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 Minneapolis park board recently signed a purchase agreement for the riverfront parcel at 4022 1/2 Washington Avenue North. Located between North Mississippi Regional Park and the Upper Harbor Terminal, the site will someday be a critical link and addition to the Above the Falls Regional Park along the north and northeast Minneapolis stretch of the Mississippi River.
News of another riverfront property acquisition in the works. $1 million from General Mills for new park development. And an excellent U of M researcher and Northside resident joins FMR to look into improved community connections. This is one great month for increasing public access to the Mississippi River in the Above the Falls area!
A rendering of the proposed Saint Paul River Balcony from the Great River Passage Plan.
On September 24, Saint Paul Mayor Coleman presented the city's latest vision to improve the connections between the Mississippi River and downtown Saint Paul while improving the parkland and connections along the river between the Science Museum and the Union Depot.
In spite of numerous yet unsuccessful attempts to build a hydroelectric power plant at St. Anthony Falls, Crown Hydro LLC is giving it another try. Their most recent proposal is not garnering much support, however, and many folks—including the City of Minneapolis and the National Park Service are saying it’s time for Crown to go back to the drawing board.
On April 24, 2015, the Saint Paul Planning Commission approved a height variance of 33.5 additional feet for Johnson Brothers’ proposed mixed-use building at 1465 Davern Street which lies within the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area and the National Park boundary. FMR appealed this decision on May 4, 2015 because this development will significantly impact the scenic and historic character of the river valley at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers.