Carol Leino Carey ’82

2007 Distinguished Citizen Award

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Carol Leino Carey has pioneered preservation-based community economic development work in St. Paul for the past 20 years. In 1992, she received an individual Leadership in Neighborhoods grant to explore historic preservation as a community development tool. During her term as executive director of the Upper Swede Hollow Neighborhoods Association, she worked with others to rehabilitate the Stutzman Building, now home to the Swede Hollow Café, office space and affordable rental housing, with adjacent green space and a community garden.

Carey now serves as executive director of the Historic Saint Paul Corporation, a citywide preservation organization that strengthens St. Paul neighborhoods by celebrating their history and providing financial and technical assistance to property owners working to preserve the residential and commercial assets of the neighborhood.

One of Carey’s most celebrated accomplishments was her 10-year leadership, primarily volunteer, in turning a former St. Paul railyard into the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. She and others forged an alliance of some 25 groups, from the local Friends of Swede Hollow and East Side Conservation Corp to the National Park Service, devoted to cleaning up and replanting what had once been a vibrant floodplain and a site sacred to the Dakota people. In 2005, the sanctuary was awarded the Take Pride in America Award by the U.S. Department of the Interior as an extraordinary public-private partnership.

Carey’s husband Cliff and their children Rick, Allie and Sam share her commitment to St. Paul, where they live, work and attend school. Mary Morse Marti ’82 wrote, "Carol does not seek attention for her contributions to the community. She is simply very smart, very innovative and very effective at making big things happen."