You are here

River Corridor

Special Places: Minneapolis' riverfront Above the Falls

View of downtown Mpls from the Lowry bridge

View from the Lowry Bridge in North and Northeast Minneapolis looking south towards downtown.

To celebrate our 25th year, each month in 2018 FMR staff will profile places along the metro Mississippi River that are near and dear to us, places that connect to FMR but that we also enjoy in our own downtime. By the end of our silver year, we'll have built a map of 25 special river places for you and yours to learn about, visit and enjoy.

This month: Minneapolis’s riverfront Above the Falls.

The Minneapolis riverfront north of St. Anthony Falls is an interesting juxtaposition of the natural, urban and industrial. Here you can enjoy bike and pedestrian trails, or rent a kayak to see a heron rookery, restored prairie, riverfront raingarden parks and sculptures, as well as industrial relics. You'll also want to visit often over the next decade to experience the changing riverfront, as more industrial sites are converted into public parklands.

February 12

FMR River Guardians rock their first official year!

River Guardians speak up for the river.

We're incredibly grateful and delighted to report that our community of river advocates more than doubled in 2017!

River Guardians helped to save River Heights Park in Inver Grove Heights, rein in water quality rollbacks at the Capitol, worked for improved public access to the riverfront in North and Northeast Minneapolis and much more. Check out the 2017 best-of photos! >>

December 15

Sign up now to speak up for the river during the 2018 legislative session

In 2018, FMR will rely on you — our River Guardians — more than ever to make sure the river is protected, restored and enhanced.

Your voice is needed to create a growing body of Minnesotans who tell their legislators to improve our water quality, work with planning commissioners to enhance riverfront plans, ask city councilmembers save our parks... and more! And we work hard to make sure that it's easy to do so. 

Help us identify the river views we need to protect

Upper Mississippi River from Pine Bend SNA

Now through spring 2018, the 25 metro-area cities and towns in our local national park, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, are working to identify scenic river views worth protecting. Once each city has determined its list, they must work to protect these views according to new state rules that protect the metro river corridor. Let's help our cities compile the best list possible!

Check out the views submitted so far, and then tell us about yours or help by contributing a needed photo. >>

December 7

Shovels in the ground for three new river destinations

Illustration of Halls Island to-be

Illustration of Halls Island to-be

Three new destinations are beginning to take shape along the river north of St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, each with something different to offer. Coming up: a reclaimed island (image above), a destination riverfront restaurant, and one fully featured playground.  >>

November 16

Our thoughts on the proposed new Riverview Corridor line

Riverview Transit Corridor

The Riverview Transit Corridor from downtown St. Paul to the Mall of America.

Ever wondered why you can take a train from the Mall of America to Minneapolis and Minneapolis to St. Paul, but not from St. Paul to the mall? The missing piece of this transit triangle just met an important milestone in it's planning process. Here's what we love — and what we don't — about the plans so far.

November 13

St. Paul approves Ford site plans without additional parkland

Ford site

Although FMR supports the overall plans for the Ford site — the 135-acre site along the Mississippi River to be transformed into a modern riverfront community — we're disappointed the city declined to add more river-bluff parkland. (Photo used with the permission of the Metropolitan Design Center. ©Regents of the University of Minnesota)

This September, the St. Paul City Council approved the zoning plan for the Ford site, giving the go-ahead to redevelop the 135-acre river-bluff site without requiring additional parkland. But our efforts to expand nearby blufftop parks and address the toxic dump in the floodplain below aren't over yet. >> 

October 15

What's it like to walk to the river in north Minneapolis?

The river is just a few blocks away but it may as well be miles. But community members, FMR and our Northside partners are working to change that. (Photo courtesy of Blue Cross Blue Shield.)

What's it like to walk to the river along Dowling Avenue North in Minneapolis? Harsh, inspiring and beautiful are all words that were used when we joined neighbors in lacing up our walking shoes and heading to the river on two warm September evenings.

With great change on the horizon for where Dowling meets the Mississippi (new riverfront parkland!), we walked and talked and imagined the possibilities. We'd hoped that bringing people to these spaces would spark interest in advocating for improved public access to the riverfront and we were not disappointed. We hope you'll join us too! >>

October 10

River Guardians happy hour: What's next for river rules?

As 2017 comes to a close, join us to toast another year of protecting the Mississippi River. We’ll spend the evening watching the sunset over the river from a warm, cozy space, indulging in delicious appetizers and hearing from FMR’s River Corridor Program Director Irene Jones about how we can influence our city’s Mississippi Corridor Plan in the coming year.

Ford site hearing Sept. 20 & 27 — FMR says 'yes' to density AND more parks!

Popular stormwater feature

A new stormwater "stream" is a popular feature of redevelopment plans for the Ford site (see rendering above), but we should also seize this rare opportunity to create more river bluff parkland.

Opportunities to create bluff-top parkland in the heart of a growing city only come along every two or three generations. As draft plans for the Ford site redevelopment along the Mississippi River head to the St. Paul city council, we urge city leaders to seize this opportunity for the benefit of this generation and all those to come.

September 13