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Reconnecting North Mpls to its riverfront

The desolate West Broadway bridge over I-94

For many Northsiders, this is the path to the Mississippi River: the West Broadway bridge over Interstate-94. Improvements like a barrier separating the sidewalk from cars, a safe biking space, updating the chainlink fence and adding greenery or art would make this a far more welcoming route for pedestrians and bicyclists traveling to the river.

Currently, the majority of North's residents must make their way over Interstate-94 and through a wall of industry to see and enjoy their riverfront. FMR is working to understand these barriers and identify opportunities to reconnect Northside residents to their Mississippi River. As more of this riverfront transforms from industrial use to parks and trails — changes that FMR has long advocated — we must work hard to ensure that current and future riverfront parks are accessible to area residents. 

June 9

'Rebirth: The Mississippi's National Park' (Video)

Produced for FMR by award-winning local filmmakers John Kaul and Tom Reiter, and narrated by Minnesota Public Radio's Steve Seel, this 30-minute documentary tells the story of how one man’s vision — combined with smart citizen advocacy and effective political leadership — created the Mississippi River's first and only national park right here in the Twin Cities. Enjoy the film online, request a copy for your local library, school or organization. 

May 27

Plant pollinator patches in Hastings area parks [FULL]

Thank you for your interest in joining the pollinator patch planting event, however this event has reached capacity and registrations are no longer being accepted. Please consider volunteering at one of our other upcoming events. To view the most up-to-date listing, check out the Events Calendar

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More great news on the N/NE Minneapolis riverfront

The Minneapolis park board recently signed a purchase agreement for the riverfront parcel at 4022 1/2 Washington Avenue North. Located between North Mississippi Regional Park and the Upper Harbor Terminal, the site will someday be a critical link and addition to the Above the Falls Regional Park along the north and northeast Minneapolis stretch of the Mississippi River. 

News of another riverfront property acquisition in the works. $1 million from General Mills for new park development. And an excellent U of M researcher and Northside resident joins FMR to look into improved community connections. This is one great month for increasing public access to the Mississippi River in the Above the Falls area!  

February 9

N/NE Minneapolis riverfront regional park continues to grow

A little more green, please — for our waters and our riverfront communities. (Aerial view, from the north, above Saint Anthony Falls.) Courtesy City of Minneapolis

A little more green, please — for a healthy river and riverfront communities. (Aerial view, from the north, above Saint Anthony Falls.) Courtesy City of Minneapolis

Good news: The Minneapolis park board now owns over half the land needed to bring continuous riverfront parks and trails to the banks of the Mississippi River in north and northeast Minneapolis. FMR is continuing to advocate for and support the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s acquisition work while also investigating ways to work with north Minneapolis residents to increase and strengthen their local riverfront access.

January 11

A record year for river volunteers!

Friends of the Mississippi River volunteers help protect water quality and wildlife habitat

As the outdoor volunteer season comes to a close, we stand in awe of our river stewards' accomplishments. In 2015, some 3,637 people — individuals, families, church, school and neighborhood groups — came together from throughout the metro area to help the Mississippi River at 135 FMR volunteer events. Together they stenciled over 3,000 storm drains with educational messages helping residents connect their yards and streets to our local waters, removed over a thousand bags of invasive species from local parks and natural areas, removed litter from over 20 riverfront sites and installed native prairies and raingardens at six riverfront parks. At the end of our busiest restoration season on record, our community's ability to act on behalf of our local waters and wildlife continues to amaze us.

November 10

Saint Paul reveals exciting plans for river balcony park

Saint Paul River Balcony rendering from the Great River Passage Plan

A rendering of the proposed Saint Paul River Balcony from the Great River Passage Plan.

On September 24, Saint Paul Mayor Coleman presented the city's latest vision to improve the connections between the Mississippi River and downtown Saint Paul while improving the parkland and connections along the river between the Science Museum and the Union Depot.

October 12

New FMR film about our local national park — Watch the trailer and sign up for the premiere!



To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, FMR is making a documentary about our very own national park, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. The film tells the story of the effort to get Congress to designate the park, explores the meaning of this legacy, and stresses the need for continued stewardship and advocacy on the park's behalf. Check it out!

October 8

Three cheers for the Minneapolis Park Board

The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board has stayed strong in the face of difficult negotiations with Graco Corporation. In the end MPRB had to take the land along the river for a trail easement by eminent domain. Graco tried and failed to get something in return that would allow them to develop a portion of the adjacent property slated to become Hall’s Island Park. Instead, MPRB paid more than $600,000 for land Graco had promised to donate over a decade ago.

July 20

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