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U of M students turn campus plaza into a winter light show

A light spectacle set to music, called Aurora Digitalis, is transforming a plaza at the University of Minnesota’s civil engineering building on certain nights through Dec. 23. 

Mike Hepler, who is the vice president of the student-driven Nikola Tesla Patent Producers (NTP^2), which put it together, says its name “captures the spirit of these flashing lights and what it’s like to be up north.” 

The display includes more than 75,000 blue, green, white and red LED lights that are strewn about the trees, railings and other props in the plaza.  

As a part of the show, lights blink to the beat of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra song “Wizards in Winter” and the theme music to “2001: A Space Odyssey.” 

“It lights up more for more intense parts of the music,” speeding up or slowing down accordingly, he explains, adding, “It’s an immersive experience.” 

Hepler says that the idea for the project came from a student who is new to the group, Taylor Trimble. He'd seen footage of other light shows elsewhere and he wanted to try it out at the university. 

NTP^2 did a little historical digging, and the group believes this to be the university's first light show, he says. 

The U's College of Science and Engineering (CSE), Parsons Electric, and 3M backed the project, according to the Minnesota Daily.  

NTP^2 designed the circuits and soldered them together. “It was a lot of work,” Hepler says. “We designed and built it and put up all the lights,” except for those at the treetops. 

To pull it off under a tight deadline, “It took the full crew and all the people coming in between classes. It was inspirational to see that and be a part of it.” 

All in all, “It brings something unique to the campus,” Hepler says. “It’s something that represents the student presence and capabilities, especially within CSE.” 

Beyond that, it’s a way to “bring everyone together to create a vibrant communal base.”   

The group hopes to do a larger-scale light show next time, he says. 


Source: Michael Hepler, vice president, Nikola Tesla Patent Producers  
Writer: Anna Pratt 
 


Southwest Senior Center leads in creation of $11,900 mosaic at Bryant Avenue Market

A winter bicyclist, sledders, a roofline, bare trees, and snowflakes all appear in the 150-plus-square-foot mosaic that was unveiled on Nov. 19 at Bryant Avenue Market in Southwest Minneapolis.

The nearby Volunteers of America Southwest Senior Center, which does a lot of arts-related work, secured $11,900 earlier on from the city and the Calhoun Area Residents Action Group (CARAG) to pursue the mosaic, according to Mary Ann Schoenberger, who heads the center.

Such projects are "a really great way to get people working inter-generationally," she says, adding that by making certain building improvements, "We're also giving back to the community."  

The center worked closely with CARAG to pick out the site. Bryant Avenue Market is on a prominent corner, and it had been tagged numerous times, she says. "The neighborhood association was interested in doing building improvements [on the corner]," she says.    

To come up with the design, the center held a couple of brainstorming sessions with community members while also getting feedback from an online survey.

"A lot of people wanted a winter scene," she says. "There are a lot of things that celebrate summer. People thought, 'wouldn't it be neat to celebrate winter?'"

Another theme was the city's bike-friendliness. It helped that "Bryant Avenue has a major bike path," she says.

With the guidance of artist Sharra Frank, the center hosted numerous workshops with community members over six weeks to put together the mosaic.

The 185 all-ages volunteers came from the senior center, Clara Barton Open School, Walker Place, Bryant Square Park, Optum Health, and elsewhere.

Many of them worked on the 43 snowflakes that can be individually identified.

In a piece about the mosaic she wrote for Southwest Patch, Schoenberger states that each snowflake "is a work of art in itself and we were amazed at how seven patterns could result in such diverse creations."

She has high praise for the artist, who"remained calm and the final result is amazingly professional considering how many hands were involved in the project."


Source: Mary Ann Schoenberger, executive director, Southwest Senior Center
Writer: Anna Pratt

Hampden Park Coop makes plans to remodel its vintage building

Through a master planning process that it recently wrapped up, the Hampden Park Coop in St. Paul has identified short- and long-term remodeling priorities for the vintage building that it owns.

Coop member Paul Ormseth, an architect who is leading the process, says that several years ago the store expanded into a corner space in the building “with an eye to doing some planning about how to manage it into the future.”

Right now, the coop rents out part of the second-floor space to Oak Floor Dance Association, and there’s potential for more tenants.

“With a large space upstairs, the building can serve the community,” perhaps by accommodating public gatherings or various educational uses.

It’s something that any remodeling project should strengthen, Ormseth says.

