Aug 31, 2022 | By: Mary Balstad

Warroad Community Plans to Redevelop Man-made Island Into Recreational Hotspot

The community of Warroad is working to expand Hockeytown USA into a year-round destination for locals and tourists alike. Through the work of local organizations such as Warroad Community Development, the man-made Government Island in the area is being redeveloped into one of these destination spots.

Warroad community members have already started the process of changing the island on the river into a recreational area. Funds for the first phase of development, which includes placing picnic benches and docks along the east side of the island, have already been raised. The project will separate the work needed to redevelop the six acres of land into two phases. Due to the higher elevation of the west end, this portion will most likely be completed by the end of next summer.

With the island being across from Lake of the Woods Brewery, WCD aims to not only develop what’s on the water, but the mainland shores as well by creating a boardwalk along the Warroad River.

“We have a huge piece of community development so that we’re not in a position of bringing new businesses in that eventually fold because there’s no traffic,” said WCD Board of Directors Chairperson Cyndy Renfrow. “We have to get traffic into our town. The [Warroad River] is an artery that can do that for our downtown district.”

Founded on the five pillars of natural resources & recreation, arts & culture, health & wellness, entrepreneurship, and telecommunications, the non-profit Warroad Community Development partnered with different city entities and organizations to accomplish this and other projects. Along with governmental bodies like the city of Warroad and the Minnesota DNR, the acquisition of the island ended up costing the city nothing. Now, WCD will focus on its five pillars to reclaim the island from its current state of overgrowth.

Other projects that WCD is working on include Warroad Wellness, a presentation of community & beautification, MnDOT Highway 11 Boulevard, Warroad Point Regional Park, and the Warroad Trailhead. The groundbreaking for the Government Island project will take place later this year in winter.

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