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									            TWIN CITIES
             BOOK TWO


          February 2003

       Metropolitan Council
This project was made possible by the generous          Dick Lambert, Minnesota Department of
support of the McKnight Foundation.                     Transportation
                                                        Bob Connor, Legislative Aide to Kathy Lantry, City
                                                        of St. Paul
P ROJECT TEAM                                           Jack Lavold, South Washington Watershed District
                                                        Sharon Marko, Minnesota House of Representatives
Metropolitan Council:
                                                        Dan McGuinness, National Audubon Society Upper
Kristina Smitten
                                                        Mississippi River Campaign
                                                        Lynn Moratzka, Dakota County
The Trust for Public Land:
                                                        Dave Raasch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Cordelia Pierson
                                                        Bridget Reif, Metropolitan Airport Commission
                                                        Susan Schmidt, The Trust for Public Land
Calthorpe Associates:
                                                        Pauline Schottmuller, City of Newport
Timothy Rood, AICP
                                                        Al Singer, Minnesota Department of Natural
Samantha Chundur
                                                        Resources, Metro Division
John Beutler
                                                        Steve Hardie, St. Paul Port Authority
Adam Varat
                                                        Anne Hunt, Riverboat resident
                                                        Lee Nelson, Upper River Services
Hoisington Koegler Group, Inc.:
                                                        Harold Christenson, East Hastings Homeowners
Bruce Chamberlain
                                                        Ron McNamara, Ducks Unlimited
Great River Greening:
                                                        Bill King, King’s Cove Marina
Deborah Karasov
Ellen Fuge
                                                        Invited to Participate:
David Cathcart
                                                        Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Veronika Phillips
                                                        Washington County
                                                        Minnesota Indian Affairs Council
Real Estate Strategies LLC:
                                                        Capital City Partnership
Sarah Harris
                                                        Xcel Energy
                                                        Reliant Minnegasco
Darin Broton, Congressman Luther’s Office
Whitney Clark, Friends of the Mississippi River
Dan Collins, DNR, Trails and Waterways
Chuck Dillerud, Commercial River Interest
Dave Engstrom, Metro Parks and Open Space
Kathleen Gaylord, City of South St. Paul
Greg Genz, Upper Mississippi Waterway Association
Larry Holmberg, Ramsey County Parks
Steve Johnson, DNR Waters
Kate Hanson, National Park Service- MNRRA
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                                                                 M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

WORKING G ROUPS                                           Richard Mullen, Grey Cloud Island Township
                                                          Lee Nelson, Upper River Services, Inc.
Pig’s Eye Reach:                                          Mike Noonan, Portable Barge Service, Inc.
Carol Carey, Lower Phalen Creek Project/Friends of        Dan Schultz, City of Rosemount
Swede Hollow                                              Jill Smith, 3M Real Estate Department
Melinda Coleman, City of Maplewood                        J.D. Payne, Jr., CR Industries, Pine Bend Warehouse
Keith Dehnert, Watergate Marina                           Mary Jackson, Dakota County
Chuck Derscheid, St. Paul Port Authority                  Tim Minor, CF Industries
Jack Frost, City of Maplewood                             Brian Veach, Marathon Ashland
Patrick Hamilton, Science Museum of Minnesota             Dewey Thorbeck, University of Minnesota
Julie Eigenfeld, River Economic Development
Association                                               St. Croix/Vermillion Reach:
Anne Hunt, Riverboat resident                             Tony Herder, Cenex Harvest States Cooperative
Robert Larson, City of West Saint Paul                    Karen Bremer, Nininger Township
Cari Lindberg, City of Mendota Heights                    Kevin Chamberlain, Dairy Farmer
Peggy Lynch, Friends of the Parks and Trails of St.       Harold Christenson, East Hastings Homeowners
Paul and Ramsey County                                    Group
Edward Mullarky, City of Lilydale                         Russell Eichman, Upper Mississippi Waterway
Mindy Odegard, American Iron and Supply                   Association
Douglas Reeder, City of South Saint Paul                  Jim Fitzpatrick, Carpenter Nature Center
Gregory Page, St. Paul Riverfront Corporation             Susan Horn, Denmark Township
Duane Decker, HNTB on behalf of Metropolitan              Bill King, King’s Cove Marina
Airports Commission                                       Tom Lewanski, Friends of the Mississippi River
David Hohle, River Environmental Action Project           Lloyd Mathis, City of Prescott
Tim Agness, City of St. Paul Parks and Recreation         Ron McNamara, Ducks Unlimited
Lucy Thompson, City of St. Paul Planning and              Judith Mitchell, Canadian Pacific Railway
Economic Development                                      Jay Riggs, Dakota County SWCD
                                                          Kris Jenson, City of Hastings
Pine Bend Reach:                                          Henry Tressel, Ravenna Township
Tom Bell, Grey Cloud Island Township
Jeff Berg, Washington County SWCD
Bob Bieraugel, CAMAS/Aggregate Industries
Larry Bodahl, City of Newport
Allan Dubois, City of Cottage Grove Parks,
Recreation and Natural Resource Commission
Janet Ebaugh, Macalester College
Matt Moore, South Washington Watershed District
Bob Everett, Ashland Petroleum
Michael Donze, Cargo Carriers (Division of Cargill)
Allen Hunting, City of Inver Grove Heights
Steve Kreitz, C/O Financial Resources
Kim Lindquist, City of Cottage Grove

February 2003                                         3                                       Calthorpe Associates
The Mississippi Riverfront Initiative produced two documents. Book One is a handbook for implementing
river-related projects. This volume, Book Two, provides detailed documentation of the initiative process and
the high-priority projects identified through the Initiative.

TA B L E               OF    C O N T E N T S -B O O K TW O
C HAPTER 1: P ROJECT P URPOSE                                                                                    6
Project Purpose                                                                                                   7

Public Outreach                                                                                                  10

Integration of Previous Plans                                                                                    13

C HAPTER 2: T HE R IVER C ORRIDOR                                                                           15
The Working River                                                                                                16

Ecological Resources                                                                                             20

Cultural Resources                                                                                               25

C HAPTER 3: E VALUATING               THE   P ROJECTS                                                       26
Summary of Evaluation Criteria                                                                                   27

Level 1 Criteria                                                                                                 28

Level 2 Criteria                                                                                                 34

Level 3 Criteria                                                                                                 39

Level 4 Criteria                                                                                                 41

C HAPTER 4: FEATURED P ROJECTS                                                                              43
River Bluff Stewardship                                                                                          44

Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary                                                                                     47

Wakota Bridge Redevelopment Area                                                                                 51

Mississippi River Regional Trail                                                                                 53

Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area                                                                                    56

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                                                               M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

South Washington Watershed District Greenway Plan                                                       61

Hastings River Flats                                                                                    64

Hastings Red Rock                                                                                       67

Commuter Rail Sation                                                                                    67

Other Highly Ranked Projects                                                                            70

A PPENDICES                                                                                           72
Appendix A: Evaluation Forms                                                                            73

Appendix B: Full Project List: - Level 2 Criteria Evaluation                                            84

Appendix C: Further Reading for Featured Projects                                                       89

February 2003                                          5                             Calthorpe Associates
       C H A P T E R 1: P R O J E C T P U R P O S E

                                     • PROJECT PURPOSE AND BENEFITS

                                     • PUBLIC OUTREACH

                                     • INTEGRATION OF PREVIOUS PLANS

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                                                                              M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

                                                                       and rural areas. Combined with the river’s importance
                                                                       as a central feature of the Twin Cities identity and
                                                                       landscape, the fragmented jurisdictional environment
                                                                       necessitates a comprehensive and coordinated
                                                                       planning effort to ensure that the needs of so many
                                                                       disparate users are met. The Mississippi Riverfront
                                                                       Initiative is intended to provide this comprehensive
                                                                       “rivershed” planning effort.

                                                                       The Initiative involves the project area’s local and
                                                                       regional stakeholders in creating an action framework
                                                                       for investment and implementation along the
                                                                       Mississippi River corridor. The project area extends
                                                                       along 35 river miles, from the Ford Dam and Fort
                                                                       Snelling to the St. Croix River confluence and
The McKnight Foundation sponsored the Mississippi                      downstream through Ravenna Township. It includes
Riverfront Initiative to help preserve the legacy and                  21 communities in four counties with key connections
ensure the future vitality of the Mississippi River                    to the Mississippi River, covering a total of 360 square
corridor by unifying the efforts and visions of all                    miles.
riverfront interests into a cohesive investment and
                                                                       The Initiative engaged stakeholders in four ways:
implementation plan. This initiative integrates existing
planning efforts and leverages existing funding into an                • Steering committee participation;
action framework for revitalization, development and                   • Sub-corridor working group participation;
preservation of the Mississippi Riverfront corridor.
                                                                       • Stakeholder workshop participation; and
The Mississippi River watershed through the Twin                       •   An online forum.
Cities crosses a great number of jurisdictions, each                   The consultant team and Metropolitan Council
of which exercise some regulatory influence over the                   supported this effort with comprehensive summaries
river’s fate. The river also serves a number of different
uses. It is an engine of economic development, a
recreational amenity and an environmental resource,
passing through highly developed, lightly developed

    “The goal is to create an action framework that supports
    a corridor-wide vision of protection, development and
    revitalization. Essentially, that means bringing together
    all the existing plans and best ideas in the river corridor,
    and developing an overarching strategy to meet the
    corridor’s multiple needs.”

    -Kristina Smitten, Metropolitan Council Project Manager

February 2003                                                      7                                         Calthorpe Associates

of existing plans, projects, and priorities; development         partners are preparing to do similar prioritizing with
of draft prioritizing criteria; and drafting of an               respect to open space protection and restoration.
investment framework and implementation plan for
                                                                 For tourism and economic development, a corridor-
priority projects. In turn, these tasks will inform the
                                                                 wide vision plan is an aid to river communities
Metropolitan Council’s Regional Blueprint revision
                                                                 by helping communities to articulate regional
and position communities to implement key local
                                                                 significance for local investments. In the St. Louis
priorities in a regional context.
                                                                 area, the award-winning Confluence Greenway Plan
B ENEFITS OF           A   C OORDINATED                          has helped to unite communities around a common
                                                                 vision of a perpetually sustainable, 40-mile riverside
                                                                 recreation and conservation area on both banks of
A corridor-wide vision plan that looks beyond                    the Mississippi.
jurisdictional boundaries offers a number of
                                                                 Finally, the vision plan will help to foster a sense
compelling benefits.
                                                                 of identity as a river community in the jurisdictions
This vision plan will guide Metropolitan Council                 participating, including cities such as Woodbury that
priorities for regional investments. As it invests               are not directly adjacent to the river but are planning
in housing, wastewater treatment, transportation,                to make trail and greenway connections to the river
regional parks and trails, the Council seeks to                  through neighboring communities. By creating
model smart growth principles that enhance                       an integrated framework for implementation and
ecological functions while ensuring livable, working             investment, the vision plan will help river communities
communities that attract economic investment. The                and the region as a whole.
ecological location criteria developed for this initiative
will inform Council decisions about the siting of
future infrastructure projects, such as the planned
Hastings wastewater treatment plant. Through its
statutory review of local comprehensive plans and
river corridor plans, the Council is in an ideal position
to guide an implementation process that will support
regionally significant river corridor opportunities.

Other institutions and partnerships that evaluate and
set priorities for projects, such as the National Park
Service and the Trails and Open Space Partnership,
will also benefit from a coordinated vision plan for the
entire corridor, developed with the participation of a
broad range of stakeholders. The Trails and Open
Space Partnership has developed such a coordinated
vision and priorities with respect to trails, and this
coordination has been instrumental in attracting
more funds and resources to several projects. Big
Rivers Partnership, led by Great River Greening, the
National Park Service, local governments, and other              Figure 1.1: PROJECT AREA MAP. The Pine Bend, Pig’s Eye,
                                                                                and St. Croix/Vermillion Reaches are outlined in blue.

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                                    M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

Figure 1.2: Existing Land Use
in the project area

                                                      Figure     1.3:    Watershed
                                                      boundaries within the project

February 2003                   9                            Calthorpe Associates

The Mississippi River Initiative involved the project            Township, and Prescott, Wisconsin. They represented
area’s local and regional stakeholders in creating an            their communities or areas of knowledge by providing
action framework for investment and implementation               information to the group and reporting back to
along the Mississippi River from St.Paul to Ravenna              their constituencies. At their February meetings,
Township. Public officials, residential, recreational,           they reviewed and contributed to the inventory of
and business interests from a total of 21 communities            community projects, reviewed criteria for prioritizing
in four counties were invited to participate. The                projects, and selected a representative to the Steering
initiative engaged stakeholders in four primary                  Committee. Members participated in the broad
ways: steering committee participation; sub-corridor             stakeholder workshop in March. In May, they assisted
working group participation; stakeholder workshop                the project team with reviewing priority projects and
participation; and an online forum for discussion.               contributing to proposed funding mechanisms and
                                                                 policy action suggestions. Finally, the Sub-corridor
S TEERING C OMMITTEE                                             Working Groups will provide guidance to determine
The Steering Committee, which met in February, April,            the best forum for continued corridor-wide work.
June, and September 2002, represented corridor-wide
                                                                 S TAKEHOLDER WORKSHOP
or cross-jurisdictional interests and constituents.
Members included elected officials; federal, state and           The Stakeholder Workshop, held on March 13, 2002,
regional agency staff; transportation interests, business        at the Inver Grove Heights Community Center,
interests; and environmental groups. A representative            convened local and regional stakeholders to review and
from each sub-corridor working group also served on              comment on the compiled projects and plans. At this
the steering committee. They helped shape the criteria           meeting, stakeholders also reviewed proposed criteria
for selecting priority projects, the final implementation        for setting implementation priorities, and identified
strategies, and the investment framework by providing            priority projects. The workshop gave participants
leadership in representing and reporting back to their           the chance to look beyond jurisdictional boundaries
constituencies, and evaluated the projects. They were            to see and comment on the cumulative impact of
also invited to participate in the broad stakeholder             existing plans. The Stakeholder Workshop included
workshop in March. Finally, the Steering Committee               Steering Committee and sub-corridor Working Group
will provide guidance to determine the best forum for            members, as well as other elected officials, citizens and
continued corridor-wide work and implementation.                 representative groups.

S UB - CORRIDOR WORKING G ROUPS                                  Following a presentation on river issues and planned
                                                                 projects, participants worked in small groups with
The Sub-corridor Working Groups represented                      maps and game pieces to build on the work of previous
stakeholders in each of three sub-corridor geographic            planning efforts and identify key implementation
areas: 1) Pilot Knob to Pig’s Eye reach: Mendota,                projects for their river reach. Based on their area of
Mendota Heights, Lilydale, Saint Paul, West Saint                residence or interest, participants were divided into
Paul, South Saint Paul, and Maplewood; 2) Pine Bend              eleven groups (four groups for the Pig’s Eye Reach,
reach: Newport, Saint Paul Park, Grey Cloud Island               five for the Pine Bend Reach and two for the St.
Township, Cottage Grove, Inver Grove Heights,                    Croix-Vermillion Reach).
Rosemount, and Woodbury; and 3) St. Croix/
Vermillion reach: Denmark Township, Nininger                     Two base maps were provided for each reach. The
Township, Hastings, Ravenna Township, Marshan                    Projects Map showed current land and river uses
                                                                 (such as residential, commercial, and industrial land
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                                                                                        M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

uses; the navigation channel, fleeting areas, and barge                          one of a variety of different mixes and intensities,
terminals) and geographic constraints such as steep                              represented by a different color and symbol. Chip
slopes, wetlands and flood plains. The Projects Map                              types ranged from walkable mixed-use Downtown,
also identified proposed projects on land and water,                             Town and Village chips to conventional auto-oriented
including major riverfront open spaces proposed in                               Activity Center and Industrial/Office types and
community plans, proposed commuter rail station                                  a variety of residential types. Participants used a
locations, and existing, planned and proposed trails.                            combination of these chips to place the projected
An Ecological Priority Areas overlay map, printed on                             household and employment growth (from local plans)
clear acetate, showed key ecological areas identified                            to 2020 on the map.
by many sources, including Great River Greening, the
state Department of Natural Resources, watershed                                 Two starter chip sets were provided, each of which
district greenway plans, county plans such as the                                used a different number and combination of chips
Dakota Farmland and Natural Areas plan, and inter-                               to accommodate this 2020 growth increment.
jurisdictional efforts such as the Mississippi River                             The development types used in Chipset #1 were
Greenway Strategic Plan.                                                         based on land uses and intensities from adopted
                                                                                 community comprehensive plans. Chipset #2 put a
In order to see the development context in which                                 greater emphasis on sustainability through infill and
projects might occur over the next 20 years,                                     redevelopment in already built-up areas, walkable
participants used development type game pieces, or                               mixed use new development, and conservation
“chips,” to understand the amount of land required to                            development such as rural clusters, thus using
accommodate the household and employment growth                                  somewhat fewer chips to accommodate the same
projected by their cities in their comprehensive plans.                          increment of growth. Groups could also trade chips
Each chip represented 160 acres of development in

                                                                                 EXAMPLE: RECOMMENDATIONS
                                                                                 OF TABLE 1

                                                                                 • Intensified development in downtown St. Paul
                                                                                 • Additional trail connections (I-35 E Trail, Bike
                                                                                   trail along Summit Avenue, Trail from Como
                                                                                   Regional Park to downtown)
                                                                                 • More soccer fields
                                                                                 • Developing a ‘Town’ type walkable mixed-use
                                                                                   area set back from the blufftop of the confluence
                                                                                   near West Seventh Street and Shepard Road.
                                                                                 • Creating a ‘Downtown’ type walkable mixed-
                                                                                   use area near the Amtrak Station on the
                                                                                   Minneapolis/St. Paul border

  Figure 1.4: An example of one group’s recommendations for the Pig’s Eye
  Reach, developed at the Stakeholder Workshop

February 2003                                                               11                                       Calthorpe Associates

from one type to another, as long as the growth                  The forum also served to disseminate information
forecasts continued to be met.                                   and increase interest and public awareness about the
                                                                 Mississippi Riverfront Initiative. Responses were
Once they had completed their maps, participants
                                                                 considered by steering committee, working group
were given special stickers to identify projects they
                                                                 and project staff members in selecting the priority
considered to be “Key Opportunities” for coordination
                                                                 implementation projects. A selection of comments
or implementation. Each group presented its findings
                                                                 posted on the online forum are listed on this page.
to the entire assembly.

O NLINE FOR UM                                                       It seems appropriate to view all issues from the

In addition to the stakeholder workshops, steering                   ecological sustainability of      the Mississippi. Any

committee and working group input, an online forum                   associated   industrial,   commercial,     transportation,

was held as one method the Mississippi Riverfront                    housing, habitat, park, trail, byway or other use is

Initiative used to generate public feedback and input                diminished if the river itself is unhealthy.

into the project prioritizing and selection process.                 -Carol Zoff Pelton, MNDOT

The forum gave the general public an avenue to
describe their likes and dislikes about the river’s
current status, their priorities and visions for its                 I live in S. Inver Grove, 4 blocks from the river. It may
future, and their memories and stories that personalize              as well be 4 miles as there is no connection to a river,
the river for so many people. Online participants were               whose shoreline is choked with recyclers, impound
asked to direct their answers based on the following                 lots, scrap metal operations, garbage haulers, and other
question:                                                            industrial uses.   There is an opportunity to make a
                                                                     connection to this great river. I think the shoreline and
• Considering these potentially competing interests,
                                                                     upland bluff area should be maintained in a natural state
  what do you think the region can do to sustain
                                                                     with a walking/biking trail snaking the entire length.
  the river as an economic work engine without
  compromising       its     value environmentally,                  -Michael Fellows
  historically and culturally?

     As we plan for the future of pool 2, think below the
     surface, not just “out of the box.” Clean water and
     healthy backwaters, islands and side channels are as
     important as riverfront development, greenways and
     smart new buildings.

