.

"It's turning into a 'do whatever you want' recreational area down there," Myhers said.

Another significant problem facing Steamboat Park is the fact that there are no trash receptacles on site, which causes visitors to simply throw their trash wherever they please.

During the workshop, the council agreed to put an announcement in the newsletter advertising for volunteers to help with monthly cleanups of the park. The council will also look into purchasing trash receptacles for the park.

Additionally, the council will draft an ordinance that would regulate the monetary repercussions offenders could receive, in hopes of lessening the violations.

Kispert can be reached at

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

(651) 702-0976