Three creeks and the Mississippi River pass through the Minneapolis Park System on their way to or from other municipalities. Many organizations work together to maintain the water quality and quantity of flow of these waterways.

Minnehaha Creek

Minnehaha Creek

minnehaha creek

Minnehaha Creek originates at Lake Minnetonka and discharges into the Mississippi River below Minnehaha Falls. The creek carries significant amounts of storm water from upstream suburban communities between Lake Minnetonka and Minneapolis. Approximately one third of Minnehaha Creek is located within Minneapolis.

Water quality, flood control, and land utilization of the watershed in Minnehaha Creek are monitored in partnership by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), US Geological Survey, and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

In 2009, the City of Minneapolis and the MPRB added a stream monitoring station where Xerxes Ave South crosses Minnehaha Creek.

measuring in minnehaha creek

View the MPRB Water Resources Report for detailed annual monitoring data, data collection methods, and more.

Stream Bank Erosion

Soil erosion is a problem because it:

  • Adds a significant amount of nutrients to waters
  • Affects the scenic quality of our waterways

Many stabilization projects have occurred or are ongoing throughout the Minnehaha Creek corridor to restore the stream bank and reduce erosion.

Zebra Mussels

In 2010, zebra mussels were discovered in Minnehaha Creek at the Grays Bay Dam. The creek was subsequently designated as an infested water, as well as Lakes Nokomis and Hiawatha due to their connections to the creek. In 2013, zebra mussels were found on monitoring equipment in Lake Hiawatha, confirming its designation. The MPRB works in coordination with many organizations to manage and prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species within Minneapolis waterways.

Minnehaha Creek Watershed District provides more information about Minnehaha Creek current projects, canoe routes, flow rate, aquatic invasive species prevention and additional water monitoring efforts.

Bassett Creek

Bassett Creek

bassett creek in winter

Bassett Creek flows from Medicine Lake in Plymouth through Golden Valley, Theodore Wirth Park and Minneapolis. A few blocks from the intersection of Lyndale and Glenwood Avenues in Minneapolis the creek is diverted into a huge concrete underground storm water tunnel where it travels beneath downtown Minneapolis about 1.5 miles before entering the Mississippi River below St. Anthony Falls.

The Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission (BCWMC) was formed by adoption of a Joint Powers Agreement in 1969 and covers nine communities including Minneapolis. The BCWMC Watershed Management Plan sets the vision and guidelines for managing surface water within the boundaries of the BCWMC. Friends of Bassett Creek is another active community organization involved in the Bassett Creek corridor.

Shingle Creek

Shingle Creek

Shingle Creek flows through the northern edge of Minneapolis alongside Webber Park and enters into the Mississippi River at North Mississippi Park. In 1910, a dam was constructed and the creek was redirected into Webber Park to provide a swimming area for visitors. Later, the creek was re-routed to control flooding in North Minneapolis and upstream communities.

The Shingle Creek Watershed Management Commission was formed in 1984 under a Joint Powers Agreement between nine cities including Minneapolis. The Commission is responsible for water quality and flood control protection of Shingle Creek and the lakes within the watershed boundary.

Mississippi River

Mississippi River

st. anthony falls on the mississippi river
St. Anthony Falls

The Mississippi River is a valued water resource for the MPRB and the City of Minneapolis. Approximately half of the Mississippi River frontage in Minneapolis is parkland.

Monitoring of the Mississippi River is performed by but not limited to: