First-of-its-kind meeting convenes 31 Mississippi River stakeholders from 18 organizations
Saint Paul, MINN. – Through its Great River Passage initiative, the City of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department convened 31 Mississippi River leaders today to share information and identify potential partnerships to create vibrancy along the river. In Minneapolis and Saint Paul, more than 30 projects are proposed, planned or underway along the 25 miles of shared river, the fourth largest watershed in the world. These projects are an opportunity to build on the history and interconnectedness to the river, create authentic, signature destinations that positions the state nationally and internationally, improve the quality of life for more than 8 million residents and visitors that visit Saint Paul and Minneapolis Regional Parks along the river annually, and cultivate a constituency that values the river and will care for it into the future.
“The Twin Cities exists in part because the Mississippi River – one of the greatest rivers of the world – flows through our urban core. This river is an asset not only to our region but the entire state,” said Mike Hahm, director of the City of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department. “Individual agencies can’t take sole ownership of the Mississippi River. We need to work together in a comprehensive, integrated collaborative way to steward and tap into the potential of the river as a community. This meeting is the first step toward this new approach.”
Today’s meeting was the first in what will likely be a series of meetings between local Mississippi River stakeholders. Leaders agreed on the need to balance environmental stewardship with forward-thinking development that drives neighborhood improvement, economic growth, health, and community stability for generations to come.
Participating organizations included:
- St. Paul Parks and Recreation
- Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
- Minneapolis Parks Foundation
- National Parks Service
- Mississippi Park Connection
- Friends of the Lock and Dam/The Falls
- National Parks Conservation Association
- Lower Phalen Creek Project
- Department of Natural Resources
- Army Corps of Engineers
- Ramsey County
- Capital Region Watershed District
- Upper Harbor Terminal Redevelopment/Minneapolis PED
- St. Paul PED
- Friends of the Mississippi River
- Wilderness Inquiry
- St. Paul Riverfront Corporation
- St. Paul Port Authority
The development leaders plan to meet again this spring to discuss collaborative annual programming and events along the river.
About the Great River Passage
In 2013 the City of Saint Paul developed the Great River Passage Plan, a comprehensive framework for creating vibrancy in the city’s 3,500 acres of parkland along the river. The Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department is now implementing the next phase of the Great River Passage – a bold, strategic vision to steward and tap into the potential of the 26 miles of riverfront in Saint Paul. By implementing the plan, the city will create places and activities that strengthen existing connections and create new ones along the Mississippi. Learn more at GreatRiverPassage.org.