Launch Slideshow

Brooklyn Park Police Officers and volunteers helping out the "Kids". This view is looking from the south end of the pond to the north end.

Public Works constructs fishing pond for Cops-n-Kids event

Public Works constructs fishing pond for Cops-n-Kids event

  • Brooklyn Park Police Officers and volunteers helping out the "Kids". This view is looking from the south end of the pond to the north end.

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    Brooklyn Park Police Officers and volunteers helping out the "Kids". This view is looking from the south end of the pond to the north end.

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    Chuck Ryan Photography

    Brooklyn Park Police Officers and volunteers helping out the "Kids". This view is looking from the south end of the pond to the north end.
  • Brooklyn Park Police Officer Sam Brown cleaning the "Results Board" so the names of this years "Kids" and the weight of their fish are documented.

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    Brooklyn Park Police Officer Sam Brown cleaning the "Results Board" so the names of this years "Kids" and the weight of their fish are documented.

    600

    Chuck Ryan Photography

    Brooklyn Park Police Officer Sam Brown cleaning the "Results Board" so the names of this years "Kids" and the weight of their fish are documented.
  • Nea'Jon Blackwell showing off the fish she caught.

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    Nea'Jon Blackwell showing off the fish she caught.

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    Chuck Ryan Photography

    Nea'Jon Blackwell showing off the fish she caught.
  • Overlooking another portion of the pond from south to north showing the "Kids" fishing.

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    Overlooking another portion of the pond from south to north showing the "Kids" fishing.

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    Chuck Ryan Photography

    Overlooking another portion of the pond from south to north showing the "Kids" fishing.
  • Minnesota Conservation Officer Todd Kanieski joins one happy kid as she shows off her catch of the day.

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    Minnesota Conservation Officer Todd Kanieski joins one happy kid as she shows off her catch of the day.

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    Chuck Ryan Photography

    Minnesota Conservation Officer Todd Kanieski joins one happy kid as she shows off her catch of the day.

For five years, the police department in Minnesota’s sixth-largest city has hosted a fishing tournament for at-risk youth. But although Brooklyn Park has 47 miles of trails and 67 award-winning parks, the community of 78,000 had no place to fish. So the event had to be held in other cities or at the Mississippi River.

Looking for a fishing hole kids could bike to, event organizer Mark Bruley approached public works. The department’s solution: Retrofit a 1.2-acre stormwater retention pond near the Community Activity Center to do double duty as a recreational site.

“It still works as a stormwater pond,” says street maintenance superintendent Steve Nauer, “but we removed 2,500 cubic yards of sediment, increased the depth from 3.5 feet to 13.5 feet, and lined the entire base with 2 to 3 feet of clay.”

The department completed the project at virtually no cost to the city. Nauer got the City of Plymouth to donate the clay and haul it to the site. Titan Machinery loaned his crews excavation equipment. And Nauer received three grants totaling $115,000 from the Hennepin County Youth Sports Program, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and Home Depot.

The state department of natural resources stocked the pond with bluegills and yellow perch for free and will monitor fish health and populations for free. Home Depot employees built a fishing pier, and Cabela’s donated fishing equipment.

On June 26, about 150 children, 7 to 12 years old, met their police partner at the next fishing pond for the “Cops-n-Kids” event.

“This was truly one of those projects that was meant to be,” says Nauer.