River Heights Park SAVED!

Residents and River Guardians helped save this park!

Inver Grove Heights residents, including many FMR River Guardians, helped save this park!

After hearing from dozens of community members (including many FMR River Guardians), the Inver Grove Heights city council unanimously voted to save River Heights Park on Monday, May 14. 

The river bluff park is beloved by many community members and provides much-needed wildlife habitat as part of the river corridor and Mississippi River flyway. 

The council had been considering carving up and selling the 7.5-acre undeveloped natural area as three 2.5-acre lots for housing developers. Instead, the city, FMR and neighbors are going to work together to make the park more accessible — adding a park sign and bench, with details yet to be determined — while keeping it a natural area and restoring important bird habitat.

"We're deeply grateful to the community members who advocated to protect their park and for the council members and mayor who listened to them. We look forward to working with the parks department and the neighbors to restore and enhance the park's value as habitat for both wildlife and people," says Whitney Clark, FMR's executive director. 

In addition to providing a natural area valued by residents, River Heights is also part of our local national park — the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area — and the internationally significant Mississippi River flyway. 

"By speaking up for their community park, residents helped protect a national treasure and internationally significant wildlife corridor," pointed out FMR policy advocate Alicia Uzarek. 

Uzarek heads up the FMR River Guardians advocacy program and has been working closely with Inver Grove Heights neighbors to support their efforts since summer 2017. 

"Residents have shown up at not one but two park commission hearings to ask their city councilmembers to save their park in August 2017 and again this April 2018 — as well as a city council 'work study session' earlier this month and, finally, the city council meeting this week," says Uzarek. "We're excited to move from meetings about saving the park to how we can work together to enhance and restore it."

For more information, or if you'd like to hear about upcoming opportunities to help shape the future of River Heights Park, contact Alicia Uzarek at auzarek@fmr.org

Check out the city council meeting on TownSquareTV.