     -Dan Mc Guinness, National Audubon Society, Upper
     Mississippi River Campaign

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                                                                      M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

INTEGRATION                                 OF   PREVIOUS PLANS
A primary objective of the Mississippi Riverfront              • To provide a management framework to assist
Initiative is to build upon previous planning-related            in the development and implementation of
efforts along these reaches of the Mississippi River.            integrated resource management programs and to
Communities and partners that participated in the                ensure orderly public and private development.1
Initiative have developed or participated in numerous          The National Park Service coordinated the
planning exercises focusing on the river. For example,         development of a Comprehensive Management
all communities adjacent to the river have completed           Plan (CMP), approved in 1995. The CMP provides
an approved plan for the state-designated Critical Area        guidance for cooperative federal, state, local and
Corridor within their jurisdiction between 1979 and            private management of the river and adjacent lands,
2002. Additionally, most riverfront communities have           adopts and incorporates by reference requirements of
updated their existing Critical Area Corridor plans to         the existing Critical Area standards and guidelines and
comply with Executive Order 79-19 and to incorporate           other land use management state laws, and identifies
some of the voluntary policies of the federally                additional, voluntary measures that can be taken to
designated Mississippi National River Recreation Area          protect corridor resources and protective strategies for
(MNRRA), a unit of the National Park System. The               the river. The CMP was developed through a four-year
Mississippi Riverfront Initiative process builds on and        process involving extensive input and collaboration.
integrates these previous planning activities to inform        The policies and guidance of the MNRRA CMP along
the overall implementation process.                            with local river corridor, comprehensive and greenway
In 1988, U.S. Congress established the MNRRA, a                plans provided the foundation for the development
72-mile long stretch of the river as it runs through           of this Initiative. The planning team reviewed these
the Twin Cities metropolitan
area, from Ramsey and Dayton
to south of Hastings. The
MNRRA’s purpose is:

• To protect, preserve, and
  enhance the significant
  values of the Mississippi
  River corridor;
• To encourage coordination
  of federal, state, and local
  programs; and

Figure 1.5: Planned future land use along
the Mississippi River corridor from Ford
Dam and Fort Snelling to the St. Croix
and Vermillion river confluences south of
the Hastings dam; this map is based on
existing comprehensive plans.

February 2003                                             13                                         Calthorpe Associates

plans in the context of cross-jurisdictional challenges
and opportunities to inform implementation priority

Other plans that informed decision-making in the
Initiative process include:

• Critical Areas Act (Executive Order 79-19);
• 16 river corridor plans;
• 20 comprehensive plans;
• Mississippi River Greenway Strategic Plan –
               Rosemount to Hastings;
• Green Corridor Plan – Washington County;
• South Washington Watershed District Greenway
• Dakota County Farmland and Natural Areas
• Metropolitan Council Regional Blueprint 1997;
• The Clean Water Act.

Along with existing plans, there are numerous ongoing
activities and discussions that impact the Mississippi
River community. These additional activities and
planning efforts informed this effort and have been
informed by this effort, including:

• American Heritage Rivers Initiative;
• Metropolitan Council Blueprint 2030 Update;
• Regional Natural        Resource    Inventory    and
• The Surface Water Use Management Plan (Army
  Corps of Engineers).
• Mississippi Trails and Open Space Partnership
• Big River Partnership
• Metro Wildlife Corridors
• Pool 2 Environmental Plan
• Grand Excursion 2004
• St.Paul   Riverfront        Corporation      (SPRC)
  Renaissance Plan

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                                  M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

 C H A P T E R 2: T H E R I V E R C O R R I D O R

                            • THE WORKING RIVER

                            • ECOLOGICAL RESOURCES

                            • CULTURAL RESOURCES

February 2003               15                          Calthorpe Associates

FREIGHT AND N AVIGATION                     ON THE
                                                                T HE R IVER E CONOMY
                                                                The first products to be barged up- and downriver on
The Mississippi River is a critical transportation              the Mississippi were grain and timber products. As
artery for the Twin Cities and the Midwest as a whole,          the region’s economy became more diverse, timber
handling some 500 million tons of commodities                   was replaced by other goods, such as aggregate, salt,
annually. The Upper Mississippi (above the confluence           fertilizer, coal, petroleum products, construction
of the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois) is the only river         materials, steel, and industrial chemicals. Grain still
system in the United States formally recognized by              accounts for one-half of the goods moved on the
Congress as both as a nationally significant ecosystem          river.
and a nationally significant commercial navigation
system. Within the Twin Cities metropolitan area,               The products visible on barges and terminals are
the Mississippi from St. Paul to Hastings has a strong          evidence of the river’s importance to the regional
working character, with railroads, barge fleeting areas         economy. Inbound products to the Port of St. Paul
and terminals visible from many locations, often                include coal used for district heating in downtown
alongside sensitive natural areas such as the Pig’s Eye         St. Paul, sand and gravel from Grey Cloud Island,
Island heron rookery.                                           phosphates, fertilizers, salt, cement, and asphalt.
                                                                Outbound products other than grain include oilseeds,
Barging is the most cost effective means of moving              fertilizers, and scrap steel and aluminum destined
heavy goods and uses less fuel and causes less                  for recycling at mills in the Ohio River Valley. The
pollution per ton moved than either truck or rail               handling of all materials on the river is monitored by
transportation. A 1992 MnDOT study found that a                 the St. Paul Port Authority, the Minnesota Pollution
gallon of fuel can move one ton of goods 514 miles              Control Agency, and by shippers and other river
by barge, 202 miles by rail, and only 59 miles by truck.        users, including informal oversight by the live-aboard
Highway congestion would be much worse without                  community and recreational boaters.
barging. The cargo capacity of a barge is 15 times
greater than that of a rail car and 60 times greater
than that of a semi trailer. To move the same amount
of cargo transported by a standard tow (15 barges)
would require a freight train 2 3/4 miles long or a line
of trucks stretching more than 35 miles.

Navigation also provides many jobs. A
PriceWaterhouseCoopers       study     found     that
commercial traffic originating or terminating in
the Upper Mississippi River System produces over
400,000 jobs which generate almost $4 billion in
income and yield business revenues of $11 billion to
$14 billion. Minnesota’s inland water transportation
                                                                Two large petroleum refineries are located near the
industry directly generates 500 jobs and more than
                                                                Mississippi River in the study area. These are Flint
$4 million in payroll taxes for the federal and state
                                                                Hills Resources Pine Bend Plant (formerly Koch
                                                                Refining) in Inver Grove Heights and Marathon

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                                                                         M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

                                                                  H ISTORY
                                                                  Steamboats brought early white settlers and visitors
                                                                  to Minnesota, including the Grand Excursion that
                                                                  carried President Millard Fillmore and 1,200 other
                                                                  dignitaries from Rock Island to St. Paul in 1854.
                                                                  Early steamboats required a three foot draft, but in
                                                                  its natural state the river did not always provide this.
                                                                  Depending on water levels, at times both Red Wing
                                                                  and Hastings have been the head of navigation for the

                                                                  In the 19th Century, Congress charged the US Army
Ashland Petroleum Company in St. Paul Park. Flint                 Corps of Engineers with managing the Mississippi
Hills is the largest of the five refineries that serve            River for commercial traffic in order to spur the
Minnesota. Other large industrial users along the                 economy of the Midwest. Initially the Corps let the
riverfront include 3M’s Cottage Grove facility, CF                river itself do the bulk of the work, using wing dams
Industries and Continental Nitro. All these industrial            and closing dams to increase flow rates in the main
users rely on the river to transport heavy goods.                 channel and sweep away sediment. Congress directed
                                                                  the Corps to establish a six foot navigation channel
The river’s importance in the Twin Cities economy                 in 1910, but this depth was the limit that could be
was highlighted in 2001 when flooding reduced                     achieved with the technology of the time.
barging capacity and forced freight traffic to use
landside routes. Along with many other important                  Efforts to protect the river’s wildlife by early 20th
commodities, the price of ice control salt for roads              century conservationist groups such as the Izaak
doubled, because the vast majority of the region’s                Walton League spurred Congress to create the
road salt typically comes upriver from Louisiana by               Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish
barge.                                                            Refuge in 1924. Over the next twenty years, the
                                                                  federal government acquired nearly 200,000 acres of
Commercial barge traffic contributes revenue from                 Mississippi River bottomlands along a 260 mile reach
fuel taxes to a capital building budget that is subject to        of the river. While it protected habitat on almost
legislative allocation. Towboat operators pay $.20 per            half the river bottoms in the reach, the legislation
gallon of fuel used, which is used to pay for 50% of              specifically allowed navigation improvements to be
any new construction or major rehabilitation on the               built within the refuge.
inland waterway system. The amount recommended
for the FY2003 budget period was $143 million for                 The most dramatic human alteration of the river was
operation and maintenance for the entire Upper                    the construction of the Upper Mississippi lock and
Mississippi River. By contrast, the 2002 budget for               dam system in the 1930’s. The Hastings Lock and
highways in Minnesota alone was $1 billion.                       Dam that created Pool 2 was begun in 1927. The
                                                                  system was completed in 1940, and the nine-foot
                                                                  navigation channel was completed in 1948. This
                                                                  system has allowed Twin Cities residents to recreate
                                                                  and work on a river with stable water levels. Because of

February 2003                                                17                                         Calthorpe Associates

the lock and dam system, the St. Croix has an extra six
feet of water in downtown Stillwater, the Mississippi
is more than two to three feet deep on the south end
of Prescott, and the vernal pools of the Vermillion
River don’t dry up in August. In the Pine Bend area,
lowlands inundated by the completion of the dam
enlarged Spring Lake into a shallow backwater area
that stump fields make impassable to vessels larger
than a canoe.

The Corps maintains the navigation channel with
periodic dredging that has been coordinated with
other agencies since the late 1970’s; these include
the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park              previously been carried downstream, and the dams
service, the Coast Guard, and the Departments of                 have eliminated periodic drought conditions needed
Natural Resources of Minnesota, Wisconsin and                    to renew aquatic vegetation. Both agriculture and
Iowa. An on-site inspection team from these agencies             urban uses increase the rate of runoff, and thus the
reviews every dredging project in the Corps’ St. Paul            amount of sediment and other pollutants, that reaches
District to ensure that the environmental aspects are            the river. In many areas along the river, backwaters
considered before any dredging project begins. The               and side channels that were once 15 feet or more in
Corps also administers an environmental management               depth are now only a couple of feet deep.
program that monitors and undertakes projects
involving environmental aspects of the river, but this           Many of the river’s important fish species, such as
program is in need of additional funding.                        the Northern Pike, depend on the backwaters for
                                                                 critical parts of their life cycle. The shallow areas with
N AVIGATION A ND T HE A QUATIC                                   thick aquatic weeds are becoming fewer as sediment
E COLOG Y                                                        accumulates in the backwaters. Many fish species
                                                                 spend the winter months in backwater areas where
Human changes have irrevocably altered the river’s               the current is slow, and these areas are becoming too
natural systems, but it is still an outstanding natural          shallow for the fish to survive.
resource. Although the navigation system has been in
place for 60 years, the Mississippi River still supports         Backwaters are critical habitats for important game
a vibrant fishery and many highly productive wildlife            fish like largemouth bass and bluegills. Barge traffic
habitats. But there is increasing evidence that in some          can degrade backwater areas by resuspending
areas the river’s ecosystem may be reaching the limits           sediment. The sediment limits light in backwaters
of its resilience.                                               areas, and below a critical threshold plants cannot
                                                                 grow – a threshold already reached in some portions
While modern navigation would be impossible without              of the river.
them, the dams reduced the river’s ability to carry
sediment and has essentially eliminated the river’s              By the 1960s, it was clear to many river biologists that
natural meandering and flood pulse, transforming the             the river was in decline, and Corps proposals in the
river into a series of long, shallow pools. Side channels        1960’s for year-round navigation and a twelve-foot
and backwaters began to fill with sediments that had             channel began to alarm conservationists. The National
                                                                 Environmental Policy Act of 1969 required the Corps,
Calthorpe Associates                                        18                                              February 2003
                                                                        M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

like other recipients of federal funding, to evaluate the        water levels by 1.5 feet at Lock and Dam 8 during the
environmental impact of its new projects and attempt             growing season. On 21 July, 2001, during the period
to mitigate any adverse impacts.                                 of maximum drawdown, a total of about 2,000 acres
                                                                 were exposed. A variety of moist soil and emergent
Declines in aquatic plant beds began in the 1960s in             plant species important to wildlife grew on substrates
much of the river system and were severely degraded              exposed during the drawdown.
by the 1980s. Aquatic plants are important for fish
and waterfowl habitat. Fisheries biologists grew                 T HE F UTURE
concerned over the loss of islands and the siltation of
                                                                 The locks built the 1930’s are already well beyond
backwater habitats.
                                                                 their anticipated 50 year useful life. They are also only
Invasive species such as zebra mussels are carried by            half as long as modern strings of barges, requiring
all types of vessels and have encroached on the habitat          tow operators to “lock through” their goods in two
of native mollusks such as fingernail clams. The                 groups. During peak seasons, barges may wait several
Upper Mississippi River was once home to 40 species              hours at congested locks for before they can lock
of native mussels. By 1978, the project area contained           through. Each hour of delay adds $400 or more in
only seven species, but improvements in water quality            shipping costs, which can add up to millions of dollars
have allowed mussel populations to rebound and in                throughout the system.
2001, 20 species were found in the project area. This
                                                                 The Corps initiated a long-term feasibility study for
loss of biodiversity threatens the long term health of
                                                                 restructuring the Upper Mississippi – Illinois Waterway
all the river’s natural communities.
                                                                 system in 1993. Initial economic forecasts released in
The Water Resources Development Act of 1986                      2000 estimated that barge traffic would double from
established a Long-Term Resource Monitoring                      2000 to 2050. Unproven but substantiated allegations
Program for the Upper Mississippi. In 1999, the                  that the economic forecasts were deliberately
Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center,                      manipulated to justify major navigation improvements
an agency of the US Department of the Interior,                  led to the study’s being put on hold and restructured
published a report that detailed the status of the               so that more federal agencies could participate. The
Upper Mississippi River ecosystem by compiling all               restructured study attempts to balance the needs of
the research to date. The report suggests the river              navigation with their effects on the river ecosystem
needs continuing attention if the current ecological             and to use a scenario approach that considers several
benefits are to be maintained and degraded conditions            alternative futures. An interim report was released in
restored. Careful and ongoing monitoring of the                  July 2002 and a final report is expected in 2004.
ecological impacts of navigation will be critical to
                                                                 The potential for the long-term closing to freight
maintaining the Mississippi as a living, working river.
                                                                 traffic of the Upper Harbor in Minneapolis has raised
Although some native river floodplain and aquatic                concerns about the impacts of relocating terminal
species are not able to thrive in the altered river              facilities from the Upper Harbor to environmentally
ecosystem, efforts have been taken to better understand          sensitive areas of the project area. Two different studies
how to support the existing river ecosystem and                  of the economic and highway impacts throughout the
potentially restore natural functions. For example,              region of closing the northern terminal are underway,
during the summer of 2001, the U.S. Army Corp of                 and there should be no change in status until those
Engineers conducted a pilot drawdown of Navigation               analyses are completed in 2004 or 2005.
Pool 8 in an effort to enhance the production of
aquatic vegetation and improve fish and wildlife
habitat. The drawdown involved reducing Pool

February 2003                                               19                                          Calthorpe Associates

The Mississippi River Valley contains some of the                     woodland, brushland and deciduous forest. However,
most important natural resources of the Twin Cities                   the southern part of Washington County (Cottage
metro region. Not only is the river itself among the                  Grove and Denmark Townships) did contain an
world’s greatest, but the valley as a whole contains                  expanse of prairie unlike the rest of the county.
some of the region’s last remaining intact natural plant
                                                                      This original vegetation was mapped in a general
communities. When considering the exposed geologic
                                                                      way by the early surveyors; it is what we now call
features, numerous scientific and natural areas,
                                                                      native vegetation. More detailed accounts of plant
breeding, nesting, and feeding areas for all kinds of
                                                                      and animal species also exist from early explorers
wildlife, and habitat for a myriad of rare plant species,
                                                                      and have been used to piece together a picture of
one quickly realizes the great ecological significance
                                                                      the components of the intact communities, but of
of the corridor.
                                                                      course we will never know exactly what they were like.
Historically, the Mississippi Riverfront study area was               The conversion, removal, destruction of the native
a mosaic of many different native plant communities                   plant and animal communities began in the 1800’s
adapted variously to soils, topography, moisture                      when Europeans began to settle in the area, build
and fire. Prairie fires moving with the prevailing                    cities, cut forests and plow the land. As technology
southwest winds maintained a large part of Dakota                     advanced, more and more native vegetation made
County as open prairie. In areas protected from fire                  way for roads, development, industry and agriculture.
because of their topography, the prairies gradated                    The most extensive and far-reaching changes came
into oak savanna, woodland and forest. Ravines                        after World War II. Today the trend of native habitat
and river bottoms supported a variety of forest and                   loss continues. When plant and animal species are
wetland types. Ramsey and Washington Counties                         reduced to sparse percentages, they are labeled rare,
(protected from most fires on the down-wind side of                   endangered or threatened according to state and
the Mississippi River) had less prairie, more extensive               federal guidelines.

                                                                      The Minnesota County Biological Survey (MCBS)
     “Unfortunately, the Minnesota of           our collective
                                                                      for the three metro counties that are part of the
     imagining         is   disappearing.   Development   and
                                                                      Mississippi Riverfront study was completed in the mid
     urbanization are changing the face of our watersheds.
                                                                      1990’s. All that is left of the natural communities in
     Between 1982 and 1992, development on Minnesota
                                                                      the study area is the 4.3% of the original vegetation,
     farms and natural areas occurred at a rate of about
                                                                      represented by the scattered and fragmented patches
     2.7 acres per hour. Between 1992 and 1997, that rate
                                                                      located and identified by MCBS. The condition of the
     increased to about 7.1 acres per hour. That means that
                                                                      remnants varies as to how completely they represent
     we¹re losing an area of open space the size of the City
                                                                      the undisturbed structure of presettlement forests,
     of Minneapolis about every seven months. According
                                                                      wetlands and prairies. The level of disturbance from
     to the Metropolitan Council, between 1990 and 1997,
                                                                      human activities, invasive plants from Europe and
     non-urbanized land in the seven county metro area fell
                                                                      Asia and impacts from pollution have undoubtedly
     by 83,350 acres or seven percent. Unless we begin to
                                                                      altered these parcels.
     take aggressive action, our legacy to future generations
     of Minnesotans will be polluted water, fish advisories           One of the greatest challenges for the river communities
     and unswimmable lakes and rivers.”                               will be to manage and sustain the remaining natural
                                                                      resources while satisfying socioeconomic realities.
     -Friends of the Mississippi River
                                                                      Often we are not aware of our losses until they are

Calthorpe Associates                                             20                                            February 2003

                                  Figures 2.1 and 2.2: Ecological
                                  Resources and Natural and Recreational
                                  Resources along the three Project Area
                                  reaches. Source: Metropolitan Council,
                                  and Metro DNR

February 2003   21                               Calthorpe Associates

gone. The loss or fragmentation of a plant or animal                         highest quality remnants in the area, they are often
community in itself is unfortunate. In addition, these                       isolated and disturbed to some degree and need
losses disrupt the healthy function of the landscape,                        protection and restoration in order to survive.
reduce the viability of the ecosystem, detract from                       • Only half of these high quality remnants are in
the river’s aesthetic appeal, reduce its value as a                         public ownership. Twenty-three percent of high-
recreational resource, contribute to increased runoff                       quality remnants are on steep slopes; however,
and flooding, and lead to reduced water quality.                            communities vary in restricting development on
                                                                            steep slopes. These bluffs are also important
In the overview below, we outline the major ecological
                                                                            community assets. Many of the remnants not
resources of the study area. In the subsequent section
                                                                            in public ownership or on lands unsuitable for
on projects, we then demonstrate how this basic
                                                                            development could be further diminished or
inventory is then used to guide development and
                                                                            eliminated if not taken into account during
define priorities for conservation.
                                                                            development planning.
O VER VIEW                                                                • There are 217 records of rare plants and animals
• Most of these remnant natural areas (82 percent)                          in the larger study area. (The records show
  identified by the Minnesota County Biological                             represent 69 different species out of nearly 300
  Survey (MCBS) are concentrated in the river                               listed species in Minnesota.) Only 33 percent of
  corridor itself, confirming the ecological sensitivity                    the rare plants and animals (36 of the 69 species)
  of the corridor. Although these remnants are the                          are represented on public land. There is no
                                                                            assurance that rare species, except for the three
                                                                            protected under the Federal Endangered Species
                                                                            Act, will have protection even on the public land.
                                                                          • Moderately degraded natural areas not identified
                                                                            by MCBS can be improved with management and
                                                                            should also be protected when possible, especially
                                                                            when they can serve as corridors or buffers to
                                                                            improve core natural areas.
                                                                          • Many degraded natural areas are associated
                                                                            with high quality remnants, underlining their
                                                                            importance as a buffer. Important concentrations
                                                                            identified in previous studies, as well as the
                                                                            Mississippi Riverfront study, include:
                                                                             - Mississippi River corridor,
                                                                             - Green Corridor in Washington County,
                                                                             - Sand Coulee near Hastings,
                                                                             - Pine Bend-Grey Cloud Island-Spring Lake area,
                                                                             - Ravenna Township,
                                                                             - Confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota
                                                                             rivers including Ft. Snelling State Park and Crosby
Figure 2.3: Natural Communities along the Pine Bend Reach. Source:
Friends of the Mississippi River.                                            Farm Nature Park (a St. Paul city park)
Calthorpe Associates                                                 22                                           February 2003
                                                                       M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

