Mankato city park renamed in Dakota language to 'Mni Wašté Park'

A view of a park with a lake.
The park along Blue Earth County Road 1 is now officially named Mni Wašté, meaning "good water" in the Dakota language.
Courtesy of City of Mankato Parks Department

A municipal park near Mount Kato in Mankato which went by various names is now officially Mni Wašté Park, pronounced “mini wash-TAY.” In Dakota it means “good water.”

The Mankato City Council voted to approve the name during its Aug. 14 meeting.

The park along Blue Earth County Road 1 or Old Highway 66 was called Community Public Open Space. Many referred to it as the Sanger Pit, owing to its past as a sand and gravel operation.

Indigenous community members and others presented Mni Wašté Park as one of two options for public comment. The nature park is open for walking and fishing and connects to a regional trail system.

“The city’s been working on these efforts for a long time,” said Edell Fiedler, Mankato communications and engagement director. “We’re always glad to go to the table with our Indigenous community and look for opportunities to continue to build on those reconciliation efforts. And, so I imagine that we will continue doing that as we move forward.”

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