Additionally, the building is well positioned to take advantage of traffic from the coming Central Corridor light rail transit line and right-of-way improvements planned for Raymond Avenue, he says.

In general “We want to do near-term remodeling that makes sense in a longer vision for the building,” and which will probably happen in a couple of phases.

For starters, the store needs more office and storage space.

The checkout stand could also be revamped, while the coop is also hoping to make the building more energy-efficient.  

For example, “We’re looking at bringing more daylight into the store to improve the feel of the store and reduce the need for lighting,” he says.  

Enhancing accessibility is another goal.

Whatever changes get made will be sensitive to the building's historic character. 

It goes to show, adds Ormseth, that “An old building is valuable because it can be adapted and it strengthens the community by retaining some existing historic fabric.”

At this early stage, the budget for the remodeling projects is still debatable. “The coop has been an asset for the neighborhood for a long time,” he says. “In buying the building, the coop made a commitment to improving the store, as well as keeping the existing building intact.”


Source: Paul Ormseth, Hampden Park Coop member
Writer: Anna Pratt

Intermedia Arts creates an ArtsHub space for coworking

When Peter Haakon Thompson stepped in as the curator and host for Intermedia Arts’ new coworking area, called ArtsHub, he focused on getting the place physically ready.  

He wanted to do away with its office look to create a more welcoming workplace for artists, organizers, and others who are interested in social change. “A big part of what I did was create a 'place' out of 'space',” he says.

ArtsHub, which opened last month following a September preview, is housed both within Intermedia and in a separate building behind it, which is referred to as ArtsHub West. Both spaces have conference rooms and a kitchen, although ArtsHub West is geared more for small groups. From either location, people can copy, print, and access the Internet. 

Inside Intermedia, the mezzanine-level ArtsHub has a warm, cozy feeling. With an exposed ceiling and a balcony, it feels like a boat, Thompson says. “I like the idea that it’s an enclosed space that overlooks the lobby.”

It’s furnished with vintage tables and chairs that come from the University of Minnesota’s ReUse Center. Some of the tables look like they came from a biology classroom. Each table has a desk lamp.

In setting it up, Thompson paid attention to light, and how the eclectic furniture works together. “I felt like a curator of desks and chairs,” he says, adding that he hopes people will find a favorite nook.

He also placed one table in the gallery area. How that table gets used is “going to develop as time goes on, when ArtsHub is more part of the building.”

ArtsHub West involved more construction. Thompson took down the walls to make one large open space and installed items for a kitchen. The space also got a new coat of paint--inside and out--which is accentuated by stencil work.  “It has a funky artistic look,” he says.

Artist Ethan Arnold, who painted the lime-green exterior, has artwork showing inside.   

Now, Thompson is focused on programming for the spaces with skill-shares, table tennis, “grant jam days,” happy hours, and more--to facilitate interaction. “We want to provide another way for people to feel like they’re part of a community of other creative types.”
 

Source: Peter Haakon Thompson, ArtsHub curator, Intermedia Arts
Writer: Anna Pratt

Weisman Art Museum chooses a winning design for its pedestrian plaza

The Weisman Art Museum (WAM) in Minneapolis, which recently reopened with a new addition, wrapped up a design competition last month that re-imagines the plaza outside its front entrance.

A nine-member jury chose as its winner a proposal jointly from VJAA (Jennifer Yoos and Vincent James), HouMinn Practice (Marc Swackhammer and Blair Satterfield), and artist Diane Willow, according to WAM information.

The plaza, which overlooks the Mississippi River, stands on the eastern edge of the Washington Avenue Bridge, which links the east and west banks of the University of Minnesota campus.

Over 2,000 people cross the plaza daily, and with the completion of recent construction projects, including the Weisman expansion, that number is probably going to go up, according to museum information.

WAM spokesperson Erin Lauderman explains that the design competition was a way to “re-envision our front yard,” which, she adds, is important because “We’re the figureheads for people coming onto the campus as they cross the river.”

The idea is to make the busy plaza more of a gathering space where people will want to linger. “Right now it dumps you on the campus,” she says.

To address that, WAM's Target Studio for Creative Collaboration required that submissions come from interdisciplinary teams with experience designing public spaces.

She says that the winning team’s design helps redirect the flow of traffic to make it safer, keeping pedestrians and bicyclists separate.

It also makes way for an interactive public space with digital walls where passersby “can stop and interact, sort of like a call and response.”

