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Irene Jones

Several metro cities want to hear from residents about their riverfront

The view from Cottage Grove's River Oaks Park looking towards Hastings to the south.

As summer turns to fall, Twin Cities communities throughout the metro are moving fast to wrap up their draft plans for land use and development along their local riverfront.

Hastings and St. Paul Park — two cities with an abundance of high quality riverine habitat — are accepting comments through the end of November and December, respectively. Several other cities want public comments submitted before the end of September. >> 

September 6

Corps study to determine local locks and dams' fate, but questions abound

St. Anthony Falls from above

The Army Corps of Engineers is considering whether to maintain or transfer ownership of local locks and dams, including Upper St. Anthony Falls lock (visible in the aerial above). (Photo ACOE)

There was no shortage of good questions at a recent meeting Army Corps of Engineers' lock and dam disposition study. However, some of the answers left attendees asking for a more robust process for figuring out what to do with our local locks and dams. >>

August 15

Future of Mpls. locks and dams uncertain — Public meetings July 16 & 17

Albert Bierstadt's "The Falls of St. Anthony" (detail)

Albert Bierstadt's depiction of St. Anthony Falls circa 1860. While some seek preservation of the dams for hydropower, others advocate for the return of a more naturally flowing river. (Painting detail courtesy Wikimedia)

Will we stay the course or are rapids on the horizon? The Army Corps of Engineers is studying its options for the Minneapolis locks and dams and holding public meetings in Minneapolis and St. Paul on this topic July 16 and 17. >>

June 14

Minnehaha Academy building heights update

After neighbors, FMR and Sierra Club raised concerns, the Minneapolis city council zoning and planning committee voted to lower the height of Minnehaha Academy's proposed campus expansion on West River Parkway.

The committee's recommendation to reduce the height of the new school buildings from 54 to 46 feet and use bird-safe glass goes before the full council for a vote May 25. >>

May 18

Is it time to remove dams from the Mississippi river gorge?

Ford Dam below the Ford Bridge in St. Paul

The spillway at Lock and Dam 1, a.k.a. the Ford Dam, in St. Paul.

Dam removal discussions are ramping up in the Twin Cities, and for good reason. Just as the Army Corps of Engineers embarks on a study to determine future ownership and operation of the locks and dams in Minneapolis and St. Paul, our local Mississippi river gorge was named to the 2018 list of American Rivers "10 Most Endangered Rivers."

Learn more, including FMR's position and recent media coverage. >>

April 9

Shovels in the ground for three new river destinations

Illustration of Halls Island to-be

Illustration of Halls Island to-be

Three new destinations are beginning to take shape along the river north of St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, each with something different to offer. Coming up: a reclaimed island (image above), a destination riverfront restaurant, and one fully featured playground.  >>

November 16

Learn about a huge N Mpls riverfront redevelopment and weigh in

The massive Upper Harbor Terminal site along the Mississippi River in North Minneapolis.

Located roughly two miles north of downtown between the Lowry and Camden bridges, the city-owned Upper Harbor Terminal site is the largest remaining single-owner development opportunity along the river in Minneapolis.

Affordable housing. Parks and trails. A 10,000-seat riverfront amphitheater. A business incubator. All have been suggested as part of the redevelopment of the long-closed port of Minneapolis, the 48-acre Upper Harbor Terminal site in North Minneapolis. Come learn about the options and weigh in on what you'd like to see at a series of community meetings late-June through September. 

June 15

N Mpls riverfront metal shredder required to move!

Northern Metals shredding facility

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the neighborhood surrounding Northern Metals, which is located along the North Minneapolis riverfront, has the highest levels of lead poisoning and asthma hospitalizations in the city. 

Friends of the Mississippi River was pleased to learn today that a settlement has been reached between the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the City of Minneapolis and Northern Metals Recycling. Northern Metals has been operating a metal shredder along the Mississippi riverfront in North Minneapolis for several years and part of their operation was temporarily shut down recently when they were caught failing to meet air quality standards required by their state permit.

March 3

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