Mississippi Gorge Regional Park Master Plan approved by Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Plan establishes a long-term vision for the 132-acre regional riverfront park and provides a guide for managing, protecting, preserving and maintaining the river gorge

At its meeting on July 10, 2019, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) of Commissioners approved the Mississippi Gorge Regional Park Master Plan. The plan will guide development, capital expenditures, rehabilitation and operation of the park over the next 25 years.

Mississippi Gorge Regional Park covers 132 acres of beautiful riverfront parkland between Bridge 9 (Dinkytown Greenway bridge) and Minnehaha Regional Park.

Mississippi Gorge Regional Park Map [PDF]

Mississippi Gorge Regional Park Master Plan

The master plan document reflects the recommendations of an appointed Community Advisory Committee (CAC), which met eight times between April and December 2019. In addition to the CAC meetings, community engagement tasks that informed the draft Master Plan included:

  • Six community open houses, each attended by approximately 60 people
  • An informal online survey that garnered nearly 1,400 responses
  • Numerous phone calls and emails from community members
  • Dissemination of information in the park and through a regularly updated project website
  • Coordination with neighborhood organizations
  • Providing information at special events such as the Earth Day Clean Up
  • Eight listening sessions
  • A 45-day public comment period from Jan. 25, 2019 to March 10, 2019
  • All 760 comments from the comment period were tabulated and analyzed into themes for consideration by Commissioners
  • A public hearing at the Board of Commissioners meeting on June 26, 2019

The master plan is split into 11 sections, which are linked below. It’s also available on the Mississippi Gorge Regional Park Master Plan project page, in the right column under “Key Documents.”

Table of Contents and Acknowledgements

Acknowledging the dozens of people who worked on the project and laying out the plan in digestible sections.

Chapter 1 – Introduction

An overview of the master plan, its context within the regional park system, the MPRB and related planning efforts of the MPRB and other collaborating agencies and groups.

Chapter 2 – Park Conditions, Analysis, and Opportunities

Location information and park boundary; cultural and historic resources; existing park conditions and opportunities within each focus area and overall park area; park context and character; ecological and natural resources; overview of hydrology and potential dam removal; and stormwater conditions.

Chapter 3 – Visitor Demand

Park and recreation trends and demographic analysis.

Chapter 4 – Public Engagement

Overview and information on the various community engagement techniques used throughout the planning process.

Chapter 5 – Vision and Guiding Principles

Overarching vision for the master plan and its guiding principles that support the vision.

Chapter 6 – Master Plan Recommendations

Actionable items that fit within the guiding principles. The recommendations are split into three planning scales: overall master plan recommendations, focus area recommendations, and parkway and trail recommendations.

Chapter 7 – Design Guidelines

A look at each basic element with guidelines on how they are designed. The guidelines are a tool that prescribe a cohesive character for the park and ensure the elements function well within the MPRB regional park system.

Chapter 8 – Interpretation and Public Art

Guiding information on how interpretation may be created and an interpretive theme and elements that support that theme. Information on public art within the park is also described.

Chapter 9 – Implementation

A discussion of how the plans will become reality, including spreadsheets with project costs. This chapter also looks at operations and maintenance costs and funding sources.

Chapter 10 – References and Appendix