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Alicia Uzarek

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

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

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

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

Transition point for N Mpls river reconnection work

N. Mpls Reconnect March Meeting

Over 60 Northsiders joined us to learn about and discuss ways to reconnect North Minneapolis and the Mighty Mississippi in March 2017.

The FMR advocacy crew is switching gears. After spending 2016 researching how to better connect North Minneapolis with the Mississippi River we're shifting to advocating for those community-identified changes. We marked this transition with a final presentation by FMR's CURA research assistant Eric King and a panel discussion with attendees, covering everything from potential gentrification to a possible land-bridge over Interstate 94.

April 10

Survey: What would you like to be called?

FMR is shoring up our advocacy program. In addition to offering opportunities to sign petitions, write letters and speak up at meetings, we're coordinating fun and educational happy hours, training sessions and networking events. We're also amping up our communications to better support our growing community of river advocates. Help name our improved advocacy program and sign up to join us!
February 3

South St. Paul stands strong to preserve open space

South St. Paul City Council

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

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