It hasn't been fully restored to its pre-flood glory yet, but Minot's Oak Park is once again open for business.
Like many other locations in Minot and the surrounding area, the park was devastated by the Souris River flood of 2011. Raging river water washed away soil, killed trees, shrubs, bushes and flowers, and damaged buildings, playground equipment and the popular splash pad.
A host of volunteers from the city, Burdick Job Corps Center and Minot Air Force Base have helped the Minot Park District clean the park, helping clear debris, repair picnic shelters and essentially anything else that needed to be done. Verendrye Electric Cooperative is replacing all the electrical pedestals in the park.
A?grand reopening has been scheduled for June 22, the one-year anniversary of the day the sirens sounded in Minot, and work on fully restoring the park will continue until then, and probably after that date, too. The splash pad is scheduled to be open by the ceremony, and work continues on cleaning and repairing the park's playground equipment.
A tremendous amount of work has been done to get the park to this point, and everyone involved should be commended for their hard work. The park isn't fully functional or fully repaired yet, but the park is open to visitors again, and that's an important step in the city's ongoing recovery process.