    - Lands near the Tamarack Nature Preserve in
                                                                    - Black ash swamp (The only two remnants of this
    northwest Woodbury
                                                                    community type are within the Pine Bend area).
    - The ravines and river terraces of Cottage                     - Wet meadow (One site for this threatened
    Grove.                                                          community is in Ravenna Township, in the river
• Other disturbed open areas currently may not have                 valley. The other is in Fort Snelling).
  as high a natural value but can serve community                   - Dry cliff community (The largest one of two
  purposes. Communities might consider these                        communities in the study area is in Hidden Falls/
  for their ecological, recreational, or aesthetic                  Crosby Farm Nature Park, Saint Paul).
  potential.                                                     • Of the 217 rare plant and animal records, 162
                                                                   (75%) are concentrated along the river corridor.
S PECIAL FEATURES                                                  In the entire study area, some rare species are
• About 26 different native plant communities are                  associated with high quality habitat but many are
  identified in the study area.                                    not. Any individual development proposal should
                                                                   take this into account. Examples of rare animals
• Rare plant communities (according to a statewide
                                                                   often utilizing degraded habitats are Blanding’s
  ranking) include:
                                                                   turtle in wetlands around Maplewood and
    Critically endangered communities:                             loggerhead shrikes in the grassy agricultural fields
    - Calcareous seepage fen (the study area has only              of Dakota County.
    one of this critically endangered community,                 • Floodplain forest and emergent marsh are state-
    which is located in Fort Snelling State Park).                 threatened communities, even through they are
    - Dry prairie (the most important dry prairie type is          the most dominant communities in the river
    the barrens subtype, which is critically endangered.           corridor. Important areas of floodplain forest are
    The Sand Coulee near Hastings an important area                in the Pine Bend-Grey Cloud Island area, as well
    where dry prairie remnants are located.)                       as Ravenna Township (the latter is in large part
    - Mesic prairie (the largest tract is at Katherine             within the “Gore’s Pool” Wildlife Management
    Ordway Nature Center; others are scattered in                  Area).
    Ravenna and Marshan Townships).                              • According to the Geological Survey’s groundwater
    Threatened or Endangered:                                      sensitivity data, the study area encompassing
    - Oak savanna (there are only three sites in the               southern Washington County has high to very high
    study area: in Cottage Grove, Ravenna Township,                sensitivity of groundwater to pollution, especially
    and Old Mill Park in Hastings).                                along the river corridors. Only in the west central
                                                                   portion of Washington County is the groundwater
    -Wet prairie (the only one in the study area is Jim’s
                                                                   geologically more protected from pollution.
    prairie, Maplewood Nature Center).
                                                                 • The water table in the southern part of Ramsey
    - Maple basswood forest (the largest tract is
                                                                   County also shows high to very high sensitivity to
    adjacent to a Newport city park).
                                                                   pollution in the river valley. In fact nearly half of
    - White pine hardwood forest (the largest tract is             the county is rated as high to very high sensitivity;
    at Pine Bend; a few scattered areas are near the St.           the less sensitive areas are associated with the
    Croix River).                                                  Grantsburg and Superior lobe tills and clays
                                                                   scattered throughout Saint Paul and Maplewood.

February 2003                                               23                                        Calthorpe Associates

• Finally, in that part of Dakota County included in
  the study area, groundwater sensitivity to pollution
  is rated as moderate to very high. However, in
  portions of Inver Grove Heights, South St. Paul,
  and West St. Paul, the sensitivity is moderate
  to very low because the aquifer is protected by
  sufficient depth of glacial drift and bedrock
  confining layers.

Calthorpe Associates                                     24   February 2003
                                                                         M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

The areas covered by the Mississippi Riverfront                   St. Paul’s downtown and waterfront, the Mendota
Initiative have a long history of settlement, and the             Heights district across the river from Fort Snelling, and
Mississippi River has played a central role to all who            Downtown Hastings are all examples of traditional
settled in its vicinity. Consequently, traces of different        urban districts, with historic resources in the form of
past cultures, spanning from Native American                      architecture, parks and traditional street layouts.
archaeological sites, early European-American forts,
                                                                  Although the area is rich in cultural resources,
trapper camps, and homesteads, and historic towns
                                                                  many others have been lost as the Twin Cities
and urban districts, can still be found in various
                                                                  region has developed over time. Those sites that
locations along the river.
                                                                  are preserved are well-known but there are other
Native American heritage locations dot these reaches              possible archaeological sites that need to be further
of the Mississippi River. These sites, which consist of           characterized in the area. According to the MNRRA
burial mounds, village sites and other archaeological             Comprehensive Management Plan, much work
findings, are often found at the confluence of the                remains to be done regarding the identification,
river with its tributaries and on blufftops. Within               research and protection of these historic resources,
the project area, the most notable Native American                arguing, “A complete inventory of archaeological sites
heritage location is Indian Mounds Park, located on               in the [MNRRA] corridor is a priority research need.”
top of Dayton’s Bluff in St. Paul. It is a burial ground          Since the MNRRA plan was produced, the Minnesota
for at least two Native American cultures, including              State Historic Preservation Office has produced a GIS
the Dakota. The site is thought to have been inhabited            data layer of archeologically sensitive areas, identifying
up to 2,000 years ago, and is one of the region’s oldest          quarter sections where archeological resources are
parks, having been established in 1893. The park is               known or likely at four levels of sensitivity. The
now a tourist attraction and recreational amenity.                office also maintains a database of historic sites and
                                                                  buildings. Native American tribes have conducted an
The Fort Snelling Historic District in St. Paul, at the
                                                                  inventory of sites of Native American significance in
confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers,
                                                                  the river corridor.
is a restored frontier outpost first settled in 1827,
allowing tourists to glimpse an aspect
to the 19th century way of life. While
Fort Snelling was once the frontier of
European-American settlement in North
America, it is now in the center of the Twin
Cities urban conglomeration, presenting a
highly accessible educational and tourist
resource. The fort was designated as
a National Historic Landmark in 1960,
after opposition to plans to put a freeway
through the site succeeded.

Historic neighborhoods, downtowns, and
waterfronts are also found in the project
area, examples of a more recent past,
woven in with modern development.

February 2003                                                25                                          Calthorpe Associates
       C H A P T E R 3:

                                     • SUMMARY OF EVALUATION CRITERIA

                                     • LEVEL 1 CRITERIA- RELATIONSHIP TO RIVER

                                     • LEVEL 2 CRITERIA- ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT

                                     • LEVEL 3 CRITERIA- VALUED COMPONENTS

                                     • LEVEL 4 CRITERIA- BALANCE

Calthorpe Associates            26                                 February 2003
                                                                        M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

SUMMAR Y                     OF        EVALUATION CRITERIA
The Mississippi Riverfront Initiative developed a                priority projects for implementation. The consultant
process for identifying and prioritizing development,            team gave weight to those projects that scored highly
conservation, recreation, and other projects relating            for Level 1 and Level 3 criteria. Additionally, the
to the Pig’s Eye, Pine Bend, and St. Croix/Vermillion            team selected projects so that a balance of geographic
reaches of the Mississippi River. As a first step, the           location and project type would be represented in the
process sought to identify all of the relevant projects          final list.
planned, proposed or envisioned within the project
                                                                 The following sections describe the evaluation criteria
area. To this end, the project team undertook a
                                                                 in greater detail.
rigorous outreach and evaluation process, consisting
of four levels of evaluation, to identify all potential
projects and then narrow this list to the projects with
the highest implementation priorities. The intent in
selecting these projects is to provide a model for river-
related land use decisions, consistent with Critical
Area and MNRRA standards.

The first level of evaluation criteria (Level 1) sought
to establish a master list of all proposed projects
within the site area. To qualify for this Level 1
threshold, projects must have a basic relationship to
the Mississippi River. The Level 2 evaluation criteria
mapped the resulting list of over 150 projects against
areas of differing ecological sensitivity, and decided
which project types were appropriate in which types of
area. Those projects that matched appropriate project
type for their ecological location were compiled into a
short list of roughly 70 projects. Proposers of these
projects were asked for further information.

This information formed the basis for the Level 3
criteria, which involved more detailed descriptions
of projects than earlier levels. For example, Level 3
criteria asked how projects support multiple riverfront
interests, and what the project’s level of consensus
and support is. Based on the responses to this
information, the project steering committee ranked
the responses.

Those projects scoring average or above average for
both the Level 1 and Level 3 criteria passed on to the
following level of evaluation. The consultant team
discussed the remaining 27 projects, forming the basis
for the Level 4 criteria, and the final selection of 11

February 2003                                               27                                        Calthorpe Associates

RELATIONSHIP           TO THE      R IVER                        To assist stakeholders in identifying projects, a number
                                                                 of categories, including natural area protection,
To identify projects of interest in the Mississippi River        recreation, tourism, interpretation, transportation,
corridor, stakeholders including local governments,              historic preservation, public works, brownfield
agencies, non-profit and special-interest groups,                clean-up, new development and redevelopment, were
businesses and residents were asked for input. The               suggested as typical project types of interest.
intent was to identify any and all public and private
projects with a relationship to the Mississippi River in         All proposed projects for which locational information
at least one of the following ways:                              was provided were mapped. See projects maps,
                                                                 following pages.
• Physical or functional link to the river;
• Enhancement of river environmental quality;
• Enhancement of river significance; and
• Enhancement of river access.

The initial solicitation process identified over 150
projects as potential projects of interest. Basic
information was compiled for each project and used
as a foundation for the project evaluation process
described later in this report.

Stakeholders were asked to think broadly about a
potential project’s relationship to the river and the
corridor community. For instance,
a development project located some
distance from the river will likely
contribute stormwater to the river
and may bring in new residents to
the area wanting access to the river.

Calthorpe Associates                                        28                                            February 2003
                                                                         M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

Figure 3.1: Projects along the PIG’S   EYE REACH of   the project area

February 2003                                                       29                         Calthorpe Associates

Figure 3.2: Projects along the PINE   BEND REACH of   the project area

Calthorpe Associates                                             30      February 2003
                                                                     M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

Figure 3.3: Projects along the ST.   CROIX/VERMILLION REACH of   the project area

February 2003                                            31                                Calthorpe Associates

Figure 3.4: ECOLOGICAL PRIORITY AREAS within the Project Area. This map shows the many categories of sensitive ecological areas
identified in the riverfront initiative and previous studies (see Level 2 Criteria). These maps were printed as transparent overlays, to allow easy comparisons
between proposed projects and their location with respect to ecological priority areas.

Calthorpe Associates                                                          32                                                           February 2003
                                                                                     M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

Figure 3.5: PROJECTS MAP overlaid with the Ecological Classification Overlay map (Figure 3.4). A detailed GIS analysis helped to identify projects
with the most desirable relationships to ecological areas, which varied by project type.

February 2003                                                           33                                                 Calthorpe Associates

A NALYSIS OF E COLOGICAL                                      ecological corridor. In contrast, an area with a low
                                                              score might be dominated by non-native long grasses
                                                              with minimal impervious cover and not associated
As noted previously, the landscape history, major             with any native vegetative land cover or wildlife
vegetation patterns at the time of Euro-American              habitat.
settlement, and the influence of logging, agriculture,
                                                              Ecological opportunities therefore may range at one
and urban growth have all shaped the ecology of
                                                              end from areas largely unaltered by human activity
the Mississippi Riverfront study area and the current
                                                              (natural areas) to, at the other end, cultivated land
ecological potential of the landscape. All of these
                                                              or open gravel pits in proximity to natural areas; the
factors are reflected in what map creators call a
                                                              latter have little ecological value in their current state,
land cover data layer. In the metro region, Great
                                                              but could be restored. The value of these disturbed
River Greening and the Minnesota Department of
                                                              sites is dependent upon their relationship to higher
Natural Resources collaborated to develop a manual
                                                              quality natural areas and features. For example, do
that dictates how the land cover is interpreted so it
                                                              they connect patches of habitat or buffer core areas
becomes a part of a unified Minnesota Land Cover
                                                              of habitat from the impacts of development? While
Classification system (or MLCCS).
                                                              not of the highest regional quality, these areas may
The MLCCS only describes the land cover, but gives it         be quite important as a local community asset when
no value. The MLCCS is also composed of different             improved for human recreation and wildlife use.
levels of information, from Level 1 (most general)
to Level 5 (most detailed). At a more detailed level,         U SE OF      THE     E COLOGICAL A REAS
the land cover describes not only the dominant plant          M AP
community but also, where relevant, the presence of
                                                              The analysis of ecological areas is helpful at many
non-native communities or human disturbance.
                                                              levels of planning. For the Mississippi Riverfront
Using this data layer as a base, Great River Greening         Initiative, the consultants used it in two ways.
then ranked the landscape against
various ecological criteria. In this                        ECOLOGICAL DATA LAYERS
way, they assigned values to the
land cover and developed what          Criteria for prioritized ecological areas include the presence of:
is called the Types of Ecological
                                        • Large blocks of natural/semi natural habitat (as identified by the DNR’s
                                            Minnesota County Biological Survey (MCBS) or the Minnesota Land
Using a computer-based data                 Cover Classification System (MLCCS))
system, Great River Greening            •   Vegetated stream corridor
evaluated the landscape by giving a     •   Undeveloped lake shore
weight or a score to these criteria.
                                        •   Bluffs or steep slopes (greater than 18 percent)
For example, a highly scored area
                                        •   Rare plant or wildlife species (endangered, threatened, or special concern)
might be a MCBS site, of a large
size, a natural plant community on      •   Potential to be part of a corridor or a buffer to a natural area
a steep slope, intersect a stream       •   Other kinds of open space, such as tree farms, pasture, non-native urban
buffer and a red-shouldered                 parks, etc. are evaluated, but have much lower ecological value.
hawk territory, and be part of an
                                                                                   Figure 3.6: Scoring system for ecological attributes
Calthorpe Associates                                     34                                                       February 2003
                                                                       M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

                                                                                   Figure 3.7: Types of Ecological Areas. This
                                                                                   map illustrates the result of the base mapping that
                                                                                   determined levels of ecological sensitivity for each
                                                                                   location within the project area.

                                                                                   enhance the ecological functioning
                                                                                   of the land. Based on these
                                                                                   generalizations, the consultant
                                                                                   team created a broad framework
                                                                                   in which certain project types
                                                                                   are more or less appropriate in,
                                                                                   or adjacent to, the most sensitive
                                                                                   ecological areas.

                                                                                   Communities could also use this
                                                                                   kind of analysis when developing
                                                                                   land use plans for the entire
                                                                                   community or even master plans
                                                                                   for particular large acreages.
                                                                                   The maps can guide decisions
                                                                                   about development location. The
                                                                                   accompanying attributes tables
                                                                                   (which detail what natural features
                                                                                   are at a site causing it to rank high
                                                                                   or low) can guide site design at a
                                                                                   master plan level.

First, the team used it to assemble the preceding                                     Finally, the team will share this
ecological summary. With a computerized system,                 information with river partners in order to help focus
managers are able to ask innumerable questions about            land protection efforts. For example, the preceding
the measure and significance of a particular natural            overview listed the most significant concentration of
resource site within a regional context. (All maps              resources in the corridor. Pine Bend is one of these
are available from the Metropolitan Council.) For               concentrations and is already the focus of partner
example, in making broad land use decisions or even             efforts, as described in Chapter 5, Featured Projects.
decisions about a particular site, communities should           Also as a result of this analysis, Great River Greening
know whether a rare plant community is one of two               has been working aggressively with partners to restore
largest in the corridor.                                        the bluff lands in the Saint Paul River Valley and
                                                                especially in city parks near Fort Snelling. Great River
Second, staff used it to evaluate the location of all           Greening, which leads the Big Rivers Partnership, will
the projects from an ecological point of view. A                continue to expand this analysis to focus restoration
housing development affects the land differently from           efforts in all the river corridors of the metro area.
a trail and, alternatively, has a different potential to

February 2003                                              35                                                Calthorpe Associates

                                                  TYPES OF ECOLOGICAL AREAS:

   Type                Name                           Definition
   A                   Sensitive Areas                Within GRG and Dakota County SWCD very high and high priority areas, as well
                                                      as DNR patches and corridors in areas where more detailed analysis was not done.
   B                   Sensitive Area Edges           Within 500 foot buffer around Sensitive Areas
   C                   Green Infrastructure Areas Within, or within 250 feet of, any green area shown on Ecological Priorities overlay
                       and Edges                      (includes medium to high value farmland, proposed greenways, etc.) but outside of
                                                      Type A and B areas.
   D                   Highly Altered                 Areas outside of Type A, B, and C areas.

                                         RELATIONSHIP TO ECOLOGICAL AREAS
                                            FOR HIGH PRIORITY PROJECTS

        MD              Most Desirable
         D              Desirable
         A              Acceptable
        PA              Potentially Acceptable depending on design criteria
         U              Undesirable

    Project Type                                     Examples                                           Ecological Area Type
                                                                                                A         B          C         D
    Natural Area Protection                          acquisition, restoration                  MD           D       A          U
    Interpretation/Education                         signage                                   PA         MD        D          A
    Historic Preservation                            rehab of bldgs, facilities                 U         MD        D          A
    Trails                                           acquisition, construction                 PA         MD        D          A
    Active Recreation                                playfields, boat launch                    U          PA      MD          A
    Tourism                                          visitor’s center w/ pkg.                   U          PA      MD          A
    Redevelopment/brownfields                        cleanup/rehab/redevt.                      U          PA      MD          A
    New Development (conservation)                   new cluster development                    U          PA      MD          A
    New Development (conventional)                   new subdivision                            U           U       PA         MD
    Transportation/Navigation/Utility                new road, levee, sewer plant               U          PA       PA         MD

Figures 3.8 and 3.9: Types of Ecological Areas and Relationships to Ecological Areas for High Priority Projects.

