by Cori Hilsgen
With the continued growth of the Sartell area, people who enjoy being outdoors can appreciate being able to spend time with nature in areas such as around Lake Francis, near the Sartell Community Center and Chateau Waters, and other parks and trails around the city.
Sartell resident George Torrey is encouraging people to donate to help beautify the Lake Francis area.
He said donations of more benches, trees and paver stones will help increase the beauty around the lake. The benches will also give people a chance to walk for exercise around the lake and rest on a bench when they need to.
People using the trail will have a place to sit and enjoy the beauty around them.
Torrey, 85, and his wife, Shirley, 81, were some of the first residents to move into Chateau Waters when it opened in July 2016. They had previously lived on Big Fish Lake by Cold Spring.
“I am an outdoor person,” he said. “It was important for me to be able to sit outside and enjoy the outdoors.”
Torrey, a former president of Herberger’s in St. Cloud, said now that the fountain and lights have been installed around the lake trail, more benches and trees for adequate shade would be nice.
“A lot of people use the trail around the lake,” he said. “It is pretty active. This is a chance to enhance the beautification of that body of water. I want to do what I can to make it as beautiful as can be.”
The benches, trees and paver stones enable people to honor a loved one or commemorate a special event.
Currently, there are eight benches along the trail surrounding the lake.
Memorial benches include several by George and Shirley-one for their deceased son, David; one for the July 2016 Chateau Waters opening; and another for when they moved into Chateau Waters.
Another bench was an Eagle Scout Project by Peter Amundson and was sponsored by Quality Electric Services Inc. A bicycle repair station is by this bench.
Other benches around the lake include those donated by Alice and Frank Brown and the Great River Bowl and Partners Pub.
There are also swing benches behind the Sartell Community Center.
Sartell City Administrator Mary Degiovanni said the paver stones are unique to the Lake Francis area, but donations for trees and benches can also be designated for other parks and trail areas as long as people work with the city.
The paver stones are placed at the base of the Angel of Hope in the Townsquare development, south of Scout Drive off of Pinecone Road South at Lake Francis.
The Angel of Hope was donated by What Would Bri Do as a memorial where mourning parents, families and friends can find solace.
The cost of a swing bench is $2,250, a bench is $1,500, a tree is $250 and a paver stone is $150.
People who are interested in donating to the Lake Francis or any other city park or trail area should contact the city of Sartell at 320-253-2171 or visit the website sartellmn.com/city-donations for more information.
Author: Cori Hilsgen
Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people’s stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.