A new proposal for the downtown Minneapolis riverfront, the Falls Park and Visitor Center (above) seems to be gathering momentum. However, a 20-plus-years-old effort to build a hydroelectric power plant in this area has re-emerged. Image courtesy of VJAA.
Amidst strong community opposition, Crown Hydro continues to pursue its proposal for a new hydroelectric plant near the Stone Arch Bridge. One group is fighting back with an alternative idea to use the now-closed St. Anthony Falls Lock as an interpretive center and meeting space.
As you grab your bike and enjoy the Mississippi River Trail in the coming years, what would you prefer: views of the river through a grove of trees or a long tall fence and a railroad storage yard? The South St. Paul planning commission faced that very question in early September and voted five to one to preserve the trees. But now the question is moving to the South St. Paul City Council.
New land-use and development rules will better protect the Twin Cities stretch of the Mississippi River, our local national park.
During the final phase of developing updated rules for the Mississippi River Critical Area, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recommended a number of positive changes in response to comments from FMR staff and advocates.
As more North Minneapolis riverfront is slated to become parkland, it's important to ensure that new parks and trails are truly accessible to Northside residents. To do this, connections between the community and the riverfront parkland (such as the Broadway bridge over I-94, pictured above) must be improved.
FMR has been working with a researcher from CURA to study Northsiders’ barriers to river access as well as possible ways to overcome them. Join us for a brown-bag lunch featuring a presentation of our findings and discussion about the barriers and opportunities to reconnect North Minneapolis neighborhoods and the Mississippi River.
For many Northsiders, this is the path to the Mississippi River: the West Broadway bridge over Interstate-94. Improvements like a barrier separating the sidewalk from cars, a safe biking space, updating the chainlink fence and adding greenery or art would make this a far more welcoming route for pedestrians and bicyclists traveling to the river.
Currently, the majority of North's residents must make their way over Interstate-94 and through a wall of industry to see and enjoy their riverfront. FMR is working to understand these barriers and identify opportunities to reconnect Northside residents to their Mississippi River. As more of this riverfront transforms from industrial use to parks and trails — changes that FMR has long advocated — we must work hard to ensure that current and future riverfront parks are accessible to area residents.
Produced for FMR by award-winning local filmmakers John Kaul and Tom Reiter, and narrated by Minnesota Public Radio's Steve Seel, this 30-minute documentary tells the story of how one man’s vision — combined with smart citizen advocacy and effective political leadership — created the Mississippi River's first and only national park right here in the Twin Cities. Enjoy the film online, request a copy for your local library, school or organization.
If all goes well, new rules governing riverfront development and protections in the Mississippi River corridor, our local national park, could be in place by the end of 2016. Photo by Tom Reiter
FMR encourages all river-lovers to contact Judge Lipman by July 6, 4:30 p.m. to let him know that you support strong river development rules in our national park, tell him why the river is important to you and share what you would like to see protected or improved. Read on to learn more about the proposed rules for the metro-area stretch of the Mississippi River and how to contribute your voice.
The Mississippi River Corridor was established as a State Critical Area almost 40 years ago to protect and preserve the unique scenic, natural and cultural features of the 72-mile section of the Mississippi River flowing through the Twin Cities from Dayton to Hastings. In 2009, FMR led the effort to pass legislation authorizing new rules to guide river development in this important area. At long last, the proposed rules are heading for the final phase of rule-making — formal review and adoption.