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via Mill City Times: Water Works community meeting, 15 Dec 2011

Thanks, again, to the Mill City Times for taping, editing and posting the 15 December 2011, community meeting informing the design and feasibility study (anticipated February 2012) of the Water Works/Fuji-Ya site. The project is co-presented by the Minneapolis Parks Foundation and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Visit their sites for more information.


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CPED Presentation to Mpls Park Board, 9 Nov 2011 (via Mill City Times)

If you’re interested in all things Above the Falls (as we are), you’ll enjoy this clip of Tom Leighton (City of Minneapolis) giving a status report on the Above the Falls Policy Review to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board of Commissioners, 9 November 2011.

Thanks to the fine folks at Mill City Times for taking the time to edit and post the video.

Want to know even more? Then check out these links:

Read the Mill City Times online
View the Mill City Times YouTube channel
Read more about the City of Minneapolis Above the Falls Policy Review


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Guest post: Minneapolis Parks Foundation invites you to participate in Thurs, Dec 15, community meeting on new Water Works/Fuji-Ya design project


What could rise from the ruins of Minneapolis Water Works?

Historic Central Riverfront site reinvention explored; Public invited to community meeting, 6-8:00 PM, Thursday, 15 December

Minneapolis, Minn., December 1, 2011 – The ideas will flow Thursday, December 15, when the Minneapolis Parks Foundation and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board invite the public to participate in a \”designer-ask” community meeting about a potential new park along the city\’s Central Riverfront. Dubbed \”Water Works” (former Fuji-Ya Restaurant site) because the city\’s first water supply and fire fighting pumping stations were located there in the 19th Century, the site encompasses Minneapolis Park Board-owned land between Portland Avenue South and the Third Avenue Bridge, and between First Street South and the Mississippi River.

The community meeting, which takes place 6-8:00 PM at the Mill City Museum, 704 South Second Street, is the first step in a preliminary feasibility study that will explore options for what could be a significant new park destination in downtown Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is leading the project in partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, for which it is also a forerunner to the Central Riverfront Regional Park Update master planning process.

Mill City-based architects Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle (MS&R) are the lead designers on the project. Together with financing consultants HR&A Advisors, they will produce design and program options and financial analysis by February 2012.

\”The Water Works site and riverfront area are important for the convergence of Central Riverfront destinations, including the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, St. Anthony Falls, the Stone Arch Bridge, lock and dam, and the Mill City Museum,” says Mary deLaittre, President of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, which is funding the project through a private donation. \”Because of the site\’s historic and national significance, it\’s important that we complete an interdisciplinary study of the site and area within the current social, economic and environmental context, and its compelling geography and history, including ruins of long-razed flourmills.”

The public will be invited to a second community meeting in late February, to critique options and review the team\’s findings. The Minneapolis Parks Foundation will announce details about that meeting in January 2012.

For regular updates on the Waterworks project, community members can visit the Minneapolis Parks Foundation website at  The public can also learn more about other Parks Foundation design and development projects and explore Foundation-supported parks programming and events, and the benefits of membership.

About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation – a key funding and inspirational partner of the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board – is focused on the Next Generation of Parksâ„¢, with an emphasis on areas of opportunity in park development including education, innovation and implementation. Beginning in 2010, MPF co-sponsored the globally renowned Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition, the largest in the state\’s history. In 2011, MPF projects included introducing BioHaven® floating islands to Spring Lake, the recently opened 4th Avenue Playground along the Upper Riverfront, and more.

# # #

Download the meeting flyer (or click on the image above)
Download the news release
Visit the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s Water Works project page


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Explore the riverfront this winter: Showshoeing, December 11, or Ranger on Call, well, anytime

A little snow, a little cold and a lot of sunshine make winter a good time to explore the Minneapolis Riverfront. Two options you may want to check out:

The Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership and Lind-Bohanon Neighborhood Association are co-hosting a guided showshoeing outing at North Mississippi Regional Park, this Sunday, December 11, 1-3:00 PM. Find out more here.

An anytime guide is the National Park Service‘s new Ranger on Call. Listen to stories from all along the 72-mile corridor of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, via podcast or by visiting the sites in person and dialing 1-877-727-1172 (toll free) for the cell phone tour. One of the stops on the tour is St. Anthony Falls and environs. Learn more by visiting

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Letter of support: City of St. Paul, City Council

st paul logo

Please click on this link to view the
City of St. Paul, City Council letter of support

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Letter of support and comments: Holland Neighborhood Improvement Assocication

November 2, 2011

To Whom It May Concern:

As stakeholders and residents of the Holland neighborhood, we would like to offer our support of the Minneapolis Riverfront Development RiverFIRST initiative and proposed projects and request that Holland be included as a community connector or \”Green Finger” in the RiverFIRST plan.