Calthorpe Associates                                                        36                                                 February 2003
                                                                     M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

M ETRO - WIDE       NATURAL RESOURCES                         characterization. Under the LANDSAT model, a large
                                                              weedy agricultural field might have a high ecological
                                                              ranking because it is large and open grass, whereas a
At the same time as the Mississippi Riverfront study,         MLCCS-based ranking could be comparatively lower
the Metropolitan Council in collaboration with the            because it is recognized as a disturbed, non-native
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources began               community type.
a similar metro-wide natural resources inventory
                                                              The difference is most marked with respect to
and assessment. Although the work will not be
                                                              grasslands. For example, LANDSAT land cover
refined until December 2002, the inventory is now
                                                              data is unable to distinguish between native tall grass
available in overlays of computerized maps (DNR-
                                                              prairie and an old field with tall non-native grasses At
Metropolitan Council Natural Resource Areas of
                                                              its worst, the satellite actually mistakes pavement or
Regional Importance (NRI/A)). The purpose of this
                                                              shrubs for grassland. The DNR and the Metropolitan
metro-wide work is to help local governments plan
                                                              Council (working with GRG) will have a corrected
development, prioritize conservation, and connect
                                                              grassland layer by December 2002 and hope to find
local and regional features into natural resource
                                                              funds to refine the land cover data for the metro area,
                                                              bringing it to Level 5.
Although comparable, the Mississippi Riverfront
                                                              Despite the differences, communities outside the
analysis is different in several ways. The major
                                                              Mississippi Riverfront study have a great resource in
difference between the two analyses is in the use
                                                              the NRI/A inventory. It offers a powerful tool for
and questions asked. The NRI/A maps primarily
                                                              guiding community development and environmental
look at the most regionally significant natural areas.
                                                              protection, focusing on the most critical habitat
The GRG analysis is broader, since it considers
                                                              and rare species. When more detailed mapping
less significant resources, which nonetheless are
                                                              becomes available, communities will then be able to
important at a community level and can be restored
                                                              look at other natural assets, where restoration and
to a higher quality. Viewed conceptually, the NRI/As
                                                              reconstruction will also benefit community life and
are comparable to the highest priority level only in
                                                              the ecological functioning of the landscape.
the GRG analysis. However, this is only a conceptual
comparison. There are real differences in particular          L EVEL 2 E COLOGICAL A SSESSMENT
areas because of additional issues of information
detail.                                                       For Level 2, all locations within the project area were
                                                              assigned a designation of either “Sensitive Areas,”
In general, the NRI/A maps are based on a land cover          “Sensitive Area Edges,” “Green Infrastructure
map that is a hybrid of LANDSAT, Metropolitan                 Areas and Edges,” or “Highly Altered,” based upon
Council land use, and National Wetland maps; the              their ecological value (shown in Figure 3.7). These
GRG map is based on Level 4 –5 MLCCS land cover               designations were established through data gathering
data, which is a more detailed description of land            and mapping. The process and relied on several data
cover types. LANDSAT might interpret a community              sources, described in Chapter 2 and Figure 3.8 These
as deciduous forest (Level 3); MLCCS would                    data were mapped and compiled to determine the
interpret that same community as native oak savanna           ecological priority of each location within the project
(Level 5; with higher level, more precision). Level           area.
5 is more descriptive especially with respect to the
amount of disturbance and native versus nonnative
February 2003                                            37                                         Calthorpe Associates

The consultant team then developed standards                       Projects from Level 1 were mapped on top of the
for which project types were appropriate in each                   ecological layer to identify the relationship between
ecological area type (Figure 3.9). For example,                    each project and its ecological area. Projects for which
“Natural Area Protection” is most desirable on                     all or part of the project fell within the Most Desirable
sensitive areas, whereas “Active Recreation” projects              ecological area type for their project type passed the
are not. Projects were ranked as “Most Desirable,”                 Level 2 evaluation and were submitted for further
“Desirable,” “Acceptable,” “Potentially Acceptable                 levels of evaluation. Projects in multiple eco-area
depending on design criteria,” and “Undesirable.”                  types were listed by acreage/mileage and percentage
Potentially Acceptable refers to project types that                within each eco-area type. Those with more than one
may or may not be acceptable in certain ecological                 project type listed were analyzed separately for each
areas, depending on how sensitively they are designed.             project type.
For example, depending on its design, a trails project
                                                                   Roughly 70 projects that lay wholly or partly within
may be appropriate in an ecologically sensitive area,
                                                                   areas “most desirable” to their project type were invited
or it may have too great of an ecological impact for
                                                                   to submit full proposals. Additionally, brownfields
                                                                   projects automatically passed onto Level 3, because
There are many methods of doing this kind of                       they all lay on areas of ecological disturbance, no
sensitivity analysis (in some planning literature, the             matter what the project’s final proposed use. Those
methods are called land use suitability analyses). For             that did not meet the above criteria were dropped
this initiative, Great River Greening analyzed the map             from further consideration. Appendix B shows the
of ecological priorities, grouping the priorities at a high        results of the Level 2 criteria evaluation for the full
level for generalized kinds of land uses. The matrix               list of projects that were evaluated.
presented in Figure 3.8 shows four kinds of groupings,
called type of ecological area. As one can see, the four
groupings evolve out of the principle that the highest
priority areas (A) and their buffers (B) should be
singled out to limit what, if any, development occurs
in these areas. Other less significant ecological areas
(C), which are perhaps more disturbed or of smaller
size, are also grouped. While not totally open to any
kind of development, these areas are more flexible in
what may occur there. This approach certainly could
be refined based on a better characterization of the
land use and of the ecological resource.

Calthorpe Associates                                          38                                             February 2003
                                                                      M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

VALUED C OMPONENTS                                             •    Applicability as a Model: This criteria favors projects
                                                                   that serve as a model for replicating process,
Projects that met the Level 2 criteria were asked to               project type, and/or the use of resources for
submit more detailed project information forms. The                future projects.
steering committee members evaluated each returned
proposal based on a variety of value criteria. Level 3         Based on these qualitative criteria, steering committee
Criteria included:                                             members scored each project. Project scores were
                                                               compiled for all projects, and those projects that
• Leveraged Resources: Projects that most effectively          scored average or above average on both the Level
  utilize resources, serve as a catalyst for or provide        1 and Level 3 Criteria passed Level 3 and were
  benefits to other projects, and/or allow future              considered in the fourth level of evaluation.
  projects to occur with fewer public resources
  score higher.                                                See Appendix A: Evaluation Criteria Forms for the
                                                               full Level 3 evaluation form and project information
• Maximum Benefit: This category includes projects
  that address the most goals, including those of
  multiple riverfront interests, jurisdictions, adopted
  plans, or plans under development or other
• Widely Supported: This criteria prioritizes projects
  that have received support from varied riverfront
  interests or partnerships.
• Safety: Projects that have a neutral or improved
  impact on safety on the river and in the
  surrounding area are preferred.
• Reinforces Existing Development: Projects that
  continues or complement previous public or
  private priorities and investment score higher.
• Readiness for Implementation: This category includes
  projects that have plans, approvals, consensus,
  funding, timeline, ownership, and other issues that
  are well developed and mature.
• Urgent: Projects that represent an opportunity that
  may be lost if the project is not undertaken are
  given points in this category.
•   Environmental Impact: Projects that utilize sound
    ecological principles for addressing environmental
    preservation, protection, function, or enhancement
    are preferred.

February 2003                                             39                                           Calthorpe Associates

   Other Highly Ranked Projects
   (Those given average or better scores on both Level 1 and Level 3 Criteria evaluations by the Steering Committee)

   Project                                                                Jurisdition                       Proposer
   Bailly’s Landing Multi-Use Redevelopment                               Hastings                          City of Hastings
   Concord Gateway Initiative                                             South St. Paul                    City of South St. Paul
   Historic Upper Landing Plaza                                           St. Paul                          City of St. Paul
   Levee Park Rehabilitation                                              Hastings                          City of Hastings
   Lilydale Trail Connection                                              St. Paul                          City of St. Paul
   Mississippi River Boulevard Parkway Restoration                        St. Paul                          City of St. Paul
   Mississippi River Greenway Strategic Plan                              Hastings, Rosemount, Marshan,     Cities and Townships; Da-
                                                                          Ravenna, Nininger                 kota County
   Mississippi River to South St. Paul Regional Trail Connection          St. Paul                          City of St. Paul
   Park River Edge Protection & Teaching/Performance Space                St. Paul                          City of St. Paul
   Port Crosby Park & Recreation Area                                     South St. Paul                    City of South St. Paul
   Raspberry Island Site Improvements                                     St. Paul                          City of St. Paul
   Regional Trail River Edge Protection/Naturalization                    St. Paul                          City of St. Paul
   Science Park & Environmental Experience Center                         St. Paul                          City of St. Paul
   Shepard Road Downtown Segment                                          St. Paul                          City of St. Paul
   Spring Lake Park Reserve Land Acquisitions                             Nininger Twp.                     Dakota County
   Upper Landing Park Improvements                                        St. Paul                          City of St. Paul

Figure 3.10: HIGHLY RANKED PROJECTS. The projects listed here were given average or better scores on both Level 1 and Level 3 Criteria
evaluations by the Steering Committee. Brief descriptions of these projects are provided at the conclusion of Chapter Four, Featured Projects.

Calthorpe Associates                                                 40                                                        February 2003
                                                                      M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

TOP P ROJECTS                  AND       B ALANCE                Consultant team members agreed on the following
                                                                 list of eight highest priority projects. To ensure a
The fourth criteria level sought to identify the very top
                                                                 broad geographic distribution of projects within the
priority projects for these reaches of the Mississippi
                                                                 overall corridor, high-ranking projects representing
River. This list represents those projects that scored
                                                                 a variety of project categories were selected from
among the highest projects in Level 1 and Level 3
                                                                 each of the three Minnesota counties in the study
criteria. Additionally, in forming the list, the project
                                                                 area. The predominant project category is listed
team attempted to achieve balance with regards to
                                                                 after each project in parentheses. Projects shown
project type and geographic distribution, so that these
                                                                 in red were the subject of detailed implementation
projects cover the broad range of interests represented
                                                                 plans by Real Estate Strategies, LLC, detailed in
in the project process. Achieving geographic and
                                                                 Book One.
project type diversity also ensured that the resulting
project would provide a wide range models for future
projects of different types and locations.

                                                    FEATURED PROJECTS
  •           River Bluff Stewardship, St. Paul (Natural Area Protection)

  •           Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary Brownfield Cleanup, Planting and Reconstruction, and Trail
              Extension to Lowertown and Mounds Park, St. Paul (Redevelopment/Brownfield Cleanup, Natural
              Area Protection, Trails)

  •           Wakota Bridge Redevelopment Area, South St. Paul (Redevelopment/Brownfield Cleanup, Active

  •           Mississippi River Regional Trail (South St. Paul,Cottage Grove/Rosemount/Nininger Twp.)

  •           Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area, Cottage Grove (Natural Area Protection)

  •           South Washington Watershed District Greenway Plan, Woodbury/Cottage Grove (Natural Area

  •           Hastings River Flats, Hastings (Interpretation/Education, Natural Area Protection)

  •           Hastings Red Rock Commuter Rail Station, Hastings – (Transportation)

Figure 3.10: List of Featured Projects

February 2003                                               41                                       Calthorpe Associates

  Figure 3.11: Map of Featured Projects

Calthorpe Associates                      42   February 2003
                                                 M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

 C H A P T E R 4: F E A T U R E D P R O J E C T S

                                               DISTRICT GREENWAY PLAN, WOODBURY/
                                               COTTAGE GROVE
                                             • HASTINGS RIVER FLATS, HASTINGS
                                               STATION, HASTINGS

February 2003                           43                             Calthorpe Associates


                                                                               ST. PAUL
                                ppi River



                                                                                                    S A
                                                                                                        V   EN

Figure 4.1: Indian
Mounds Regional Park,                                                NER
part of the River Bluff
Stewardship      project.
See full location map
legend, page 69.

                                                                    define the Saint Paul river gorge, an ecologically
                                                                    significant feature in itself.

                                                                    The health of the river bluff ecology has a
                                                                    significant effect on water quality – no small
                                                                    matter in a region where half the people get their
                                                                    drinking water from the Mississippi. Bluffland
                                                                    plant communities filter stormwater, reducing
                                                                    the amount of sedimentation in the river so more
                                                                    light can reach plants and animals below the water
                                                                    surface. Native mussels such as fingernail clams
                                                                    are particularly susceptible to sedimentation in
                                                                    backwaters due to their limited mobility.

                                                                 For the West Side Bluff and the Mississippi River
                                                                 Bluff, an ecological analysis of the floodplain and
                                                                 bluff plant communities, conducted by Great
                                                                 River Greening in partnership with the Saint
                                                                 Paul Division of Parks and Recreation, helped to
                                                                 target stewardship efforts to the most ecologically
Stewardship efforts in several regional parks and                sensitive areas. Ecological inventories are still
public lands in St. Paul will protect and ecologically        needed for the other gorge areas.
improve significant environmental assets adjacent to          Management strategies for the floodplain and river-
the Mississippi River, thereby improving the health of        bluff plant communities are critical to the river’s
the river and the plant, animal and human communities         ecology. Invasive species such as buckthorn and
on its shores and downstream. Connected, these lands          garlic mustard will be controlled, and native plant

Calthorpe Associates                                     44                                                           February 2003
                                                                                             M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

                                                                                    and residents with unique urban natural resource
          ST. PAUL                                        REGIONAL
                                                                                    The bluff stewardship program enjoys broad

                                                                                    consensus but will require unique partnership
                                                                                    between organizations sometimes at odds with


                                                                                    one another. The process by which citizens and


                                                                                    local governments worked together is a model of


                                                                                    stakeholder communication.
                                     REGIONAL   Mi

                                                                     HEIGHTS        Portions of the project have already received funding
                                                                                    from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National
                                                                                    Park Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation,
                                                                                    the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources
                                                                                    through the Big Rivers Partnership, and the city of
                                                                                    St. Paul for removal of invasive species and design
communities will be supplemented with new native                                    of native planting for environmentally friendly views.
plantings. This increase in biodiversity will help the
shoreline plant communities perform their essential                                 Figure 4.2: Crosby and Lilydale regional parks. River Bluff Stewardship’s
buffering functions.                                                                roughly 800 acres are located 70% in Sensitive Areas, with the majority
                                                                                    of the remainder in Sensitive Edges. 24 acres are in Green Infrastructure
Past industrial uses and nonsustainable recreation                                  Areas and Edges, primarily in Lilydale Regional Park. See full location
                                                                                                                                         map legend, page 69.
have also contributed to erosion and bluff instability.
Additionally, portions of St. Paul’s stormwater
infrastructure are over a century old, and some outfall
structures have failed. Bioengineering solutions for
stormwater outlets – the use of plant structures to
stabilize soil with their stems and roots - will address
these problems by slowing runoff, cleaning water by
collecting sediment, and controlling surface erosion.
One possible bioengineering solution is the use of
a vegetated geo-grid. (A vegetated geo-grid is an
array of live rooted plants, branch cuttings, and soil
lifts wrapped with a mesh of polyester strips.) By
reducing erosion, these investments will also reduce
the risk of injury to visitors on public lands due to
slumping ground or cracked trails.

Stewardship of the river bluff will increase the
economic value of nearby properties and will
promote the sustainable recreational use and
enjoyment of the river and its surrounding uplands.
Interpretive materials – including signage as well
as educational activities - will engage visitors
February 2003                                                                  45                                                    Calthorpe Associates

Further funding from the City, the Watershed District,          Since the river bluffs form an important ecological
and Great River Greening is dependent on matching               system, opportunities to create habitat connections
grant funding. Future Legislative Commission on                 to the river corridor should be taken advantage
Minnesota Resources (LCMR) funds are pending,                   of wherever possible. New development or
subject to final legislative approval in May 2003. The          redevelopment can be planned with these green
majority of the funds will be used for invasive species         corridors.   Even existing open spaces such as
control and native plant restoration. Total project             cemeteries and golf courses can be enhanced with
costs are in the neighborhood of $480,000. With all             corridors of native vegetation.
anticipated sources, the project has a funding gap of
over $300,000.                                                  C ONTACT
Next steps for the program include approval and                 Patricia Freeman
endorsement by the Capitol Region Watershed                     City of St. Paul, Division of Parks and Recreation
District (anticipated for Spring 2003) and by St. Paul’s        (651) 266-6400
District Councils, the City Council and Public Works            patricia.freeman@ci.stpaul.mn.us
Department (anticipated for Fall 2003).

Because of their steepness and ecological sensitivity,
the bluffs can act as a barrier between terrace and
floodplain areas and the upland areas above, making
it a challenge to create connections to the bluff.
Staircases once allowed pedestrian movement up and
down the bluffs, though only a few of these remain,
including the “Green Steps” on the West Side. The
relatively few streets that ascend the bluff, including
Snelling Avenue and Ohio Street, should be designed
to be safe and comfortable for pedestrians and

St. Paul has many examples of parkways and other
streets that run along bluff tops with homes facing
the river, including Mississippi River Boulevard,
portions of Shepard Road, and Cherokee Avenue and
Prospect Blvd. on the West Side. Overlooks, including
those along Mississippi River Boulevard and Mounds
Boulevard, give a sense of destination to the bluffside
streets and trails and provide important views of the
river. These streets form an important public face to
the bluff line and should be enhanced where possible
with pedestrian and bicycle amenities. Signage and
interpretation can help to create awareness of the
river ecosystem.
Calthorpe Associates                                       46                                           February 2003
                                                                                           M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

B ROWNFIELD C LEAN - UP, P LANTING                                        AND         RECONSTR UCTION
                                                                                       erosion and water seepage. Interpretive materials
                                                                                       will discuss human transformation of the site,
                                                                                       including burying Phalen Creek, cutting back the
                                                                                       bluff line, raising the former floodplain, and criss-
                                                                                       crossing the area with roads, rails and bridges.

                                                                                       The sanctuary will form the heart of the
                                                                                       Lower Phalen Creek Project. A broad range of
                                                                                       stakeholders have participated in this project, which
                                                                                       aims to “restore the area’s remaining environmental
                                                                                       assets and use the work as a springboard for
                                                                                       broader neighborhood improvement and urban

                                                                                       E LEMENTS
                                                                                        The first phase of the Bruce Vento Nature
                                                                                        Sanctuary project will acquire and remediate
                                                                                        contamination on a 27-acre abandoned rail yard
                                                                                        and brownfield site. Cleanup of this site will
                                                                                        enable the planting and reconstruction phase
                                                                                        of the Sanctuary to begin. Once acquired from
Figure 4.3: The Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary is located at Lower Phalen                 the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, the
Creek; river mile 838.5, St. Paul. The trail extends from East 7th St. and
Payne Ave. to Lowertown and Indian Mounds Park in St. Paul. Twenty-                 site would be owned by the City of St. Paul with a
nine of the project’s 31 acres are in Sensitive Areas. See full location map        conservation easement granted to the Department of
legend, page 69.
                                                                                    Natural Resources.
O VER VIEW                                                                          The planting and reconstruction components of
The Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary is planned for a                                   the project will re-establish native vegetation. The
site on the Mississippi River within walking distance                               restoration work will also provide opportunities for
of Downtown St. Paul, a remarkable example of a                                     volunteer involvement and interpretation. Community
nature sanctuary in the heart of a city. On the site                                vision plans call for adding open water to the site’s
of an abandoned rail yard, this project will restore                                natural springs by creating a new spring-fed pond
floodplain forests, recreate wetlands, add trail links,                             with an island. The plans also call for interpretive
and provide interpretation of the local ecology and                                 opportunities to learn about watersheds, wetland
anthropological history.                                                            habitats and stream flow.

