St. Paul is buying two small parcels of land on the river bluff in the city's Fort Road neighborhood.
The land begins at river level and climbs up the bluff, and will add 9 acres to land set aside in the city's 17-mile riverfront parks plan.
At the river level, the new property lies next to Crosby Farm Regional Park -- already a popular destination for walking and skiing. Up on Fort Road, the city is developing a new park -- Victoria Park -- near the Mississippi Market co-op.
Jody Martinez, who manages park design and construction for St. Paul's Parks and Recreation Department, said this new addition will eventually offer a connection between the two.
"It opens up the possibility of Victoria Park and that whole neighborhood being connected to the river, which is just fabulous," she said.
St. Paul is paying the land's former owner, Chevron, about $40,000 for the nine acres, Martinez said. The area will need a some pollution cleanup as part of the development process.
Meanwhile, workers have been bringing fill dirt from the Central Corridor rail project to cover and shape land planned for the new park at the top of the bluff — which is also a former industrial site.
"This is kind of a seemingly insignificant couple of pieces of land," Martinez said, "but they're kind of critical as far as connecting an important neighborhood to the river. So that's why we're excited about it."