On Thursday night the St.Cloud City Council adopted the Master Plan for the Florida Avenue Multi-Use Trail, which will link the Lakefront to the city’s downtown area.

The 10-foot wide multi-use trail will run down the center of the existing median along the corridor, shifting around existing trees. The landscape plans call for most trees to be kept, although some that are diseased or unhealthy will be removed and replaced with large canopy trees.

In addition to soliciting online input from the public and holding a virtual public meeting in 2020, the city held an in-person public meeting in January 2021 at the Marina Banquet Hall. Of the three concepts presented both online and at the public meeting, Concept C received the most favorable votes from citizens who participated. Concept C is a curvy path down the median. People also gave input on various types of landscaping, and live oaks and crape myrtles receive the majority of votes.

St. Cloud Main Street, the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce, and numerous residents supported the plan for the multi-use trail. There were some concerns expressed about the plan, including concerns over parking issues and a potential increase in speeding in the area, but most commentary has been positive.

Chamber President/CEO Dirk Webb told Council members that the Chamber supports the plan as well, telling them the Lakeshore is the “centerpiece for the centerplace,” referencing the City’s new branding. “It is important to link these two wonderful assets,” Webb said. “Our lakefront and downtown will soon be destinations of choice.”

In other news coming out of the St. Cloud City Council meeting, the Chisholm Park Master Plan was adopted 4-0. Based on the feedback from the community, the city learned people want more hiking trails, picnic opportunities, an observation tower, an open beach, kayak and boating with rental options, a dog park, improved parking and restroom facilities, and a splash pad at Chisolm Park.

The total cost of the Chisholm Park Master Plan is estimated at $5 million.