For example, images of people walking across the bridge could appear on the digital walls.

The next phase involves public meetings. “It needs to be vetted for what’s realistic and what the community wants it to be,” Lauderman says.


Source: Erin Lauderman, spokesperson, Weisman Art Museum
Writer: Anna Pratt

$265,000 Latino veterans' memorial under construction on Harriet Island

For a decade, a memorial to honor Latino veterans in St. Paul has been in the works, and last month, it finally became a reality.

American Veterans Memorial--Plaza de Honor recently had its ground-breaking on Harriet Island Regional Park’s Great Lawn near the river walk.

The $265,000 memorial will feature a gathering area with several flagpoles around it.

“The design and construction of the memorial will tie into the recently completed renovations of the island,” a prepared statement about the memorial reads.

Brad Meyer, a spokesperson for St. Paul parks, says it helps that Harriet Island already has a smaller- scale flagpole memorial. “A new, larger memorial could use existing materials and space,” while also improving upon the original, he says.

The park was also an ideal setting for the memorial because of its high visibility, he says. Besides the thousands of visitors who come to events on the island, it receives plenty of “passive use” year-round.  

And nearby is the home of the American Veterans--Mexican American Post #5, which he says was instrumental in bringing the memorial to fruition.

With the help of the veterans' group, “We were able to secure the funds necessary to complete the project,” he says via email.

The city, along with the American Veterans--Mexican American Post #5 and U.S. Bank, contributed funds to the project, which secured both grants and private donations, according to city information.  

“A lot of thought has gone into this project, and we are very pleased with the final design and are looking forward to celebrating the grand opening” next spring, Meyer says.


Source: Brad Meyer, spokesperson, St. Paul Parks
Writer: Anna Pratt

New $8-$10 million redesign unveiled for Peavey Plaza

A new design for the aging Peavey Plaza in downtown Minneapolis incorporates everything from a 20-foot water wall to flexible performance spaces.

Tom Oslund, who is the principal of oslund.and.associates, a local landscape architecture firm that took into consideration all kinds of public feedback in coming up with the design, says it modernizes the plaza.

The existing plaza, which notable landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg designed in 1974, doesn't meet modern accessibility requirements. Also, too much water goes down the drain--literally--and the plaza lacks an efficient stormwater management plan, Oslund says.

More broadly, the plaza has evolved into a hub for outdoor performances over the past several decades. "There's a shortage of infrastructure to hold more sophisticated performances."

Additionally, the way the plaza recesses below-grade has posed numerous safety concerns.

The new design divides the plaza into several "rooms," at different elevations, including a street-level area and garden and performance space, all of which are accessible via a ramp.

It features a couple of pools with dancing fountains, a shady pergola, a sound garden, and green spaces, according to project information.

Seating can be configured according to the use, with shallow pools that can be turned off to make room for 1,500 chairs.

A video screen that a video artist will help program will broadcast Orchestra Hall performances.

Although the $8-$10 million project depends on fundraising, the ideal timeline is to have it reopen with the $50 million reconstruction of the adjacent Orchestra Hall. At this point, the groundbreaking is planned for the spring of 2012.   

He says that while change is hard for some people, the design has been well received.

"I think the new design is reflective of how 21st-century space should be articulated," he says. "There's a significant program component to it and a significant sustainable strategy," including economically.

Source: Tom Oslund, principal, oslund.and.associates
Writer: Anna Pratt

Videotect competition returns with sustainable transportation topic and $6,000 in prize money

Architecture Minnesota, which last year hosted a popular video contest that centered on skyway travel, is gearing up for another round of Videotect.

The topic this time is sustainable transportation and "its enhancement through quality design," according to Chris Hudson, who is the editor of Architecture Minnesota magazine.

Hudson says that the video competition was successful earlier this year, with over 1,600 people casting votes for their favorite videos online, and the Walker Art Center screening filling to capacity.

However, Hudson says. it was also a learning experience: "We knew what we wanted to improve on."

For this round, videos will be shorter, between 30 and 120 seconds as opposed to two minutes. Now, people also have three months to produce a video entry, compared to five weeks the first time. "Last time it was a crunch. We didn't want to stress people out like that," he says.

He's hoping that people will take advantage of the window of time to film before winter creeps in.

Another perk is that with the help of a couple of sponsors, Architecture Minnesota is able to offer more prize money, with $6,000 to be given out.

Through the contest, "We want to spark a public dialogue," about the built environment, he says, but adds that the contest is not limited to strictly architectural topics.  

Such is the case with the sustainable transportation theme, where design plays an important role. In considering possible topics, "We couldn't think of anything bigger or hotter," he says.

Right now there's all kinds of pressure to build highways "to keep things going," while light rail transit and bike amenities are also coming up a lot.

Everything from planes to bikes is fodder for the contest. "We want people to focus on what are the most sustainable forms of transportation, and conversely, to make some critiques of sustainable transportation options." 

The topic is open-ended "to allow people to approach it however they want."

Entries are due by Jan. 23, with online viewing and voting happening in early February.  

Source: Chris Hudson, editor, Architecture Minnesota magazine
Writer: Anna Pratt



Local Alliance Francaise planning for future building renovations

This summer, the Alliance Française in Minneapolis's Warehouse District spruced up its cobalt-blue façade.

Now, it's shifting its focus to some "much-needed renovations" inside, according to Christina Selander Bouzouina, who leads the Alliance.

As it is, guests have to ring the buzzer to enter the 1880s building. Although the buzzer is a security measure, "It's not the most welcoming introduction to the organization," she says.  

Once someone does get into the building, a large staircase confuses matters. "People aren't sure which way to go," she says. "It's kind of off-putting."

To address those issues, the Alliance wants to relocate the second-level reception area to the ground floor to greet people right away when they walk in, she explains.

However, this change means, "We'll lose the beautiful classroom that you can see from the sidewalk," which, she adds, is the only accessible classroom in the building.

As a result, the Alliance will need to install an elevator.

Other questions center on whether classrooms should be added to its existing 11, and, in particular, if more space should be devoted to its growing list of children's offerings.

A room that's equipped for cooking lessons is also under discussion.  

The renovations are part of a long-term strategic plan that goes back to when the Alliance bought the building in 1998.

Although the details are still up in the air, Bouzina estimates that the project will run around $500,000, for which a capital campaign is in planning stages.

The idea is to aim for a "goal that's achievable, that we're excited about and that meets our purposes," she says. "We want to be sure it's meeting our needs but that there's no empty space."   

Source: Christina Selander Bouzouina, executive director, Alliance Française of Minneapolis St Paul
Writer: Anna Pratt




Multi-thousand dollar sculpture co-designed by Girl Scout troop goes into St. Paul park

To design a public art sculpture for the West 7th Community Center Park in St. Paul, local artist Estela De Paola de Lerma collaborated with Girl Scout Troop 52512.

The sculpture celebrates the transformation of the park, which was perceived as unsafe just a couple of years ago. Today, the park includes a jungle gym, swings, and other play areas, according to the Pioneer Press.  

In a first workshop with the children, the artist went over “the basics of three-dimensional art, public art guidelines, and the purposes of public art,” she explains.  

Afterward, the children came up with some ideas that they used to create cardboard models. A final model incorporated everyone’s voices.   

From there, de Lerma crafted a life-sized model out of foam core, adding a base to comply with the city’s requirements.

The resulting sculpture, titled “Our World,” came together through donations, including powder-coating from the city, that covered thousands of dollars of expenses.

The process took about a year. “The girls couldn’t weld, but they did the design. The ideas are theirs,” she says of the eight-foot-tall metal sculpture.

In the piece, Girl Scouts are shown hand-in-hand embracing a yellow globe.

Each row of figures is painted to correspond with a different level of the Girl Scouts.

Their message reflects the fact that they care about the world, according to de Lerma, who has a daughter in Girl Scouts. The figures come in all shapes and sizes. “Everyone is included, that’s why it’s ‘Our World’,” she says.

The girls’ names and troop also appear on the piece.

“My generation wouldn’t believe that a child could be a sculptor,” she says.

De Lerma says she was interested in the project because it proves that public art involving children can “be more than a mural. It’s a nice way of connecting the community with the place and the art” and with self-expression.


Source: Estela De Paola de Lerma
Writer: Anna Pratt

Following $100,000 renovation, Amsterdam Bar and Hall adds new energy to downtown St. Paul

To make way for the recently opened Amsterdam Bar and Hall in downtown St. Paul, the space underwent $100,000 worth of remodeling.

Within seven weeks, the space, which had sat empty for a year after Pop! restaurant closed, was converted into a bar and entertainment venue.