The sanctuary’s many features reflect its rich                                      Ecological restoration will increase the habitat value
geological, ecological and human history. Sandstone                                 of a critical urban section of the Mississippi Flyway,
bluffs form a dramatic backdrop and provide evidence                                used by 40% of North America’s migrating songbirds
of the area’s geology. Two caves offer opportunities                                as well as herons and bald eagles. Within the sanctuary,
to explore sandstone rock formations and learn about                                several bird habitat types are represented, including

February 2003                                                                  47                                         Calthorpe Associates

                                                                                              trail, qualifying for regional funding.
                            HISTORY OF THE SITE                                               A bridge is planned over the railroad
  “Lower Phalen Creek was once a spring fed stream flowing from Lake Phalen                   tracks and Warner Road to connect
  through a deep ravine and into a low delta on the Mississippi River floodplain.             the trail to Lower Landing Park.
  Surrounded by forests and wetlands, the creek formed a natural corridor for
  migrating songbirds and other wildlife traveling between the Mississippi and Phalen
                                                                                              I MPLEMENTATION I SSUES
  Chain of Lakes. Native American tribes offered prayers and held councils in the             Growing out of a grassroots effort
  nearby caves and a small Dakota trading village called Kaposia was located at Lower         to improve the ecological health of
  Phalen Creek’s confluence with the Mississippi River.                                       adjacent Swede Hollow Park, the
                                                                                              Phalen Creek effort emerged in the
  “As European immigrants settled in the area, much of the natural landscape
                                                                                              mid-1990s with the support and active
  disappeared. Lower Phalen Creek was buried by the railroads, and the creek’s delta
                                                                                              participation of several East Side
  was filled and used as a rail yard. The bluff-tops became the Railroad Island and
                                                                                              neighborhood organizations, such as
  Dayton’s Bluff neighborhoods of St. Paul’s East Side. The ravine became known
                                                                                              the Railroad Island Implementation
  as Swede Hollow, and waves of new immigrants lived in a shantytown there until
                                                                                              Task Force, District 5 Payne-Phalen
  the 1950s. By the 1970s railroad use declined, and the abused floodplain was
                                                                                              Planning Council, and the Dayton’s
                                                                                              Bluff    District 4 Community
  “Today, Lower Phalen Creek is primarily a storm sewer, its water largely comprised          Council. Since 1997, the Lowertown
  of rain and snowmelt that has become polluted by contaminants on city streets and           Redevelopment Corporation has
  sidewalks. Swede Hollow has been made into a park, and neighborhood activists               been assisting the project, working
  are working to improve its ecological quality. The floodplain is struggling to health       closely with neighborhood groups
  as nature reclaims the industrial wasteland, but the valley floor still acts as a barrier   and contributing financial resources,
  keeping East Side neighborhoods from downtown and the Mississippi River. “                  planning expertise and partnership
  - A Community Vision for Lower Phalen Creek
                                                                                           The project now has twenty-
                                                                                           five stakeholder organizations as
tall “skeleton trees,” a prairie remnant and second-                                       partners, including the Lowertown
growth tree cover.                                                          Redevelopment Corporation, Friends of Swede
The trail extension project would extend the existing                       Hollow, The Capitol River Council, St. Paul Riverfront
Bruce Vento Regional Trail, which runs through                              Corporation, City of St. Paul, Ramsey County,
various East St. Paul neighborhoods and currently                           Department of Natural Resources Metro Greenways
ends at East 7th Street and Payne Avenue, to the                            Program and the Trust for Public Land.
Mississippi River Regional Trail system. This and                           The Lower Phalen Creek Project is managed by a
other trail extensions recommended in the community                         multi-stakeholder Community Advisory Board, while
vision plan will connect the Trout Brook and Phalen                         a Technical Advisory Board provides tailored expertise
Corridors, two major conservation and improvement                           in ecological restoration and urban design. A Steering
efforts in the heart of St. Paul. The Metropolitan                          Committee provides the leadership and coordination.
Parks and Open Space Commission has added the
Bruce Vento Regional Trail extension through the                            The Lower Phalen Creek Project, including the
proposed sanctuary as an official proposed regional                         BVNS, was selected as a regional treasure in the
                                                                            McKnight Foundation-led Embrace Open Space

Calthorpe Associates                                                   48                                             February 2003
                                                                                         M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

media campaign to raise awareness                                                   52
                                                                                                                                                   St. Paul
of the importance of open space
advocacy and protection.                                                                                       Existing
                                                                                                               Lower Landing                         Mears

                                                                                                               Park Trail                            Park

Many agencies consider the sanctuary

to be a high-priority project, due to its

                                            St. Paul

location on the Mississippi flyway and



                                                                                            i                                      94

its setting amid successful development

projects. The Metropolitan Mississippi                                      s i
Trails and Open Space Partnership                                    s i                      RO
                                                                 i s
                                                               M                  W AR
                                                                                                            Third Street
recognized the Bruce Vento Nature                                                                           Bridge

Sanctuary and trail as one of four top                                              NATURE
priority projects in the 72-mile Twin
Cities Mississippi River Corridor.                   Mounds Park
                                                     Trail                                                                  Existing
Related initiatives include housing                              North                             MOU
                                                                                                                            Swede Hollow
and economic revitalization projects

in Lowertown (see Lowertown Depot
rendering, below), Dayton’s Bluff,                                               Figure 4.4: Aerial view of Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary
Payne/Phalen and other nearby neighborhoods;
adjacent ecological restoration plans in the Trout             Plan, Voluntary Response Action Plan, and Historical
Brook Corridor and Pig’s Eye Greenway; and planned             Evaluation have also been completed with community
recreation improvements to nearby parks such as                participation, in anticipation of the city acquiring the
Swede Hollow and Lower Landing.                                land.

The project is consistent with all adopted plans                                An early land acquisition grant from the then-new
in the area and was adopted as part of the City’s                               Metro Greenways program jump-started the land
Comprehensive Plan in October 2001. Three                                       protection project and fundraising, as did involvement
neighborhood organizations have passed resolutions                              of a nonprofit partner, the Trust for Public Land (TPL)
or completed small area plans that reflect the goals                            and private capital from McKnight for planning and
of the sanctuary. A Natural Resources Management                                (through TPL) land acquisition. TPL’s involvement
                                                                                                         led to a request for federal
                                                                                                         funding from the Land and
                                                                                                         Water Conservation Fund to
                                                                                                         the National Park Service to
                                                                                                         honor Congressman Bruce
                                                                                                         Vento, a dedicated supporter
                                                                                                         of environmental projects
                                                                                                         during his long tenure in

                                                                                                                 The BVNS presents a model
                                                                                                                 of how state or regional
                                                                                                                 funds can catalyze protection
                                                                                                                 of regionally significant areas,
                                                                                                                 and how the combination of
The Lowertown Depot is an adaptive reuse of an old train depot as housing, directly adjacent to the proposed     an organized community and
Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. Source: Lower Phalen Creek Project
February 2003                                                              49                                                            Calthorpe Associates

                                                                  Envisioned reuse of a former railyard near Downtown St. Paul as the
a national non-profit, both with foundation support,              Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. Source: Lower Phalen Creek Project
can move a project forward.
                                                              Sanctuary site has significant barriers between it and
After long negotiations, the partnership was poised           adjacent neighborhoods. The portion of the Dayton’s
to purchase the land for the nature sanctuary in Fall         Bluff neighborhood east of Mounds Boulevard is the
2002. The project has secured over $4.3 million in            only area not cut off from the Nature Sanctuary by a
funding from private foundations and federal, state           major transportation barrier. Nonetheless, this area
and local government agencies. An additional $4               will still have a relatively indirect connection via a trail
million in funding is pending. Nonetheless, a gap of          that descends the bluff along the I-94 frontage road.
about $4.2 million remains. The bulk of the funds,
over $10 million, will be used for site acquisition           Planned trail connections to the Swede Hollow Trail
and construction. The project has applied twice to            Head will improve access to areas north of I-94, and
the Metropolitan Council’s Transportation Advisory            the trail connection to Lowertown via Fourth Street
Board for TEA-21 funds for the Sanctuary trail and            will help make the area accessible from Downtown
bridge construction but has been denied both times.           St. Paul. Good signage will be critical to encouraging
                                                              use of these trails, since first-time visitors may not be
As noted in Book One, significant steps will remain           sure of the distance to their destination. The most
once the property is acquired. Funding, especially            ambitious connection is the planned bridge over
local matches, must still be obtained. Additionally,          the railroad tracks and Warner Road, which would
arrangements for ongoing maintenance must be                  connect the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary to Lower
made.                                                         Landing Park and to the Mississippi River. This bridge
                                                              will form a highly visible landmark for the Nature
O PPORTUNITIES          FOR   C ONNECTIONS                    Sanctuary.
As members of the partnership helping to create it
                                                              C ONTACT
are well aware, the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary has
a location that creates great challenges to creating          Amy Middleton
connections to and from the site. By providing a              Lower Phalen Creek Project
habitat connection between Swede Hollow and Indian            (715) 483-1414
Mounds Park, the Nature Sanctuary will bridge an              amiddle@lakeland.ws
important gap in the ecological system, but creating          www.embraceopenspace.org/openspace/treasures/
connections for people will in some ways be more              t_phalen.asp
challenging. Surrounded by Interstate 94, Kellogg
Boulevard, railroad tracks and Warner Road, the Nature
Calthorpe Associates                                     50                                                        February 2003
                                                                                                         M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

The Wakota Bridge project consists of the
redevelopment and revitalization of an underutilized
industrial area immediately south of the Wakota Bridge
in South St. Paul. Much of the area is contaminated.
The project proposes a multi-use redevelopment,
consisting of active recreation, commercial and
industrial redevelopment, and wastewater utility, and
has been dominated by heavy industry, much of which
is now becoming obsolete.

In 2001, the city held a community design charette
focusing on the Wakota Bridge redevelopment area,
bringing diverse public and private stakeholders
together to collaborate and envision their ideas for the
site’s future. The charette identified possibilities for a
combination of open space and redevelopment, and
suggested infrastructure investments that would be
necessary to accommodate future change in the area.
The outcomes of this charette became the basis for
future planning regarding the Wakota Bridge site.
                                                                                             Figure 4.6: Location of the Wakota Bridge Redevelopment Area. Fifty-
The plans propose a mix of redevelopment sites                                               seven per cent of this project, or 90 acres, is located in Sensitive Edges, with
and open space recreational opportunities. At sites                                          an additional 45 acres, or 29% in Sensitive Areas. See full location map
                                                                                                                                                             legend, page 69.
that will be redeveloped adjacent to the riverfront,
buildings will be configured to allow for direct access
                                                                                             Stronger pedestrian and street connections between
to the riverfront, unlike many of the industrial parcels
                                                                                             the riverfront and residential neighborhoods were
currently located on the site. Key intersections will
                                                                                             also identified. Other proposed amenities include an
be designed as gateways to the site and the river.
                                                                                             improved boat launch and an active recreational park
                                                                                                          along the Mississippi River Regional Trail,
                                                       M                                                  which would link the project to adjacent
                                                           i s
                                                               s i
                                                                   s s                                    sites and beyond.
                                                                       i p

                                                                             p        Wakota
                            ST. PAUL
                                                                                                             The overall intent of the planning for the
                                           N AVEN

                                                                                             v               project is to create design and ecological


                                                                                                             guidelines that match the vision that arose



                                                                                                             from the charette. These guidelines will

                                                                                                             act as standards, in addition to Critical
                                                                                                             Area Standards, for future public and
                                                                                                             private investments in the area.
                       RICHMOND STREET

                                                                                                             Additionally, the redevelopment plans
                                                                                                             feature many ecologically sensitive designs.
Figure 4.5: Aerial view of the Wakota Bridge Redevelopment Area.

February 2003                                                                        51                                                            Calthorpe Associates

                                                                                Perspective drawing of   proposed Wakota Bridge

                                                                                of the site’s property, as well as change
                                                                                some land use regulations, to ensure
                                                                                that redevelopment is compatible with
                                                                                the envisioned recreational uses and
                                                                                ecological guidelines.

                                                                                The Wakota Redevelopment proposal
                                                                                estimates a planning, design and
                                                                                construction budget of $3.4 million.
                                                                                As of yet, the proposal has received no
                                                                                implementation funding.
The charette concept suggests cutting the massive
underground pipe that currently delivers untreated                 O PPORTUNITIES            FOR     C ONNECTIONS
stormwater into the Mississippi River. Stormwater
                                                                   South St. Paul has very few connections to its
will be rerouted through rain gardens to improve its
                                                                   riverfront, and the Wakota Bridge redevelopment
quality before it flows into the river.
                                                                   project presents opportunities to make much stronger
The new park, to be located on a former sewage                     connections between the river and the neighborhoods
treatment plant, will become a recreational amenity                above the bluff line. A critical part of these
and gateway to the riverfront. The riverfront park                 connections will be signage and pedestrian and bicycle
will relate strongly to the river and to adjacent                  facilities along the two existing streets the descend the
development. The earthen levee that currently blocks               bluff on either side of I-494. To the north, Farwell
views to the river will be removed and replaced with               Street descends the bluff, heads east, then turns
floodgates, restoring the visual and recreational                  north to make a circuitous connection to Hardman
connection from the community to its riverfront.                   Avenue, which forms the primary north-south access
Grades will be modified in the area to allow river water           through the site and has on- and off-ramps to I-494.
during lesser flood events to encroach into the park               To the south of I-494, Dale Place connects to East
area but not beyond. A several-hundred foot buffer                 Richmond Street, which also connects to Hardman
of native vegetation will be maintained between the                Avenue. Washington Elementary School, which sits
river and future development to act as a riverfront                atop the bluff at First and Dale, could take advantage
habitat corridor.                                                  of the future connection to the river for field trips and
                                                                   nature education activities.
At present, the City of South St. Paul controls
approximately 18 acres of the site. This acreage is                C ONTACT
used as a public boat launch and a regional trailhead.
The Metropolitan Council Environmental Services                    William Goff
controls approximately 30 acres of the property as a               City of South St. Paul
sewage pumping station and emergency overflow area.                (651) 554-3217
Danner Incorporated owns 40 acres of contaminated                  william.goff@southstpaul.org
property that was once a sewage treatment plant. To
realize this initiative, the city will have to acquire more
Calthorpe Associates                                          52                                                February 2003
                                                                                                                        M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

                                                                                                                                                          providing access to and view
                                                                                                     ST. PAUL
                                                                                                                              Wakota            494       of open space and natural
                                                                                                                                                          resources, trails help to instill
                             55                                                          North                                                            an appreciation for the natural
                                                                  INVER GROVE
                                                                                                                                                          environment and support for
                                                                  HEIGHTS                                                                                 its preservation. On other
                                                                                                                               ST. PAUL
                                                                                                                                                          regional trails in the region,
                                                                 ORD BOULEV A R D
                                                                                                                               PARK                       the majority of users are local
                                                                                                                                                          users – nearby residents who
                                                                                                                                                          use portions of the trail near
                                                                          Trail Routes                                                                    their homes for short walks
                                                                                                                                                          or bicycle rides. A smaller
                                                                                                    ve                                                    number are regional users,
                                                                                      pi                                                                  such as people who drive to
                                                                             s iss
                                                                          is                                                                              trailheads or bicyclists who
                Pine Bend
                                                                                                                                                          enjoy longer distance rides.

                                                                                                           A regional trail such as the
           INVER GROVE                                                             COTTAGE
                                                                                   GROVE                   MRRT can form a ‘backbone’
                            PIG'S EYE                                                                      that connects local parks
                                                                                                           and bicycle routes to each
                      Pine Bend       Baldwin       Grey Cloud                                             other and ultimately, to the
        52                            Lake          Island
                                              i s s
                                                    i s s                                                  Mississippi River. A seamless
                                           M                   i p p
                                                                     i R i v
                                                                               e r
                                                                                                           trail along the river will consist

                                                                                                           of several smaller projects


                                                                                                           and will take many years to


           Trail Routes

                                                                                                           complete. However, portions
                                                                                                           of the trail already exist. The

                                                       RE            COURTHOUSE BOULEVARD
                                                                                                           City of South St. Paul has
                                         5                                                                            TIN
                                                                                                                            GS T
                                                                                                           completed all but one mile
                                                                                                                                 RA   IL

 Figure 4.7: Two views of the Mississippi River Regional Trail through Pig’s Eye Reach (top)               of its portion of the trail
 and Pine Bend Reach (bottom).                                                                             along its riverfront, including
                                                                                                           a pedestrian/bicycle bridge at
The Mississippi River Regional Trail (MRRT) is a
                                                                                   Grand and Hardman Avenues that was completed in
proposed 19.5 mile regional trail from South St. Paul
to Hastings. The trail will improve access to the river
and connect existing trail systems around some of the                              Creating a continuous trail along the Mississippi has
most precious natural areas in the region.                                         been a regional goal for over 30 years. The Critical
                                                                                   Area Executive Order requires planning by local
Trails provide recreational opportunities that Twin
                                                                                   units of government for open space and recreation,
Cities residents value highly, including opportunities
                                                                                   including the identification of potential trail routes
for hiking, bicycling and in-line skating in the warmer
                                                                                   in the river corridor. One of the goals of the NPS-
months and cross-country skiing in the winters. By
February 2003                                                                                          53                                                               Calthorpe Associates

MNRRA Comprehensive Management Plan of 1995                             alignments that required easements through private
is the realization of a continuous trail and open space                 property or ran alongside rail lines were eliminated
corridor along the entire Mississippi River in the Twin                 from consideration.
Cities metro area, while protecting the area’s natural,
                                                                        Initially, the MRRT plan indicated that the trail would
cultural and economic resources. As a regional trail,
                                                                        descend to the Mississippi River at Pine Bend Bluffs,
the MRRT is also a component of the Metropolitan
                                                                        providing valued river access but threatening the
Council’s Regional Recreational Open Space System.
                                                                        health of the natural area. Following discussions
In 1999, Dakota County adopted a conceptual MRRT
                                                                        with resource professionals at the Dakota Soil and
alignment that includes some alternative routes as part
                                                                        Water Conservation District and the Department of
of its 2020 Parks and Open Space Policy Plan.
                                                                        Natural Resources, the county amended its proposed
The county-adopted MRRT alignment was the                               alignment to stay on top of the bluffs and away from
product of years of effort, beginning with a scoping                    the sensitive bluff edge. This is an excellent example
plan for trail development prepared in 1994. County                     of how the Mississippi River Initiative ecological
staff prepared a draft trail development plan in 1996-                  methodology can help guide regional and local
97 based on comments from the scoping report, staff
investigations of possible alignments
and examination of issues associated
with each alignment. The County Park
and Recreation Advisory Committee
conducted a six-month public review
process of the draft development plan in
1998 and recommended in favor of the
plan, which was released for public view
in 1999. Several workshops and open
houses were held in connection with
both the scoping report and the draft
development plan. Presentations to city
and township advisory committees and
meetings with landowners complemented
the outreach to the general public.

The draft trail development plan
includes detailed maps of proposed
trail alignments, but actual alignments
will be developed further as acquisitions
progress. Several alignments were
explored in the River Road/Inver Grove
Trail neighborhood of Inver Grove
Heights. Ultimately the county adopted
two parallel alignment options in that area
                                            Figure 4.8: Location of the trail through Pig’s Eye and Pine Bend Reaches. The proposed trail
– one along Concord Boulevard and one runs for 20 miles, with roughly 40% in Sensitive Areas, 40% in Sensitive Edges, and 20% in
along Inver Grove Trail. Other proposed                      Green Infrastructure Areas and Edges. See p. 69 for full location map legend.

Calthorpe Associates                                               54                                                    February 2003
                                                                       M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

investments, and good inter-agency communication                planned Minnesota River – Lebanon Hills Regional
can improve resource investment decisions.                      Trail at 70th Street and Concord Boulevard, where
                                                                Inver Grove School and Skyview Park are within one
The MRRT would be a ten-foot bituminous (asphalt)
                                                                block of the trail alignment. In Pine Bend Bluffs, the
surface with gravel shoulders. It would be open to
                                                                trail will remain along the bluff top and away from the
non-motorized travel from sunrise to sunset and
                                                                bluff edge to avoid sensitive areas. At Spring Lake
would be patrolled by the Dakota County Park Patrol
                                                                Park Reserve in Nininger Township, the MRRT will
with assistance from city police. The County Sheriff
                                                                be joined by the planned South Urban Regional Trail,
would patrol the proposed trail and trailhead areas.
                                                                which will pass along the northern edge of U-MORE
Trailheads are a necessary component of regional                Park, the University of Minnesota’s outreach, research
trails and include restrooms, parking areas, drinking           and education facility in Rosemount. Finally, the trail
water, picnic areas, benches and informational kiosks.          will reach the Hastings River Flats and connect to the
The County has identified four trailhead areas along            planned Hastings-Red Wing Regional Trail.
the MRRT. A trailhead in Inver Grove Heights would
be built in conjunction with a ballfield and parkland
                                                                C ONTACT
complex in the North Concord Redevelopment Area.                Lynn Moratzka
A second trailhead would be on land owned by Pine               Dakota County Office of Planning
Bend Development Company near 111th Street or at                (952) 891-7030
an alternative site near 117th Street. The two other            planning@co.dakota.mn.us
trailheads have facilities already in place – Schaar’s          www.co.dakota.mn.us/planning/mrrt_plan.htm
Bluff in Spring Lake Park Reserve and the Hastings
River Flats area.

The MRRT project exemplifies the use of an inclusive
community process to identify trail alignments. It
illustrates the trade-offs that often arise in selecting
trail alignments, balancing the desire to maximize
public access to the river with ecological resource

When complete, the trail will link several of the
Initiative’s featured projects, including the Wakota
Bridge Redevelopment Area, Pine Bend Bluffs Natural
Area, and the Hastings River Flats. It will also connect
to local and county trails and to several other planned
regional trails. The North Urban Regional Trail will
begin at the Big Rivers Regional Trail in Lilydale,
pass through West St. Paul and South St. Paul and
connect with South St. Paul’s existing MRRT segment,
providing important links to the river from West St.
Paul. In Inver Grove Heights, the trail will meet the

February 2003                                              55                                        Calthorpe Associates

                                                                                                           INVER GROVE
                                          STR                                                                          River
      North                                     EET



                                                                     M                                                         Grey Cloud

                                                                          i s                                                  Island

                                                                              s i s

                                                                                    s i p

                                                                                          p i

                                                                                                           R i
                                                                                                               v e

                                                      Figure 4.9: Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area. Properties targeted for initial acquisition are shaded.

