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Critical Area

Mississippi River Critical Area

Neighbors save River Heights Park

River Heights Park, Inver Grove Heights

Part of our local national park — River Heights Park in Inver Grove Heights — is no longer slated to be turned into lots for private homes.

The city of Inver Grove Heights was considering selling River Heights Park, part of our local Mississippi River national park, for housing. But neighbors stepped up to defend it, and with a little support from FMR, the park has been preserved!

Inver Grove Heights is a valued FMR habitat restoration partner and we look forward to continuing our work together.

August 11

FMR calls for more open space at St. Paul Ford site

The massive Ford site along the Mississippi River in St. Paul. Photo used with the permission of the Metropolitan Design Center. ©Regents of the University of Minnesota

In 2011, the last Ford Ranger rolled off the line at Ford's manufacturing campus in St. Paul. Now, plans call for the 135-acre site along the Mississippi River to be transformed into a modern riverfront community, but include far too little open space or parkland. (Photo used with the permission of the Metropolitan Design Center. ©Regents of the University of Minnesota)

Plans for this 135-acre redevelopment go to the planning commission Friday, June 30. While we're in favor of the overall vision for the site — which calls for a higher-density, transit-friendly and mixed-use neighborhood with an emphasis on sustainability — FMR is pushing the city to add more open space and working with city staff to address possible impacts on scenic river gorge views.

June 15

Unlocking the future of St. Anthony Falls

Upper St. Anthony Falls visitor center

What's at the end of the rainbow? Our local national park's visitor center at the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock. Photo by National Park Conservation Association.

Big ideas are bubbling up to transform the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock in downtown Minneapolis site. Closed to navigation in June 2015, the lock could become the centerpiece of the vibrant riverfront park and neighborhood that surrounds it.

February 14

Big news: Bluffs, shorelines and scenic views protected!

The Mississippi River Gorge from St. Paul by Jim Hudak

Our local national park, the Twin Cities stretch of the Mississippi River, is now protected by FMR-prompted state rules. (Photo by Jim Hudak)

At long last, new State of Minnesota rules are now in place governing land use and development along the metro stretch of the Mississippi River, a.k.a. our local national park! While allowing for growth and redevelopment, the new rules protect the metro riverfront's natural, scenic and cultural treasures. 

December 27

South St. Paul stands strong to preserve open space

South St. Paul City Council

Cheers to the South St. Paul City Council! (Photo courtesy southstpaul.org.)

FMR would like to thank the South St. Paul City Council and celebrate their recent decision to preserve a city-owned 5-acre site as open space. The site is located near the Mississippi River and adjacent to the Mississippi River Trail scheduled to be constructed in 2017. The council rejected a push to change the largely tree-covered site into a paved industrial railroad storage area.

This is a big win that maintains the city’s commitment to a more public and green riverfront for future generations!

October 27

Crown Hydro is back, but can it stand up to a new and exciting civic proposal?

The newly proposed Falls Park and Visitor Center

A new proposal for the downtown Minneapolis riverfront, the Falls Park and Visitor Center (above) seems to be gathering momentum. However, a 20-plus-years-old effort to build a hydroelectric power plant in this area has re-emerged. Image courtesy of VJAA.

Amidst strong community opposition, Crown Hydro continues to pursue its proposal for a new hydroelectric plant near the Stone Arch Bridge. One group is fighting back with an alternative idea to use the now-closed St. Anthony Falls Lock as an interpretive center and meeting space.

October 19

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