Jarret Oulman, a co-owner of the place, says, “It involved a lot of dismantling, ripping things apart,” which was challenging because “it was built solidly. It was a lot of work.”    

Workers tore down walls, pulled out the carpet, built tabletops, and installed booths and lighting fixtures, he says.

Today, the 8,000-square-foot space has two stages and a private dining room, while a moveable wall helps close off part of the place to create a more intimate bar.

It's helpful for those nights that don’t feature big musical acts, he explains. ”We hung a wall that makes it feel tighter and more comfortable in the bar space.”

Otherwise, the room “feels like a gym by itself,” he says.

As its name suggests, the bar and hall draws inspiration from Amsterdam.

Oulman characterizes the aesthetic as Dutch bohemian, with vintage Dutch graphic art, dark-stained wood, and tapestries. “The look and the culture go hand-in-hand,” he says.   

He explains that Amsterdam’s culture was something he and his co-owners wanted to replicate because it’s “interesting, sophisticated, and inclusive.”

So far, the place has been well received, he says, adding that the neighboring record store, Eclipse Records, and the design and print studio Big Table Studio, which are also new to the block, are complementary.

“It has a significant effect on the block and downtown St. Paul,” he says, adding, “It makes the creative environment that much stronger."


Source: Jarret Oulman, co-owner, Amsterdam Bar and Hall
Writer: Anna Pratt

Following $14 million expansion, a 'new' Weisman opens its doors

After a $14 million project that nearly doubled its gallery space, a renewed Weisman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus has opened its doors.

Erin Lauderman, a spokesperson for the Frank Gehry-designed museum, says the Weisman added another 8,100 square feet, which it did without “any more ground to build on.”

In a Finance and Commerce story, Brett Dunlap, a project manager with JE Dunn of Kansas City, Mo., the project's general contractor, says that it "required the galleries to be built atop and cantilevered over huge concrete columns."

A fifth gallery space, which has been dubbed the Target Studio for Creative Collaboration, “had to push the walking bridge out,” according to Lauderman.

There’s also a new canopy and bridge skirt. More of the signature metal of the façade was used on one side of the building, while another part of the exterior is mainly brick. “It completed the building inside and out,” she says. “Now you walk in a loop inside.”  

Another challenge was to fit the work in with the plans for the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line, which will span the Washington Avenue Bridge. “It’s a limiting site but it’s a fantastic location,” Lauderman says.

All in all, the museum has the same feel as it did before, although the recently installed skylights create an openness that literally sheds new light on the works. “That makes every space look different,” she says.  

The Weisman now has more room to showcase its 20,000-piece permanent collection, which includes ceramics, American art, and works on paper. The fifth gallery area is geared to interdisciplinary collaboration.

“Now [the museum] is a better resource,” she says. “You can come back and see the same piece multiple times.”

Admission to the museum is still free and, says Lauderman, “it doesn’t take long to get through. We have a nice, thoughtful collection." 

Source: Erin Lauderman, Weisman Art Museum
Writer: Anna Pratt






$150,000 historic project turns Lake Street into a walk-able museum

The idea for the Museum in the Streets: Lake Street project came to Joyce Wisdom, who heads the Lake Street Council, when she was on a trip to Connecticut a couple of years ago.

Taking a self-guided tour down certain streets in one town, she learned all kinds of interesting tidbits about the area’s history, according to Cara Letofsky, who is a project volunteer.

A number of plaques placed here and there along the street told of the town's development through words and pictures.

Wisdom contacted the Museum in the Streets company about the possibility of bringing the same kind of displays to Lake Street in Minneapolis.

It's something that piqued the interest of many other community members, and the council got to work on the project, Letofsky says.

So far, the council has raised about one-third of the $150,000 needed for the project, which will include 20 plaques along Lake Street.

Meanwhile, a dozen volunteers are in the process of researching sites to be highlighted on the tour. “We’re looking for sites that have a good story and are good for illustrations or photos,” she says.  

In the process, Letofsky is learning about such bygone places as the 1905 Wonderland Amusement Park, Minneapolis Harvester Works--a well-known farm equipment company--and the Nicollet Ballpark, where the Minneapolis Millers played from 1896 to 1955.

“We came across a photo of four members of the baseball team in new cars that were bought from a dealer on Lake Street,” she says.  

Other venerable places, such as Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian gift shop and the 1928-built Midtown Exchange building, are still around.