I NTRODUCTION                                                                 and common plants and animals, and providing an
                                                                              outstanding opportunity for people to experience and
Named for the rare community of towering white                                enjoy our natural heritage today and for generations
pines along its banks, Pine Bend Bluffs is one of                             to come.
the largest unprotected natural areas left in the Twin
Cities metro area. This 1,300-acre, three-mile stretch                        With its native oak woodlands and savannas, grasslands,
of prime bluff land is directly adjacent to a majestic                        white pine and hardwood forests, wetlands, and rare
bend in the Mississippi River, just 10 miles downriver                        sand gravel prairies, Pine Bend Bluffs contains some
from downtown St. Paul. These bluffs are one of                               of the largest remnants of pre-settlement landscapes
the largest and highest quality remnants of Dakota                            in the metro area. The close proximity of such
County’s native land cover, of which only 2.6%                                diverse habitat types as forests, grasslands and oak
remains. The state Department of Natural Resources                            savanna yields a landscape of outstanding ecological
and a committed partnership are working to acquire                            value, as confirmed by the regional Natural Resource
a portion of the site as a Scientific and Natural Area,                       Inventory, being completed by the Department of
to restore habitat on private holdings, and to increase                       Natural Resources and Metropolitan Council in Fall
community awareness and protection of this regionally                         2002. The inventory also ranked the aquatic ecology
significant natural area. The area was selected as                            of the Mississippi River at Pine Bend Bluffs as
a regional treasure in the McKnight Foundation-                               outstanding.
led Embrace Open Space media campaign to raise                                The dry prairie areas offer unparalleled sweeping
awareness of the importance of open space advocacy                            views of the great bend in the Mississippi River,
and protection.                                                               surrounded by steep 200-foot limestone bluffs. This
The natural and scenic features of the 1,300-acre                             prairie hosts a rare combination of plant species but is
Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area will be protected                               threatened with encroachment by woody species and
and enhanced, providing critical habitat for rare                             exotic species like cheatgrass.
Calthorpe Associates                                                     56                                                          February 2003
                                                                         M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

Development also threatens to encroach on Pine                  begun to return a portion of these lands to a more
Bend Bluffs. Steep terrain, along with the strong               natural state.
conservation ethic of many local landowners and
                                                                In addition to ecological restoration efforts on private
the Critical Area ordinances, has kept Pine Bend
                                                                land, several land acquisitions are underway. An
Bluffs safe from development thus far, but Dakota
                                                                important goal of these efforts is to create a new
County is one of the fastest growing counties in the
                                                                Scientific and Natural Area in Pine Bend Bluffs, which
metro area and is predicted to add between 100,000
                                                                will be managed by the DNR and open for nature
and 140,000 people by 2020. During the 1990’s,
                                                                appreciation activities.
two to three thousand acres of land each year were
converted from agricultural to suburban uses as about           The planned Mississippi River Regional Trail will
3,000 new housing units were constructed annually.              run alongside rather than through the natural area
Development pressure and consolidation reduced                  and would feature scenic vistas, and hiking access to
the number of farms in the county from 986 in 1987              the Mississippi River. People canoeing, kayaking, or
to 890 in 1997. The County identified key areas for             boating on the Mississippi will be able to enjoy both
protection, including Pine Bend Bluffs, in its Farmland         scenic views of the land and direct access from the
and Natural Areas Plan in 2001.

Pine Bend Bluffs is book-ended by two
major private holdings. Macalaster College’s
Katharine Ordway Natural History Study
Area is an important natural area at the
north end of Pine Bend Bluffs that includes
280 acres of oak forest, tallgrass prairie,
and floodplain forest. The staff at the field
station have been working for many years to
improve natural communities on this property
and have completed a natural resource
management plan with the assistance of
Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR), a
nonprofit organization that works to enhance
and restore the Mississippi in the Twin Cities
area. They have conducted prescribed burns
and have a wetland plant propagation project
underway to restore a wetland within their
prairie. Buffer lands owned by Flint Hills
Resources around its Pine Bend petroleum
refinery, the state’s largest, form another
important holding at the southern end of
the bluffs and connect to Spring Lake Park
Reserve. Restoration and habitat management
efforts on both of these properties have
                                                 Figure 4.10: Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area consists of 1,418 acres, primarily in Sensitive
                                                 Areas (74%). An additional 329 acres, or 23% of Pine Bend Bluffs is located in Sensitive
                                                                                           Edges. See p. 69 for full location map legend.

February 2003                                              57                                                      Calthorpe Associates

Mississippi itself, because one property targeted for
initial acquisition includes significant river frontage.

Restoring these plant communities will provide a wide
variety of local benefits, including reduced erosion,
better wildlife habitat, protection of rare species,
increased species diversity, and added beauty.

The ongoing restoration provides a new focal point
for community involvement in Dakota County.
Dozens of volunteer groups and hundreds of citizens
are participating in the restoration effort—providing
community-building opportunities as well as the work                       Dakota County, and local individual and corporate
force needed for the project. FMR also leads natural                       landowners.
history programs, giving people a chance to learn                          In the late 1990’s, FMR identified the Pine Bend Bluffs
about the diversity of birds and wildflowers of Pine                       as a conservation focus area and began outreach in the
Bend.                                                                      area, with the support of the McKnight Foundation.
                                                                           After another McKnight-supported nonprofit, the
PARTNERS A ND C HAMPIONS                                                   Trust for Public Land, provided land conservation
Partners in conserving and restoring private and public                    expertise, and the DNR joined with funding and
lands in the Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area include                         technical assistance, the public and private agencies
FMR, DNR’s Metro Greenways program, The Trust                              created a land conservation partnership model
for Public Land, Macalester College, Rosemount,                            applicable throughout the region.

                                         RESTORATION WORK AT FLINT HILLS
  Flint Hills Resources owns 4,000 acres in the Pine Bend Bluffs area, with only 1,000 used for refinery operations. The remaining land
  was purchased in the early 1980’s as a buffer. Friends of the Mississippi River approached Flint Hills Resources in 2000 about working
  together to plan ecological restoration and management on their over 100 acres of riverfront lands. To inform future management
  decisions, GRG conducted an inventory documenting the native and exotic species present.

  The first phase included the management and restoration of 78 acres of oak savanna, oak forest, and prairie along the Mississippi
  River Bluffs owned by Flint Hills Resources. Over 350 volunteers removed buckthorn and other exotic species that had formed a
  nearly impenetrable understory beneath the large open-grown oaks of the site’s oak savanna.

  Restoration of       old agricultural fields to mesic prairie began in 2000. These fields, once dominated by non-
  native   species,    were   prepared   and   sown   with   native    prairie   grasses   and   wildflowers   in   the   fall   of   2001.
  GRG, Flint Hills Resources and FMR plan to continue the restoration of this important natural area. A growing number of Flint Hills
  employee volunteers are helping with restoration activities.

Calthorpe Associates                                                  58                                                    February 2003
                                                                          M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

Outreach to the individual and corporate landowners                the DNR all approved the Scientific and Natural Area
has been a critical first step in helping to protect               proposal in 2001.
and restore Pine Bend Bluffs. FMR’s conservation
                                                                   The project has received $300,000 in funding from
staff has contacted nearly every landowner around
                                                                   Flint Hills Resources, The Big Rivers Partnership
Pine Bend to discuss land protection goals and
                                                                   and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. A
opportunities. Based on the landowners’ interests,
                                                                   $1.39 million grant from the Department of Natural
FMR has helped facilitate a range of initiatives for
                                                                   Resources is by far the single largest committed
improving the health of native plant communities
                                                                   funding source and would cover the costs of
located on their property, including removing exotic
                                                                   acquiring land for state ownership of fee title or
plant species and conducting controlled burns on
                                                                   conservation easements. Total project costs would
native prairies.
                                                                   be approximately $2.6 million, with over $2.2 million
Working with the DNR Metro Greenways Program,                      going for land protection.
FMR has been able to connect property owners to
                                                                   The partnership is seeking funds to acquire four key
funding sources for land improvements and, in some
                                                                   properties that are available for acquisition in fiscal
cases, set up the purchases of key lands for public
                                                                   year 2003, including a pending Federal appropriation
ownership. Other landowners have agreed to work
                                                                   of $607,000 already matched by state, regional and
with FMR on donating a conservation easement,
                                                                   local funding. These key holdings, totaling 229 acres,
which ensures that their land will never be developed.
                                                                   have nearly a mile of undeveloped river frontage and
The Trust for Public Land and DNR Metro Greenways
                                                                   host many rare and endangered species. They contain
expect to establish a new SNA in late 2002.
                                                                   uncommon animal and plant species such as the bald
FMR’s work is part of a larger initiative to restore               eagle, fox snake, prairie skink, and kitten-tail (a state
critical river habitat, called the “Big Rivers Partnership”        threatened plant species); the largest black ash seepage
(BRP). The BRP, a team of nonprofit and government                 swamp in Dakota County; and a floodplain island in
agencies led by Great River Greening, has made Pine                the Mississippi River. The Minnesota Department
Bend Bluffs a priority area and is providing some                  of Natural Resources has offered to purchase and
of the resources for management planning and                       manage them in partnership with local governments
restoration work. The Minnesota Department of                      and non-profit organizations.
Natural Resources has also contributed many hours
of in-kind staff time towards developing an ecological             O PPORTUNITIES           FOR    C ONNECTIONS
management plan of the site.                                       Because of its sensitive ecology and extensive private
                                                                   holdings, designing appropriate connections to Pine
                                                                   Bend Bluffs will be a challenge. The Mississippi River
Protecting Pine Bend Bluffs is a high priority for                 Regional Trail will provide an important means of
a large and committed community partnership.                       accessing Pine Bend Bluffs, and the trail alignment
The City of Inver Grove Heights, Dakota County,                    will remain on the bluff top and away from the bluff
Macalester College, the Department of Natural                      edge to avoid damaing the most ecologically sensitive
Resources, the Trust for Public Land, and the Friends              areas. If the property is acquired as a Scientific and
of the Mississippi River are working together to                   Natural Area, this SNA will be open for people to
protect, manage, restore and provide educational and               enjoy for hiking, photography, birding and similar
recreational opportunities in the area. The city of                passive activities. Macalester College’s Katherine
Inver Grove Heights, the Dakota County Board and                   Ordway Natural History Study Area allows access to
February 2003                                                 59                                         Calthorpe Associates

the public by prearrangement for research, education
and exploratory activities, such as school field trips
and conservation group outings. Interested parties
may contact the field station at 651-455-6204, or email
the Associate Director at ebaugh@macalester.edu.
Friends of the Mississippi River often leads natural
history tours in the area, including on Flint Hills
resources property, which is normally not open to
the public. Call 651/222-2193 and ask about any
scheduled Special Place Tours planned for the Pine
Bend Bluffs Natural Area. Great River Greening and
Friends of the Mississippi River work with volunteers
on natural resource restoration and management
activities. This is a great way to visit this area while
helping to improve its ecological health. Contact
Great River Greening at 651/665-9500x2 or Friends
of the Mississippi River at 651/222-2193 to learn
about upcoming volunteer events.

Bill Penning
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
(651) 793-3981

Calthorpe Associates                                       60   February 2003
                                                                                           M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

Like its Dakota County counterpart, the Mississippi
River Greenway Strategic Plan, the South Washington
Watershed District (SWWD) Greenway Plan will
create a greenway connecting the river to other
outstanding natural resource areas, provide flood
control and recreation opportunities, and improve
the Mississippi River ecology by filtering stormwater
before it reaches the river.1

The SWWD Greenway Plan identifies a 13-mile, 5,500-
acre corridor that will connect Cottage Grove Ravine
Park on the Mississippi with Lake Elmo Park Reserve.
Taking advantage of a natural stream corridor and
the resulting depressions in the landscape, the Plan
identifies specific parcels, mainly in agricultural or
low-density residential uses, to be protected through
purchase of fee title or conservation easements.
The ‘Central Draw’ is a major north-south stream
corridor, and the ‘Bluff Dunes’ section connects Grey
Cloud Dunes Scientific and Natural Area to a glacial
meltwater channel parallel to the river.
                                                                                  Figure 4.11: Location map of the South Washington Watershed District
                                                                                  Greenway project area. The Greenway area encompasses 5,530 acres, with
Portions of the corridor are in rapidly growing cities                            28% in Sensitive Areas, 11% in Sensitive Edges, and 61% in Green
and could be completely surrounded by development                                 Infrastructure Areas and Edges. See p. 69 for full location map legend.
in 20 years. By providing a continuous path for
                                                                                  stormwater absorption in a natural drainage area, the
                                                                                  greenway will minimize or eliminate future flooding
                                                                                  problems in the watershed and preserve a critical
                                                                                  natural resource. Trails and other recreational uses are
                                                                                  possible within and adjacent to at least portions of
                                                                                  the greenway, which will be a tremendous amenity for
                                                                                  nearby development.

                                                                                  B ENEFITS
                                                                                  Greenways – corridors of native plantings that provide
                                                                                  wildlife habitat – are critical to the long-term health
3M’s Cottage Grove Campus is located at the south end of the Central Draw.        of the Mississippi River and the Twin Cities region.
Source: McGough Enterprises
 Watershed districts are local units of government that work to solve and prevent water-related problems that extend beyond one city or town. The
boundaries of the districts follow those of a natural watershed, and the districts are usually named after that watershed. Minnesota’s 45 watershed districts
get their authority from the state Legislature through the 1955 Watershed Act, MSA103D. A board of managers appointed by the boards of commissioners
of the counties that have land in the district governs each district. See http://www.bswr.state.mn.us/relatedlinks/watersheddistricts.html.

February 2003                                                                61                                                      Calthorpe Associates

The presence of natural areas, migratory birds and                underpasses allowing species to traverse roadways
waterfowl are a major component of the residents’                 must also be provided to realize the full habitat value
connectedness to their landscape and their quality                of the greenway.
of life. Residents consistently support programs to
                                                                  Development of the greenway on private industrial
protect wildlife habitat and improve water quality, and
                                                                  land will also pose challenges. Significant portions of
greenways are among the best ways to do both.
                                                                  the greenway, including the area south of Highway 61
Connecting natural resource areas greatly increases               opposite Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, are on
their viability as habitat by allowing species to move            land owned by Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing
among various areas as conditions change. Greenways               (3M).     3M’s 1,400-acre Cottage Grove campus
also reduce pollutants reaching the river by filtering            consists of 133 separate buildings totaling 1.3 million
stormwater and absorbing runoff. The DNR has long                 square feet of space. Public access through these sites
advocated greenways through its Metro Greenways                   appears unlikely, but ecological management and
program, which includes technical assistance, planning            restoration will help realize the greenway’s potential
grants, land protection and restoration funds, and                for stormwater management and habitat, as well as
coordination with related stormwater and natural                  providing some park amenities for employees. The Big
resource management projects.                                     Rivers Partnership has already undertaken prairie and
                                                                  savanna restoration efforts at the 3M Cottage Grove
I MPLEMENTATION I SSUES                                           campus.

The watershed district will have to acquire the             The Greenway plan was adopted in 1997. The District
lands from willing sellers and assemble funding             plans to complete land acquisition for the greenway in
for improvements.       Additionaly, the watershed          2002 at a total cost of $6 million, paid from District
district will have to make long term investments in         revenues. Plantings and other construction could
ecological management and
infrastructure improvements.                DOWNTOWN
One challenge is that                       ST. PAUL

DNR’s Neighborhood Wilds                                                       WOODBURY
program, identified as ideally                                             494

suited to assist with project               North
implementation activities, is                        Bridge

not currently funded.               52

Roadways      create    major          INVER GROVE

barriers    for    recreation,
wildlife     and      ecology
movement throughout the           52
corridor. Culverts and other                                                                                                      61

structures will be required                                   Lower
                                                              Grey Cloud
                                                Baldwin       Island
to convey stormwater under                      Lake                                                     s s i p p i      R i v
                                                                                                   s s i                        e r
                                                                                               M i
roadways, and wherever
possible wildlife connections                   Figure 4.12: Aerial view of the South Washington Watershed District Greenway project area.
such     as    bridges     and

Calthorpe Associates                                         62                                                        February 2003
                                                               M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

begin in 2003. For portions not purchased, the
district will work with local municipalities and land
owners to secure desired easements, achieve design
standards and ensure that best management practices
(BMPs) for ecological preservation are followed. The
Minnesota Urban Small Sites BMP Manual published
by Metropolitan Council offers valuable guidance to

Because of its length and its location in a rapidly
developing part of the region, the Greenway presents
numerous opportunities for connections to adjacent
development. A trail system is planned along the
length of the greenway, and adjacent development
should be encouraged to create public edges to the
greenway by placing public streets, rather than private
back yards, adjacent to the greenway. East-west
streets could terminate in cul-de-sacs that are open
to the greenway edge. “Green court” single-family
residential development, in which several houses are
grouped around a shared open space, offers another
way to make connections between public streets and
the greenway edge.

Matt Moore
South Washington Watershed District
(651) 714-3729

February 2003                                             63                         Calthorpe Associates

L OCK       AND        D AM ROAD , H ASTINGS
                                                                  reuse also incorporates innovative stormwater and
Hastings River Flats will transform a 200-acre area               riverbank erosion control techniques.
of obsolete industrial sites and existing parkland
                                                                  Hastings River Flats lies a short walk from Downtown
within the Mississippi River floodplain into a multi-
                                                                  Hastings, located at a crossroads of urban and rural,
use interpretive, educational and recreational center.
                                                                  land and water, and multiple river uses: commercial,
The project focuses on creating a lively community
                                                                  industrial, recreational, residential and natural.
center along the Mississippi River, oriented around
                                                                  Hastings is currently surrounded by rural density and
art, interpretation, and ecological sustainability. The
                                                                  natural lands along the river. Several miles upstream,
project would create an interpretive center, a sculpture
                                                                  urban and industrial uses characterize the Mississippi.
garden, floodplain habitat restoration, trails, fishing
                                                                  Ten to twenty miles downstream, a landscape of small
and boating opportunities, and a bandshell on 200-
                                                                  river towns and natural and agricultural areas gives
acres of currently abandoned industrial land and
                                                                  way to relatively recent suburban growth. The City
                                                                  of Hastings describes the river as it runs through
Hastings River Flats will become a model of                       Hastings as “a place of industry, a sacred refuge,
sustainable riverfront development, mixing active                 a transportation artery, a recreation waterway, and
recreation and cultural events with educational/                  an irreplaceable cultural amenity.” The interpretive
interpretive functions and natural area restoration.              center at Hastings River Flats will focus on the range
The site improvements will reuse discarded industrial             of Mississippi River experience at this reach, including
materials, such as dredged river material, leftover               its natural and cultural history, its legacy of settlement
concrete rip rap, and excess steel material, recalling            and industry, and its central role in the community’s
the site’s industrial and navigational history. The site’s        past, present and future. In this way, Hastings River
                                                                                 Flats will interpret Hastings history in
                                                                                 a setting that also provides a useable
                                                                                 current community amenity.

                                                                                The park and interpretive center,
                                                                                designed by Locus Architects, will be
                                                                                located at an abandoned industrial
                                                                                brownfield and on existing parkland to
                                                                                be improved, providing a new central
                                                                                park linking downtown Hastings with
                                                                                the river. The site’s amenities will
                                                                                include interactive exhibits, trails, public
                                                                                art, event sites, permanent buildings,
                                                                                and opportunities to use computer
                                                                                and internet technology.            Among
                                                                                those who will use the site are school
                                                                                groups, theaters, music organizations,

Figure 4.13: Site plan of proposed Hastings River Flats

Calthorpe Associates                                         64                                              February 2003
                                                                                  M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

                                                                        Figure 4.14: Location of the proposed Hastings River Flats. Ninety per cent
                                                                        of the Hastings River Flats’ 275 acres are located in Sensitive Areas and
                                                                        Sensitive Edges. See p. 69 for full location map legend.

                                                                        I MPLEMENTATION
                                                                        The project has already received $250,000 in funding
                                                                        from the McKnight Foundation, and another $250,000
                                                                        from Flint Hills Resources. Project costs are expected
                                                                        to be $3,000,000, leaving a funding gap of $2.5 million.
                                                                        The City of Hastings owns the site, and has partnered
                                                                        with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and
                                                                        Wildlife Service, Minnesota Department of Natural
                                                                        Resources, Friends of the Mississippi River, the
                                                                        National Park Service, MPCA and its funders.