The Holland neighborhood is located in the heart of Northeast Minneapolis, bounded by Central Avenue on the east and University Avenue on the west. This neighborhood takes its position as part of the Mississippi watershed and as a connector to the river very seriously and would like to see the RiverFIRST plan reflect this significant connection.  Holland is currently the site of a number of initiatives that relate to water quality and the deepening of this neighborhood\’s connection to the river itself:

  • 22nd Avenue NE Bikeway: this recently completed bikeway, which is already identified in current drafts of the MRDI plan, creates an explicit connector between the Holland neighborhood and the Mississippi river. In fact, the 22nd Avenue Bikeway runs through the heart of what has been identified as Holland\’s green campus, a large green space at the center of the neighborhood that consists of the Edison School campus and athletic fields, Jackson Square Park and Public Works\’ Flood Mitigation Basin.
  • Green Campus Blueprint: a cross-jurisdictional land management plan created by representatives from City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Parks & Recreation and Minneapolis Public Schools in conjunction with Preventing Harm Minnesota and with funding from Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. The Blueprint outlines Best Management Practices to maximize water quality and creates a path for all three jurisdictions to work collaboratively to implement those practices in the contiguous green spaces of the Edison High School campus and athletic fields, Jackson Square Park and Public Works\’ Flood Mitigation Basin.
  • Green Campus Project Implementation: based on a Mississippi Watershed Management Organization-funded feasibility study, the three jurisdictions (City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Parks & Recreation and Minneapolis Public Schools) in conjunction with neighborhood stakeholders, are poised to launch a multi-year greening initiative in the Green Campus project area that will focus on improving the quality of the water that passes through this area on its way to the river. The project implementation will include both infrastructure improvements (water recapture and re-use through rain barrels, underground storage, etc.) and educational outreach (community awareness building, Edison student service learning opportunities).
  • GREEN Community Schools: Edison High School, which is situated in the \”Green Campus”, was selected to be the second GREEN Community School in the nation. GREEN Community Schools is a joint initiative of the MGR Foundation and environmental activist Jayni Chase and her husband Chevy Chase. The initiative funds a GREEN Resource Coordinator for the school for a three year period to work with school staff to integrate green subject matter into the curriculum. Coordinator Ashley Mueller has been working with MWMO and the Green Campus Project to increase educational outreach to students in terms of water quality issues and projects.
  • Green Initiatives Stakeholder Group: based on community involvement in the Green Campus project and neighborhood representation in the MRDI process, the Green Initiatives Stakeholder group has sought to make more explicit the connections between the Holland neighborhood and the river and its watershed. Through a series of community events – a presentation of the Green Campus project at the NE Network Forum on May 12, 2011; two community stakeholder meetings regarding neighborhood involvement opportunities on June 29 and August 4 – a partnership was formed between the Holland Neighborhood Association and Metro Blooms to offer rain garden workshops and funding for installation. As a result of this partnership, ten rain gardens were installed on residential properties in the Holland neighborhood this fall.

That these many Holland-based initiatives coincide with the development of a plan for a vibrant river front design is more than serendipitous. Members of the Holland neighborhood have been closely involved in the MRDI process and this neighborhood is very committed to supporting the development of the river front, while at the same time celebrating and enhancing this neighborhood\’s connection to the river. At the same time, Edison GREEN Community Schools coordinator Ashley Mueller has been assisting with environmental curriculum and community garden activity programming at Lucy Laney, the K-8 school adjacent to Fairview Park. What a wonderful opportunity to bring these two schools together as river schools in the RiverFIRST plan!

Thank you,

The Holland Neighborhood Improvement Association Board

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The public is doing the talking: Add your voice to the RiverFIRST comments, through Sunday, November 6

ThoughtsCommunity members are taking the communications lead these days, as the formal public comment period begun on September 21 on the RiverFIRST Draft Proposal continues through this Sunday, November 6.

You can read what community members are saying online via the Comment Page (scroll down); off-line, comments are being collected by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, by mail and through recreation centers.

If you’re not among those who already shared thoughts with the Minneapolis Park Board and its partners about this vision for transforming the Upper Riverfront, now is a good time. (If now isn’t a good time, please bookmark the page and come back when it’s more convenient – but before Sunday, November 6 – we do want to hear from you!)

Prefer putting ink to paper? You can pick up a comment card at any Minneapolis Parks recreation center (where you can also review the full proposal and take home an executive summary), or call Minneapolis Parks customer service at 612-230-6400 to have a comment card mailed to you.

And remember: You have until Sunday, November 6, when the formal public comment period wraps up.

Thank you!

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Video: RiverFIRST proposal presentation to MRDi steering committee, 21 Sep

RiverFIRST Parks Proposal Presentation, 21 Sep 2011 from MRDI on Vimeo.

Following our public presentation of the draft RiverFIRST proposal for Minneapolis Mississippi Riverfront parks, design team TLS/KVA and finance consultants HR&A gave this presentation to the Minneapolis Riverfront Development Initiative (MRDi) Steering Committee. See companion Q & A video for post-slideshow discussion.

21 Sep 2011 Steering Committee Q & A from MRDI on Vimeo.

Comments and questions following the RiverFIRST presentation to the MRDi Steering Committee. Respondents are MRDi design team TLS/KVA, finance consultants HR&A, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Assistant Superintendent of Planning Services Bruce Chamberlain, and MRDi Project Manager Mary deLaittre.


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Guest post: Join in a Mpls Parks Foundation fundraiser, Monday, October 17

Join the Mpls Parks Foundation, Oct 17, 2011

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RiverFIRST slideshow, presented by HRA and TLS/KVA September 2011

Filed under “better late than never”: you can click through the presentation below, or download it from SlideShare. Thanks!

Slideshow: RiverFirst Design and Implementation Plan (presented Sept 2011)

View more presentations from MplsRiverfrontDesign
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