To help passersby make the connections, a brochure will outline the walking tours. “The series of panels that makes up each tour will invite people to discover Lake Street’s unique story at their own pace, over the course of an afternoon or on return visits.”  

Letofsky says that the group is interested in the project as a way to “build the vitality of Lake Street and its business community,” adding, “It’s an economic development tool.”  

The council plans to mount the displays next spring.

Source: Cara Letofsky, spokesperson for Museum in the Streets: Lake Street
Writer: Anna Pratt

Public to help guide $4 million improvements to Webber Park

This week, local residents will have several opportunities to weigh in on the redesign of Webber Park in North Minneapolis.

Landform, a Minneapolis-based landscape architecture firm, is leading the master-planning process with the Minneapolis park board.

As a part of an early information-gathering process, it'll host a public meeting, studio time, and open house between Sept. 29 and Oct. 1, along with an online survey.

The 22-acre Webber Park is a wooded facility that has a pond, swimming pool, wading pool, playing field, tennis and basketball courts, and a playground and recreation center, according to park board information.

Roberta Englund, who heads the nearby Folwell and Webber-Camden neighborhood groups, describes the park as a comfortable and pretty urban area that’s “an important community attribute [that] hasn’t had the attention it deserves."

A big draw at the popular park is the annual Victory Labor Day Races and Community Picnic, according to Englund.

The well known “woodchopper statue” and Webber Park Library are also on the grounds, she says. 

But the park has a number of issues that need to be addressed, including a lack of parking.

Also, the swimming pool needs to be replaced. “We don’t have enough water features here. The priority is making it considerably more accessible,” she says.     

Other issues at the site center on reforestation, tornado damage, and inadequate lighting, she adds.

Whether the library should stay put, expand, or relocate, is also up in the air.

While ideas for the park are still in an early stage, the idea of enhancing the park's connection to the nearby Shingle Creek and Mississippi River in some way has come up, she says.

Englund hopes that people will take the time to voice their opinions about how the park should be configured. “It’s a major project that has a great deal to do with the visioning of parks and [their] role in recreation in North Minneapolis neighborhoods,” she says, adding, “It’ll be a careful look at how the land is used.”

Construction will begin next summer, while the park’s grand re-opening is planned for the summer of 2013, according to park board information.

Source: Roberta Englund, leader for Folwell and Webber-Camden neighborhood groups
Writer: Anna Pratt

RiverFIRST proposal moves toward construction project along Upper Mississippi riverfront

At its Sept. 21 meeting, the Minneapolis park board initiated a 45-day public comment period on the RiverFIRST proposal to revitalize some key parts of the Upper Mississippi riverfront.

It's the next step toward making the plan a reality.

The proposal lays out various design concepts and an implementation plan for “problem-solving” parks, walking trails and other amenities for the river area, mainly between North and Northeast Minneapolis, according to information from the Minneapolis Riverfront Development Initiative (MRDI), which is leading the charge.

RiverFIRST is the product of a collaboration between MRDI project manager Mary deLaittre, the Tom Leader Studio in Berkeley, Calif., Kennedy & Violich Architecture (TLS/KVA) in Boston and New York financing consultants HR&A.

For months, the proposal has undergone an extensive editing and community engagement process, fleshing out an earlier version that won MRDI’s international design competition, according to project information.

In the proposal, five priority projects, all of which are doable over the next handful of years “exemplify ‘re-sourcing’ the river, while eliminating as many barriers as possible,” to help lay the foundation for future riverfront development, deLaittre says in a prepared statement.

For starters, a riverfront trail system that would go through Farview Park in North Minneapolis would join other existing city and regional parks and trails to form a “user-friendly network of commuter and recreational connections, most notably across the Interstate 94 trench cutting off Northsiders from the river,” a prepared statement reads.   

A number of floating BioHaven Islands on the river could help improve water quality while also providing habitat for plants and animals.   

The plan also calls for a new Scherer Park that would take advantage of park-owned property along the river in Northeast.

Separately, the Northside Wetlands Park “transforms significant acreage from the existing Port of Minneapolis.”  

Finally, an historic park that leads into the downtown area could be restored, according to MRDI information.

Going beyond the five-year projects, “The Draft RiverFIRST Proposal has the potential to create the largest expanse of new public and green space since the Minneapolis Parks system was first created over 100 years ago,” a prepared statement about the project reads.


Source: Information from the Minneapolis Riverfront Development Initiative
Writer: Anna Pratt
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