                                                                        O PPORTUNITIES                            FOR                 C ONNECTIONS
                                                                        The Hastings River Flats is essentially a peninsula
                                                                        between Lake Rebecca and the Mississippi River,
                                                                        with the Hastings Lock and Dam at the northwestern
performers, environmental groups, business groups,                      end and a narrow isthmus connecting to downtown
tourists, and community groups and the general                          Hastings at the southeastern end. Interpretive
public. The design of the complex includes mixed-                       materials will be located along a trail system running
use space and multi-purpose buildings, including:                       the length of the peninsula to help visitors understand
                                                                        the ecology, history and hydrology of the river and the
• An Interpretive Center with 2,500 square feet of                      lock and dam system.
  year round exhibit space, and an additional 2,000
  square feet of open-air exhibit, demonstration,
  and classroom space;
• An interpretive bridge linking
  the Mississippi River and Lake                                                                   Lock and Dam
                                                                                                   Number Two

  Rebecca, with 400 linear feet of
  potential interactive exhibits; and
                                                                                                                      i s

• A     bandshell     with    stage,



  performance,      and    outdoor




                                                                       Rebecca                                                                                         61


  classroom areas, fixed seating for


  100 people and overflow seating



                                                                                                                                                                 e r
  for 600 additional people.

                                                                                       SEC                                            AD



Figure 4.15: Aerial view of Hastings River Flats


February 2003                                                     65                                                                                 Calthorpe Associates

Many visitors will walk to the Flats from Downtown
Hastings along a trail with an overlook. Those who
drive to the site will have opportunities to park at a
central location near the outdoor ecology laboratory,
interpretive center and bandshell. There is also an
existing parking lot near the Lock and Dam #2
visitor’s center with accessible restrooms and water
available. (Full details are provided at www.wilderness-

The Sand Dam Trail at the northwestern edge of the
Flats will connect to the planned Mississippi River
Regional Trail at the border of Hastings and Nininger
Township, passing through the Eagle Bluff riverfront
residential development.

Marty McNamara
City of Hastings, Parks Department
(651) 437-4127

Calthorpe Associates                                       66   February 2003
                                                                                                                                                        M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

                                                                                                                                                            river and is owned by the City. The project
                                                                                                                                                            will consider innovative approaches to

                                                                                                                                                            stormwater including rainwater gardens and

                                                                                      i s
                                                                                                                                                            pervious paving. The project also proposes

                                                                                          s i
                                                                                              s s

                                                                                                  i p
                                                                                                      p i                                                   the adaptive reuse of a former grain elevator


                                                                                                                                                            site in the heart of downtown Hastings.

                                                   ND                                                                                 R i

                                                          ST                                                                              v e



                                                                                       The Hastings station area planning

                      D                                                       T

                          ST                                           RE

                               RE                                 ST

                                                   I   LL
                                                          E   Y
                                                                                       workshop was held on June 28, 2000.
                                                                                       The design concept that emerged from      R

              HASTINGS                                                                 that workshop envisioned a mixed-use
                                                                                                                   L   EA

                                                                                       structure attached to the historic station
                                                                                       that incorporated the pedestrian bridge
                                                                                       required to provide access across the tracks
                                                                                       and reinforced the pedestrian orientation of
Figure 4.16: Aerial view of the proposed Hastings Red Rock Commuter Rail Station.      Main Street with compatible architecture. A
                                                                                       more detailed station area plan developed
                                                                                       by the University of Minnesota should be
A historic depot one block from the Mississippi will                        available in late 2002.
be renovated for a station for this proposed commuter
rail line. The Red Rock Corridor is a proposed 30                           B ENEFITS
mile commuter rail corridor from Hastings to
                                                                            The project will contribute to commerce by bringing
downtown Minneapolis. The corridor is identified
                                                                            consumers to an existing downtown district, and to
in the Metropolitan Council’s “Transit 2020 Master
                                                                            recreation and tourism by making access to downtown
Plan” (February 2000) and Transportation Policy Plan
                                                                            Hastings from elsewhere in the region a unique
as the second commuter rail line to go into operation
(after the Northstar Corridor). The plans indicate
implementation by 2010, although funding has not
been allocated for the corridor as of October 2002.

On the 19 mile segment from St. Paul to Hastings,
passenger trains would run along existing rails
operated by the Canadian Pacific (CP) and Burlington
Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroads. Stations would
be developed in Newport and Cottage Grove as
well as at Lower Afton Road in St. Paul. The tracks
parallel the Highway 61 corridor, which is being
widened and converted to limited access through
Newport by MnDOT.

The proposed commuter rail line crosses the river
one block from the station. The site drains to the                                                                                                 Perspective of the proposed Hastings Red Rock Commuter Rail Station
February 2003                                                                                                                                 67                                               Calthorpe Associates

                                                                                                THE RED ROCK CORRIDOR
                                                                                    The county regional rail authorities, cities and towns along
                                                                                    the corridor formed the Red Rock Corridor Commission
                                                                                    (RRCC) in 1998, to systematically address the transportation
                                                                                    needs of the corridor. A feasibility study completed in
                                                                                    July 2001 by Parsons Transportation group recommended
                                                                                    that the commuter rail project advance to the next level
                                                                                    of implementation, conceptual design and environmental
                                                                                    analysis. Open houses, a land use forum for local officials, and
                                                                                    four station area planning workshops were held as part of the
                                                                                    feasibility study.

                                                                                     The feasibility study assumed a total of 10 trains per day at
                                                                                    half-hour intervals during the morning and evening peaks.
                                                                                    One reverse commute train would be provided in the morning
                                                                                    and in the evening. Daily ridership along the entire Red Rock
                                                                                    Corridor was estimated at 5,900 total riders per weekday in
                                                                                    2020. Over 70% were estimated to be new transit users rather
                                                                                    than current users shifting from bus to rail.
Figure 4.17: Location map of the proposed Hastings Red Rock Commuter
Rail Staiton. Because of its proximity to the river, the 3 acre Hastings            Sharing tracks with 20 to 60 freight trains a day would
Red Rock Station site falls within Sensitive Edges and Green Infrastructure         necessitate the construction of sidings, double-tracking and
Areas. However, the site is currently in urban uses. See p. 69 for full
location map legend.                                                                other capacity improvements. The total estimated cost in
                                                                                    2001 dollars was $261.6 million, or about $14 million per
O PPORTUNITIES                   FOR      C ONNECTIONS                              mile, comparable to other systems in the U.S. By comparison,
                                                                                    a new urban freeway could cost $40 to $75 million per mile.
The Red Rock Corridor will connect Hastings to
Cottage Grove, Newport and St. Paul, providing
a welcome alternative for commuters as well as                                     tremendous opportunity to create a signature ‘anchor’
an appealing option for visitors to Hastings. The                                  development connected to the river at the eastern
Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Southern                                       edge of the historic downtown.
alignment follows the Mississippi River shoreline as
it approaches Downtown St. Paul, offering passengers                               C ONTACT
views of the proposed Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary
                                                                                   John Hinzman
as they pass by. In Hastings, the station and related
                                                                                   City of Hastings, Planning Dept.
joint development buildings should front directly
                                                                                   (651) 437-4127
onto Second Street, forming an improved pedestrian
connection between Downtown Hastings and the
‘Cowtown’ residential neighborhood east of the tracks.
The planned relocation of the Hastings wastewater
treatment plant will eventually free up the riverfront
block immediately north of the station, presenting a

Calthorpe Associates                                                          68                                                     February 2003
                                                  M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE


February 2003                                69                         Calthorpe Associates

REDEVELOPMENT                                                 Lilydale Regional Park, St. Paul
Main Street and Tyler Street, Hastings                        The project will extend the current bicycle and
The project seeks to redevelop a site in historic             pedestrian trails along the Mississippi River. These
downtown Hastings for multiple usage; including               trails provide transportation and river access.
housing, hotel, restaurant, and retail spaces. It
will utilize existing infrastructure and innovative
                                                              M ISSISSIPPI R IVER B OULEVARD
stormwater management practices.                              PARKWAY RESTORATION
                                                              East Bank Mississippi River from Hwy 5 to Emerald Street,
                                                              St. Paul
Concord Street and Grand Avenue, South St. Paul               This project will reconstruct a combined pedestrian/
Seeks to beautify the streetscape along the heavily           bicycle trail along the east bank of the Mississippi
traveled Concord Street corridor. This project will           River. It will also rectify erosion problems associated
form the foundation for mixed-use redevelopment               with stormwater runoff, will remove exotic species,
of the corridor in order to increase access to the            and improve 10 small vista sites.
Mississippi River.
                                                              M ISSISSIPPI R IVER G REENWAY
                                                              Hastings to Rosemount
Left Bank River mile 840, St. Paul                            The proposal sets forth a plan to preserve strategic,
The Plaza will be incorporated into a planned adjacent        sensitive, and scenic lands along the Mississippi River
park and housing development. These projects will             from Rosemount to Hastings. The project would
recreate the original Upper Landing as a recreational         have a significant benefit to the River by filtrating
destination connecting people to the Mississippi River        stormwater, reducing erosion, protecting habitat, and
from the Science Museum, The Mississippi River                enhancing view-sheds.
Regional Trial, and downtown St. Paul.
                                                              M ISSISSIPPI R IVER-S OUTH S T . PAUL
Downtown Hastings Riverfront, Hastings                        Wabasha and Concord Streets (between river and Annapolis
A rehabilitation of Levee Park in downtown Hastings           Street), St. Paul
would include the addition of a series of gardens to          The project will provide a key link in the regional
draw people to the river. Levee Park serves as an open        bicycle trail network connecting the Mississippi River
space link between the River Flats Interpretive Center        with Dakota County. The trail would link the areas
and downtown Hastings.                                        via on-street bicycle lanes on Wabasha and Concord

Calthorpe Associates                                     70                                             February 2003
                                                                     M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

St., and would extend to the St Paul/South St. Paul          S CIENCE PARK AND
city limits.                                                 E NVIRONMENTAL E XPERIMENT
PARK R IVER E DGE P ROTECTION                                C ENTER
AND TEACHING /PERFOR MANCE                                   Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul
S PACE                                                       The Science Park will entail a 1.2-acre, fenced outdoor
                                                             exhibit space on the river-flats of the Science Museum
Left Bank River mile 839, St. Paul
                                                             of Minnesota. It will consist of four closely integrated
This project suggests the construction of a flood-
                                                             projects on topics such as renewable energy, efficient
tolerant teaching and performance space as well as
                                                             building design, soil and water quality, non-point
trail reconstruction and flora plantings.
                                                             source water pollution, and landscape processes.
Border of South St. Paul and St. Paul, South St. Paul        S EGMENT
The project seeks to redevelop an 80-acre demolition
                                                             Jackson Street to Eagle Parkway, St. Paul
landfill site into an active and passive recreational
                                                             The project seeks to complete the final link of the
area. As well, the Mississippi River Regional Trail
                                                             St. Paul regional trail system between Warner Rd. and
runs through this highly visible site.
                                                             Shepard Rd/Mississippi River Blvd. It will additionally
R ASPBERRY I SLAND S ITE                                     finish the Shepard Rd. segment though St. Paul.
D EVELOPMENT                                                 S PRING L AKE PARK RESER VE -
River mile 838, St. Paul                                     A CQUISITION OF I NHOLDINGS
The project seeks to restore Raspberry Island to
                                                             Between River miles 823.3 and 818.4, Rosemouint and
a more natural and functional state including a
                                                             Nininger Township
flood tolerant bandshell, improved shoreline, and
                                                             The Park seeks to acquire privately owned inholdings
preservation of historic buildings.
                                                             within the Park boundaries. The Park could move
REGIONAL TRAIL R IVER E DGE                                  forward on restoration projects and the continuation
                                                             of the Mississippi Regional Trail through the Park
                                                             with these acquisitions.
Left Bank River mile 840, St. Paul
Proposes to replace a deteriorated concrete path with
                                                             U PPER L ANDING PARK
one constructed with stone riprap. It also involves          I MPROVEMENTS
planting appropriate river edge flora. The project is
                                                             Left Bank River mile 839.9, St. Paul
connected to other river projects in the area.
                                                             The project proposes the creation of a recreational
                                                             green space adjacent to the Mississippi River.
                                                             Shoreline restoration will also occur.

February 2003                                           71                                               Calthorpe Associates

                            • APPENDIX A: EVALUATION FORMS

                            • APPENDIX B: FULL PROJECT LIST -
                              LEVEL 2 CRITERIA EVALUATION

                            • APPENDIX C: FURTHER READING

Calthorpe Associates   72                                February 2003
                                                                        M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

A P P E N D I X A: E V A L U A T I O N F O R M S

                                        PROJECT INFORMATION FORM
                                                      May 13, 2002

Project Name:___________________________________________________________________
Location (street intersection or river mile): ___________________________________________
City or Township: ________________________________________________________________

Project Type (check all that apply):
 Natural Area Protection
 Historic Preservation
 Active Recreation
 Redevelopment/brownfield cleanup
 New Development (conservation)
 New Development (conventional)


In the space provided below, explain how the project addresses the following criteria:
    1.          What is the project’s relationship (not necessarily adjacency) to the Mississippi River?

February 2003                                                73                                        Calthorpe Associates

     2.         Which policies in MNRRA’s Comprehensive Management Plan does the project address, and how?

     3.         How does the project contribute to achieving any or all of these Regional Blueprint principles?
                  •    Increase lifecycle and affordable housing;
                  •    Preserve and protect natural resources;
                  •    Support rural communities and preserve agricultural lands;
                  •    Provide greater transportation choices linked to development patterns and jobs;
                  •    Reinvest in fully developed and older communities;
                  •    Invest in new, developing communities;
                  •    Focus growth and redevelopment in urban and rural centers and along corridors.

     4.         How does the project support sustainable development concepts? “Sustainable development”
                means development that “maintains or enhances economic opportunity and community well-being
                while protecting and restoring the natural environment upon which people and economies depend.
                Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future
                generations to meet their own needs.” (This definition is taken from state statutes)

Calthorpe Associates                                         74                                          February 2003
                       LEVEL 3 CRITERIA
                         1.   Leveraged Resources

February 2003
                         Please fill in committed sources and uses of funds.
                       SOURCES & USES

                                          SOURCES:                                               APPROVAL
                                                                                                 ANTIC. BY         STATUS
                                                                1 ______________    _______      _________         _______________________________________
                                                                2 ______________    ______       ___________       _______________________________________
                                                                3 ______________    ______       ___________       _______________________________________
                                                                4 ______________    _______      __________        _______________________________________
                                                                5 ______________    _______      ___________       _______________________________________
                                                                6 ______________    ______       ___________       _______________________________________
                                                                7 ______________    _______      _________         ______________________________________
                                                                8 ______________    _____        ___________       _______________________________________
                                                                9 ______________    _______      ___________       _______________________________________
                                                              10 ______________     _______      ___________       _______________________________________

                                                                   TOTAL SOURCES             $

                                          USES:                                      TOTAL              SOURCE      SOURCE        SOURCE                    SOURCE         SOURCE          SOURCE
                                                                                                        PRIVATE    FEDERAL          STATE       LOCAL                       REG’L   OTHER/ GAP
                                                                1 _______________   ___          __________        _______        _______      _______      ________                _______
                                                                2 ______________    _______      _________         _______        _______      _______      _______                 _______
                                                                3 ______________    _______      __________        _______        _______      _______      _______                 _______
                                                                4 ______________    _______      _________         _______        _______      _______      _______                 _______
                                                                5 ______________    ______       ______            _______        ______       _____        ______                  _______
                                                                6 ______________    _______      __________        _______        _______      _______      ________                _______
                                                                7 ______________    _______      _______           ____           _______      __           ________                _______
                                                                8 _______________   _______      __________        _______        _______      ______       _______                 _______
                                                                9 ______________    _______      __________        _______        ______       ______       _______                 _______
                                                              10 ______________     _______      __________        ______         ______       ______       _______                 ______
                                                                                             $      $          -              $            $            $              $        -      $        -   $
                                                                                             -                                -            -            -                                           -

Calthorpe Associates
                                                                                                   #DIV/0!          #DIV/0!       #DIV/0!      #DIV/0!           #DIV/0!              #DIV/0!
                                                                                                                                                                                                        M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

2. Maximum Benefit
Describe how this project achieves objectives in the following categories:

  a.) Does it support the objectives of multiple riverfront interests? (See Criteria for list of riverfront interests.)
       Which interests, and how?

  b.) Does it benefit more than one jurisdiction? Which other jurisdiction(s), and how?

  c.) Is the project consistent with existing adopted plans or plans under consideration? Which plans? (See
       Criteria for full list of relevant plans.)

  d.) What additional information should reviewers know regarding the project’s ability to achieve multiple
      objectives or provide the greatest benefit?

Calthorpe Associates                                       76                                              February 2003
                                                                       M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

3. Consensus/Support
     Check the applicable box to describe the current level of consensus and support regarding the project:

      High: Broad input and support with active support by some
      Stakeholder input has been solicited and provided, and all participating stakeholders agree that the project is
      beneficial and should move forward. Several stakeholders actively support the project.

      Medium: Less input OR less uniformity in support
      Stakeholder input that has been received is positive, but input has not been broad.
      OR Stakeholder input has been solicited and provided, and while most stakeholders are supportive, a few
      stakeholders are not.

      Low: Controversial
      Some stakeholders actively oppose the project.

      Definition of stakeholders: the list of riverfront interests in the Criteria.

4. Safety
Does the project address any river-related safety hazards or concerns? (e.g. user conflicts between industry and
recreation, access to the river, boating/barge conflicts, etc.).

                  yes___            no___

                  explain in less than 50 words:

February 2003                                               77                                     Calthorpe Associates

5. Reinforces Existing Investment
 Describe the project resource/s shared with existing public or private investment (and estimated cost

 Describe resource/s addressing existing public or private priorities

Describe project resource/s that will minimize future investment (public or private)

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                                                       M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

6. Readiness for Implementation
                                                                                      DATE OF
                                                 NOT               DATE               ANTICIPATED
                         DESCRIPTION (IF NEEDED) REQUIRED          COMPLETED          COMPLETION
     Concept             _________________________ ____________    ____________       ____________
     Schematic           _________________________ ____________    ____________       ____________
     Design Development _________________________ ____________     ____________       ____________
     Construction        _________________________ ____________    ____________       ____________

     Community           _________________________ ____________    ____________       ____________
       Local             _________________________ ____________    ____________       ____________
        County           _________________________ ____________    ____________       ____________
        Regional         _________________________ ____________    ____________       ____________
        State (Minnesota) _________________________ ____________   ____________       ____________
        State (Wisconsin) _________________________ ____________   ____________       ____________
        Federal          _________________________ ____________    ____________       ____________
        US Army Corps    _________________________ ____________    ____________       ____________
        of Engineers
         National Park   _________________________ ____________    ____________       ____________
         Environmental   _______________________
        MPCA             _________________________ ____________    ____________       ____________
        EPA              _________________________ ____________    ____________       ____________
        DNR              _________________________ ____________    ____________       ____________
     Formal Actions
        EIS/EAS/AUAR _________________________ ____________        ____________       ____________
        Rezoning         _________________________ ____________    ____________       ____________
        Other            _________________________ ____________    ____________       ____________
        Other            _________________________ ____________    ____________       ____________
        Other            _________________________ ____________    ____________       ____________

 February 2003                                 79                                 Calthorpe Associates

   Project                 _________________________ ____________                 ____________       ____________
     Key Milestone/s       _________________________ ____________                 ____________       ____________
     Key Milestone/s       _________________________ ____________                 ____________       ____________
     Key Milestone/s       _________________________ ____________                 ____________       ____________
     Project Completion    _________________________ ____________                 ____________       ____________

   Project Area            _________________________ ____________                 ____________       ____________
     Option/Purchase       _________________________ ____________                 ____________       ____________
     Closing               _________________________ ____________                 ____________       ____________
     Fee Simple            _________________________ ____________                 ____________       ____________
     Option/Purchase       _________________________ ____________                 ____________       ____________
     Closing               _________________________ ____________                 ____________       ____________
     Fee Simple            _________________________ ____________                 ____________       ____________
     Ownership Structure _________________________ ____________                   ____________       ____________

   ________________ ________________________                  ____________        ____________       ____________
     ________________ ________________________                ____________        ____________       ____________

7. Urgency
   Check the applicable box.

     High: Short time frame and high risk of losing project completely
     If this project does not move forward within the next 12 months, the opportunity will be lost forever.

     Medium: Longer time frame or less negative impact from delay
     Certain project benefits will be lost if the project does not move forward in 12 months. OR The project
     must move forward within the next 24 months or risk losing the opportunity completely.

     Low: Can wait
     Project will not be significantly impacted by delaying implementation.

