When Frank Rog was appointed director of Roseville Parks in 1960, the fledgling parks department was little more than a dream.
The city owned just one neighborhood park and a smattering of undeveloped acres earmarked for public green space. Rog, an ambitious 29-year-old family man with a degree in recreational leadership from the University of Minnesota, immediately sprung to action selling the community on the importance of public spaces to relax and play.
He knew he was racing developers eager to transform farm fields and forested areas into new suburban neighborhoods and shopping districts.
“If we wait any longer, the sites will not be available,” Rog said at a meeting in 1961. “Owners of several of these sites already have plans to plat and develop them.”
“A community has got to look around and plan its parks and playgrounds for generations to come.”
Rog was instrumental in ushering through a bonding referendum that year, which allowed the city to buy hundreds of acres of parkland including what would become Central Park. He then partnered with community groups and residents to fundraise and develop the city’s parks until he retired in 1987.
Rog was the visionary and architect behind our city’s nationally recognized parks system.
Today, Roseville Parks and Recreation includes more than 679 acres of green space, 67 miles of trails and walkways, and more than 1,000 recreation programs and events annually.