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From Sawmill to Flower Garden
Located along the Mississippi River, visitors to Munsinger Gardens can enjoy the peace and tranquility of this garden. The garden takes advantage of its shady location by featuring mainly shade loving plants; including a wide variety of Hostas and ferns. Visitors can also enjoy the many geese and ducks that have made the garden their spring and summer home.
How the Land Was Acquired
Munsinger Gardens was originally (c.1880) the H.J. Anderson sawmill. The low riverbanks made this site ideal for the sawmill. In 1915, the City of St. Cloud acquired Riverside Park and what was to become Munsinger Gardens.
Joesph Munsinger was the first Park Superintendent for the City of St. Cloud. His great love of flowers led to the Park Department's first greenhouse, located in what was to become Munsinger Gardens. Flowers and other plants for the garden were grown on site in the greenhouse. While the original greenhouse is gone, the tradition of growing plants and flowers on site continues. The city named the "flower part of Riverside Park" for Joseph Munsinger in 1938.
The WPA Program
The original greenhouse, rock garden, lily pond, and fountain are all in Munsinger Gardens as a result of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration. Through this New Deal program, workers were able to plant flowers and trees, while also creating some of the garden's first pathways.