 Calthorpe Associates                                    80                                          February 2003
                                                                     M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

8. Environmental Impact
      High: The project achieves all of the following:

      Medium: The project achieves six or more of the following (please circle goals that will be achieved)

      Low: The project achieves less than six of the following (please circle goals that will be achieved):

n   Reduces runoff and improves water quality by maximizing stormwater retention and infiltration.
n   Prevents and controls sources of noise, water, and air pollution before, during, and after construction.
n   Preserves and protects existing natural resources on the site, including bluff, shoreline, wetlands, remnant
    natural communities and endangered, threatened, and rare species.
n   Applies setback and height restrictions and encourages careful site design to maintain ability to view the river
    from existing open space.
n   Screens development where practical to minimize its visibility from the river or the opposite shoreline.
n   Minimizes site alteration and vegetation removal, especially healthy mature trees.
n   Incorporates site design that takes advantage of site amenities and protects resources.
n   Locates development away from slopes, ravines, ridgelines, wetlands, streams, and high points.
n   Minimizes the amount of impervious surface and turf.
n   Minimizes erosion and sedimentation through use of porous surface materials, adequate erosion control
    measures, and adequate revegetation plans.

9. Applicability as a Model
Describe how the process, project type, and use of resources could be replicated in other parts of the Pool 2
corridor or the Twin Cities region. How could this project serve as a model for other similar kinds of projects?
If the community has a similar opportunity in the future, what aspects of the process will be duplicated and what
will be changed?

February 2003                                             81                                        Calthorpe Associates

Project Evaluation Form

Evaluate the project’s ability to achieve each criterion. Recognizing some projects will have more
information than others based on the project type or status, please do your best job to be objective
and consistent in your evaluation of the projects. The outcomes of this evaluation will be used to
rank the projects for recommended implementation.


Project Name:
City or Township:

Project Type
Check types indicated on proposal.
o Natural Area Protection
o Interpretation/Education
o Historic Preservation
o Trails
o Active Recreation
o Tourism
o Redevelopment/Brownfield Cleanup
o New Development (conservation)
o New Development (conventional)
o Transportation/Navigation/Utility

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                                                               M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

Level 1 Threshold Criteria

There are 5 points possible for each question. Total possible score for Level 1 Criteria is 25.

1. Have a relationship (not necessarily adjacency) to the Mississippi River.

2a. Support policies in MNRRA’s Comprehensive Management Plan.
If “yes” then 3 points, if “no” then 0 points.

2b. Community/ies where the project is located has a river plan/s in place that address MNRRA’s
Comprehensive Management Plan policies.
If “yes” or “na” then 2 points, if “no” then 0 points.

3. Contribute to achieving Regional Blueprint 2030 principles.
Number of checks equals the number of points, with a maximum of 5.

4. Support sustainable development concepts.

Total Score for Level 1 Criteria

February 2003                                        83                                    Calthorpe Associates

A P P E N D I X B: F U L L P R O J E C T L I S T -
                                            Name of Project                       Met Level 2 Criteria
       19th Avenue Bridge (Regional Trail Overpass)                                       Yes
       2 nd Street Trail Connection Development-Downtown Bluff to Lower Landing           Yes
       9 Hole Golf Course                                                                 No
       Barge Terminal One - Habitat Improvement                                           Yes
       Battle Creek Bluffs and Prairies                                                   Yes
       Battle Creek Bluffs North Prairie and Savanna Restoration                          Yes
       Battle Creek Regional Park Dry Prairie & Oak Woodland Restoration                  Yes
       Battle Creek Regional Park Oak Forest Restoration                                  No
       Big Rivers Trail                                                                   Yes
       Bluff Restoration- Adjacent to Big Rivers Trail                                    Yes
       Bruce Vento Bird Overlook                                                          Yes
       Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary Planting and Reconstruction                           Yes
       Bruce Vento Sanctuary -Brownfield Clean-up                                         Yes
       Bruce Vento Trail Extension to Lowertown & Mounds                                  Yes
       Cherokee Park Picnic Area Renovation                                               No
       Commercial Navigation Overlook                                                     Yes
       Como Lake/Trout Brook Stormwater Project                                           No
       Concord Boulevard Redevelopment                                                    Yes
       Concord/Gateway Initiative                                                         Yes
       Crosby Farm Addition Site Development                                              No
       Crosby Farm Regional Park & Trails Improvements                                    No
       Crosby Park Planting Design and Event                                              Yes
       District Del Sol Redevelopment                                                     Yes
       E/W Pedestrian Trail                                                               Yes
       East Bank Regional Trail Shoreline Improvements                                    Yes
       East Bank Trail Promontory And River Access                                        Yes
       Elway I-35 Trail Connection                                                        Yes
       Fish Hatchery Lake Site Improvement                                                Yes
       Ford Motor Company Planting Plan, Event and Exotic Removal                         Yes
       Great Northern Business Center Ecological Covenants                                No
       Harriet Island Regional Park Harbour/Marina Improvements                           Yes
       Harriet Island Regional Park Phase 2 Development                                   Yes
       Harriet Island Urban Village                                                       Yes
       Hawkins Chemical Barge Terminal                                                    Yes
       Hidden Park Regional Parks Improvements                                            No
       High Bridge Area Stairs: Bridge to Upper Landing                                   Yes
       Highwood Park Preserve Management Plan and Oak WoodlandRestoration                 No
       Historic Harvest States Head House                                                 Yes
       Historic Pilot House Renovation                                                    Yes
       Historic Upper Landing Development                                                 Yes
       I-35 Bridge over Mississippi River                                                 Yes
       I-494 Expansion/Wakota Bridge Expansion of 494                                     Yes

Calthorpe Associates                                               84                           February 2003
                                                                           M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

                                         Name of Project                                  Met Level 2 Criteria
       Island Station PArk Development                                                            Yes
       Kellogg Park Stair Connection & Promontory Development                                     Yes
       Levee Loop                                                                                 Yes
       Lilydale Bluff- Lilydale Planting Plan and Reconstruction                                  Yes
       Lilydale Bluff Top Trail Development                                                       Yes
       Lilydale Regional Park Development                                                         No
       Lilydale Trail Connection                                                                  Yes
       Lower Landing Site Improvements                                                            Yes
       Lower Phalen Creek Project -Wetlands and Sewers                                            Yes
       Market Street Stair:Top of Bluff to Base                                                   Yes
       Mendota Heights Town Center Project                                                        Yes
       Metro State Planting Plan                                                                  No
       Minor League Baseball Stadium                                                              Yes
       Mississippi River Bluff: Desnoyer Prairie and Savanna Restoration                          No
       Mississippi River Boulevard Parkway Restoration                                            Yes
       Mississippi River South St.Paul Regional Trail Connection                                  Yes
       Mounds Park Overlook Planting Plan and Event                                               No
       North High Bridge Park Renovation                                                          Yes
       Ohio Street Trail Connection Development                                                   Yes
       Overlook-Mendota                                                                           Yes
       Park River Edge Protection & Performance Space                                             Yes
       Pigs Eye                                                                                   Yes
       Pigs Eye Lake SNA                                                                          Yes
       Pigs Eye Regional Park Site Improvements                                                   Yes
       Pigs Eye Regional Park Soil Clean-Up                                                       Yes
       Port Crosby Park & Recreation Area (Brownfield)                                            Yes
       Prairie Gen Power Plant at Island Station                                                  No
       Prairie Gen Redevelopment of Historic Island Station                                       Yes
       Raspberry Island Site Developments                                                         Yes
       Rebuilding I-35 Bridge                                                                     No
       River Bluff Stewarship                                                                     Yes
       River Bluffs East Side                                                                     Yes
       River Overlook-Mendota Heights                                                             Yes
       River Taxi Landings: Harriet Island, Upper & Lower Landing, Lilydale & Raspberry           Yes
       Robert Street Bridge Stair Tower Development                                               No
       Science Museum of MN: RR Bridge Connecting Develpt.                                        Yes
       Science Museum Outdoor Science Park                                                        Yes
       Shepard Road Downtown Segment                                                              Yes
       Sibley/Jackson Connection Improvements                                                     Yes
       South Robert Street Redevelopment                                                          No
       St. Paul Downtown Airport Levee                                                            Yes
       St.Paul-Red Rock Station (1)                                                               Yes
       St.Paul-Red Rock Station (2)                                                               Yes

February 2003                                                      85                                   Calthorpe Associates

                                          Name of Project           Met Level 2 Criteria
         Stonebridge Development                                            Yes
         Swede Hollow Park Planting Plan and Event                          Yes
         Trillium Site Redevelopment                                        Yes
         Trout Brook Greenway Implementation Plan                           No
         Union Depot Transportation Centre                                  Yes
         Upper Landing Park Improvements                                    Yes
         Wabasha Green Staircase                                            No
         Wakota Bridge Redevelopment Area, SSP                              Yes
         Watergate Marina Improvements                                      Yes
         Watergate Marina Planting Plan                                     Yes
         West Side Bulff: Smith Ave. Planting Plan and Event                No
         West Side Flats Bike/Ped Trail                                     Yes
         West Side Flats Urban Village                                      Yes
         West Side Lower Bluff Nature Walk Development                      Yes
         Westminister Junction Industrial Park                              Yes
         Xcel Energy Native Planting                                        No
         Year Round Ski Tunnel Within Airport Levee                         Yes

Calthorpe Associates                                           86                    February 2003
                                                                          M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

                                      Name of Project                                Met Level 2 Criteria
       117th Street Trail Overpass                                                           Yes
       3M- Cottage Grove Center Prairie and Savanna Restoration                              No
       75th Street Extension                                                                 Yes
       95th Street Overpass                                                                  Yes
       A&F Auto (Brownfield)                                                                 Yes
       Cheetah Development                                                                   Yes
       Concord Boulevard Redevelopment                                                       Yes
       Cottage Grove- Alt. Loc.-Red Rock Station                                             Yes
       Cottage Grove-Red Rock Station                                                        Yes
       Demolition of JAR Toll Bridge                                                         Yes
       Erickson Bros. Easement                                                               Yes
       Flint Hills Pine Bend Bluffs Praire and Savanna Restoration                           Yes
       Great River Road Scenic Branch                                                        Yes
       Grey Cloud Island Aggregate Mining                                                    No
       Grey Cloud Island River Access Park                                                   No
       Hamlet Park to Grey Cloud Dunes Trail                                                 Yes
       I-494 Expansion/Wakota Bridge Expansion of 494                                        Yes
       Island Passive Park, Newport                                                          Yes
       Katherine Ordway Natural History Study Area Prairie and Savanna Restoration           No
       Lower Grey Cloud Island Regional Park                                                 Yes
       Mississippi River Regional Trail                                                      Yes
       Mississippi River Scenic Overlook-1                                                   Yes
       Mississippi River Scenic Overlook-2                                                   Yes
       Mississippi River Scenic Overlook-3                                                   Yes
       Newport Levee Rehabilitation                                                          Yes
       Newport-Red Rock Station Commuter Rail Station (Alternate Location)                   Yes
       Newport-Red Rock Station                                                              No
       NPS Islands 108 - 01 ( 9 Islands) Floodplain Forest Restoration                       Yes
       Ordway Natural Area Habitat Restoration                                               Yes
       Pine Bend Bluff Natural Area Protection Protection                                    Yes
       Pine Bend Overlook, Rosemount                                                         Yes
       Pine Coulee Scenic Overlook, Cottage Grove                                            Yes
       Restoration of Former Water Treatment Plant                                           Yes
       Riverfront Community Park                                                             Yes
       Riverside Park - St. Paul Park Woodland Restoration                                   Yes
       South Saint Paul Pedestrain Bridge Connection                                         Yes
       South Washington Watershed District Greemway Plan                                     Yes
       Street Reconstruction Grey Cloud Trail (w/Bridge)                                     Yes
       Trail Crossing at JAR Toll Bridge                                                     No
       University of Minnesota-Rosemount                                                     Yes
       Wakota Bridge Reconstruction                                                          Yes

February 2003                                                    87                                 Calthorpe Associates

                                           Name of Project                     Met Level 2 Criteria
        Bailly’s Landing Multi-Use Redevelopment                                       Yes
        Carpenter Nature Center Oak Savanna Restoration                                Yes
        Eagle Bluff Development, Nininger Twp.                                         No
        Freedom Park Interpretive Center                                     No Eco Analysis Available
        Freitag Property Protection                                                    Yes
        Great River Road Scenic Branch                                                 Yes
        Hastings Old Mill Park Ecological Inventory and Restoration                    Yes
        Hastings River Flats                                                           Yes
        Hastings River Front Reconstruction                                            No
        Hastings to Prescott Trail                                                     Yes
        Hastings Wastewater Plant Relocation Study Area                                Yes
        Hastings-Red Rock Commuter Rail Station                                        Yes
        Hwy 316 Improvements                                                           No
        Hwy 61 Bicycle Underpass                                                       Yes
        Hwy 61 Mississippi River Bridge (w/trail)                                      Yes
        Jakes Landing Reconstruction                                         No Eco Analysis Available
        Levee Park Rehabilitation                                                      Yes
        Lost Valley Conservation Area Additions                                        Yes
        Mississippi River Greenway Strategic Plan                                      Yes
        Mississippi River Regional Trail                                               Yes
        Red Wing Boulevard Improvements                                                Yes
        Redevelopment of Current Sewage Treatment Plant Area                           Yes
        Sand Coulee Prairie Restoration                                                Yes
        Spring Lake Park Reserve Dry Prairie and Bluff Prairie Restoration             Yes
        Spring Lake Regional Park-Addl Land Acquisition                                Yes
        St.Croix Valley Wildlife and Recreation Corridor                               Yes
        Trusedale Dam/Dike                                                             No
        Wohler’s Estates Savanah Restoration                                           Yes

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                                                                        M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

A P P E N D I X C: F U R T H E R R E A D I N G
R IVER B LUFFS S TEWARDSHIP                                         Committee with oversight by a Community
                                                                    Advisory Board and a Technical Advisory Board.
• Great River Greening’s West Side Bluff
  Management Plan is available on line at http:                 For more information about the Lower Phalen Creek
  //www.greatrivergreening.org/project_                         Project, contact Friends of Swede Hollow: 733 East
  westsidebluff.asp. This plan presents the results             Seventh Street, St. Paul, MN 55106 * 651-771-2659;
  of a natural resource inventory conducted by                  fosh@upperswedehollow.org
  Great River Greening ecologists and provides                  • The Falls and Canyon Reach: Reinvesting and
  recommendations for managing the city-owned                     Connecting. An Urban Design Framework
  West Side Bluff in an ecologically sound, socially              for Linking Metropolitan Communities to the
  acceptable and economically feasible manner.                    Mississippi River. May 1995, University of
                                                                  Minnesota, Design Center for American Urban
                                                                  Landscape, vol. 2 no. 4. Available online at http://
• A Community Vision for Lower Phalen Creek:                      www.cala.umn.edu/design_center/reference_ctr/
  Improving    our     Watershed,   Revitalizing                  publications/reports/pdf/missv2nr.pdf
  our Communities Martin & Pitz Assoc.,                         • Bruce Vento, 1940-2000, by Mark Zdechlik.
  Landscape Architects and the Lower Phalen                       Minnesota Public Radio, October 10, 2000 http:/
  Creek Project Steering Committee. http://                       /news.mpr.org/features/200010/10_zdechlikm_
  www.daytonsbluff.org/LowerPhalenCreek.html                      vento/ Profile of and tributes to Congressman
     The Community Vision for Lower Phalen Creek                  Bruce Vento. Congressman Vento is well
    illustrates the dreams of the neighborhoods                   remembered for his attention to the environment.
    surrounding the site and their vision for improving           As chairman of the Natural Resources
    the ecological health and social benefits of this             Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and
    land. The vision calls for transformation of the              Public Lands, he helped pass hundreds of laws to
    land into the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. The               protect the environment and increase conservation
    first section explores the site context of existing             and park land.
    trail systems, open spaces and parks. The second
    section discusses human history on the site, along          M ISSISSIPPI R IVER REGIONAL TRAIL
    with history of the natural features in the area and
                                                                • Dakota     County    Office     of   Planning,
    results of recent ecological investigations. At the
                                                                  “Mississippi     River      Regional      Trail
    center of the Community Vision is a conceptual
                                                                  Project      Summary”       February     1999.
    proposal for the BNSF portion of the floodplain
    and small adjacent parcels. Additional sections
    cover other recommended trail corridors and
    improved connections to Fourth Street and Lower             P INE B END B LUFFS N ATURAL A REA
    Landing Park.
    The Lower Phalen Creek project was initiated by             Further reading:
    Friends of Swede Hollow (FOSH), a volunteer                 • McKnight Foundation “Embrace Open Space”
    group of neighbors to Swede Hollow Park,                      campaign; http://www.embraceopenspace.org/
    and is directed by a community-based Steering                 openspace/treasures/t_pinebend.asp

February 2003                                              89                                       Calthorpe Associates

• Great River Greening description of restoration          H ASTINGS RED ROCK C OMMUTER
  work with Flint Hills; http://www.greatrivergreen
                                                           R AIL S TATION
• Friends of the Mississippi River Spring 2002             • Parsons Transportation Group, Final Report,
  Newsletter; http://www.fmr.org/100progs.html               Red Rock Commuter Rail Feasibility Study,
                                                             July 26, 2001. http://www.redrockrail.org/
• “Protecting Farmland and Natural Areas in Dakota
  County” FMR fact sheet: http://www.fmr.org/
  dakota.pdf                                               • Lance M. Neckar, Transportation and Regional
                                                             Growth Part V: Urban Design and the Environment
• “The Pine Bend Bluffs: A vibrant natural area
                                                             - Highway 61/Red Rock Corridor (Task 1 -
  overlooking the Mississippi River in Dakota
                                                             Baseline Conditions and Task 2/3 - Alternatives to
  County.” http://www.fmr.org/pbptnrs/
                                                             the Baseline. University of Minnesota Department
• For more information about Pine Bend Bluffs
                                                             of Landscape Architecture, July 2002.
  or how to get involved in FMR’s activities there,
                                                              These studies represent several years of thorough
  please contact Tom Lewanski at 651/222-2193 or
                                                              transportation related study conducted by
  e-mail him at tlewansk@fmr.org
                                                              University of Minnesota researchers, coordinated
                                                              through the U. of M.’s Center for Transportation
• Dennis     Ozment,      “Refinery     deserves              Studies and jointly sponsored by the Metropolitan
  credit    for      change      in     attitude”             Council and the Minnesota Department of
  St. Paul Pioneer Press, Jul. 30, 2002. http://              Transportation.
                                                           O THER READING
• Sara Pool, “Pine Bend Bluff restoration may              Previous Planning Efforts
  save rare natural prairie,” This Week, Sept. 10,         • American Rivers, River of Renewal: A Vision
  2002.    http://www.thisweek-online.com/2000/              for Reconnecting Communities to a Living Upper
  september/22bluffs.html                                    Mississippi River, http://www.amrivers.org/docs/
• Connie Nelson, “HomeZone: The buckthorn                    missiowareport.pdf
  battle,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Nov 8, 2001.          • Metropolitan Council, Blueprint 2030, http://
  http://www.startribune.com/stories/418/                    www.metrocouncil.org/planning/blueprint2030/
    79184.html                                               documents.htm
S OUTH WASHINGTON WATERSHED                                • National Park Service, Mississippi National River and
                                                             Recreation Area Comprehensive Management Plan, http:
• Metropolitan Council’s Minnesota Urban Small
  Sites Best Management Practices (BMP) Manual
  is available online at www.metrocouncil.org/             • Corps      Navigation      Lessons,      http://
  environment/Watershed/bmp/manual.htm                       education.wes.army.mil/navigation/lessons/
• http://www.mnwatershed.org/whatis.htm                      home.html
• http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/greenways/                    • Ecological Status and Trends of the Upper
  index.html                                                 Mississippi River System 1998: A Report of the

Calthorpe Associates                                  90                                            February 2003
                                                             M ISSISSIPPI R IVERFRONT I NITIATIVE

    Long Term Resource Monitoring Program. US
    Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental
    Sciences Center http://www.umesc.usgs.gov/
• Grand Excursion of 1854: http://www.riverfrontc
• Minnesota Department of Transportation,
  “Environmental Impacts of a Model Shift,” St.
  Paul, MN, June 1992
• Moore, Richard, IWLA, “The History of
  Transportation on the Mississippi River” Hamline
  University Center for Global Environmental
  Education,       http://cgee.hamline.edu/rivers/
•   St. Paul Port Authority, http://www.sppa.com/
• U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Interim Report for
  the Restructured Upper Mississippi River - Illinois
  Waterway System Navigation Feasibility Study,

February 2003                                           91                         Calthorpe Associates

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