Mississippi Dunes moment of action [CLOSED]

In December, the Cottage Grove city council will be voting on a master plan for the former Mississippi Dunes golf course on the Mississippi riverfront.

This is a crucial moment to advocate for public parks, perhaps our last big chance. Once the council approves a mix of parkland and housing in the master plan, they will likely approve redevelopment applications aligned with that plan within months.

Write a letter

Use the form below to share your feedback with the city about what you hope to see at Mississippi Dunes. Your letter can be as brief as you'd like, or up to 3,000 characters. Here are some ideas you could consider writing about:

• Share why you care about Mississippi Dunes.

• This place is rare. Cottage Grove has many miles of riverfront yet almost no public access. Opportunities this big don't come often.

• Demand for parks and recreation is surging. We need more places where people can experience nature.

• What activities or amenities would you like to see at Mississippi Dunes park? What would encourage you to visit the park?

• A small park is more likely to be a neighborhood amenity for future residents than a regional destination for the entire community.

• How should the city balance private housing development and public parkland? If higher-density housing (like apartments or townhomes) allowed more room for a park, would you support that density?

• We don't know anything about the environmental conditions on the site or the potential impacts of development. Are there endangered birds or insects at Mississippi Dunes? How will the unusual soil type be affected by construction? Will the sandy soil make stormwater or erosion issues worse?

• The Grey Cloud Island area is very scenic, and views to and from the island include almost no human development. There has been no analysis of whether Mississippi Dunes development would affect scenic views from the water or nearby scenic places.

• Cottage Grove has the legal authority, through zoning, to designate appropriate uses for its land. It doesn't need to say yes to everything a developer asks for.

Speak up at public meetings

Cottage Grove will hold three meetings about the master plan where the public can come speak. Decision-makers tend to place a lot of emphasis on what people say at meetings. A big meeting turnout is powerful.

Can you join us in speaking for just 1-2 minutes at one or more of these meetings? All you have to do is share what you hope to see for Mississippi Dunes and why it matters to you.

• Monday, November 22: Planning Commission meeting (will make recommendation on master plan), 7 p.m. at Cottage Grove City Hall
• Wednesday, December 1: City Council meeting (will vote on master plan), 7 p.m. at Cottage Grove City Hall (note: might be delayed to December 15)
• Monday, December 13: Parks Commission meeting (will make recommendation on master plan), 7 p.m. at Cottage Grove City Hall

Not sure about speaking? We're here to help! Check out our best tips for speaking at a public meeting.

This Action Alert is no longer available. Sign up to be a River Guardian and we'll keep you updated when the river needs your support. Visit our River Corridor Land Use and Development Blog to learn about similar issues.

Have feedback about the River Guardians program or advocating with FMR? Leave us a comment.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, December 20, 2023 - 3:00pm to 11:00pm
Indeed Brewing Company, Minneapolis
January-February 2024
Multiple locations
Ole Olson prairie, Mississippi River, Minneapolis skyline

Celebrate 30 years of FMR!

For our 30th anniversary, our wish is for you to join us in restoring, protecting and enhancing the Mississippi River.