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Saturday, July 2, 2022

The River Connection: Three Visions for the Learning Center at St. Paul Crosby Farms Park

The Mississippi River in St. Paul has been called many things, but widely accessible isn’t one of them.

Besides motorized boats and some prime views, the river winds through the capital city as more of a backdrop than a destination for many. The lack of public-facing facilities – think canoe launches, restaurants, boardwalks and nature centers compared to other river cities – has gone unnoticed by major river partners.

“We are really trying to move the city to the river, which is one of the three great rivers in the world,” said Mary Delighter, executive director of the Great River Passage Conservancy, the city’s primary fundraising partner for the river projects. Is.” “But there aren’t many places to go to drink and get down and touch him.”

The Conservancy has joined St. Paul Parks and Recreation in the process of designing a river learning center in a 25-acre section of Crosby Farms Park south of Shepard Road and east of the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers .

Designers with New York’s W Architecture and Landscape Architecture shared three possible concept drawings during an open house at Watergate Marina this month, a boat landing that stemmed directly from alterations to two existing man-made bays dredged in the 1950s. will be affected.

“The whole area is in disarray. It was reconfigured in the past,” said Anne Gardner, a landscape architect and project manager with St. Paul’s Parks & RE. With the goal of increased natural habitat and native plantings, the new island “remains what it was in the past.” will repeat.”

Connecting Crosby Farms to Hidden Falls

The project is expected to link the ends of Crosby Farms Regional Park and Hidden Falls Regional Park, while increasing opportunities for non-motorized boaters.

Mary Delighter, executive director of the Great River Passage Conservancy. (Scott Takushi / Pioneer Press)

“It’s something as much as a reconfiguration of the shape of the bay, where one can actually comfortably locate a building there,” Delighter said.

The three plans – bridge, path and destination – detail how visitors can reach the river from the existing bluff, where buses and cars can drop off visitors, and whether the marina will have to shrink slightly – all details vary with each option. Is.

By dredging a narrow channel between two creeks, an existing peninsula-like land can be turned into an island. A lift or canopy walk can connect the bluffs to the riverfront, or take visitors to the nature center’s terrace.

“We are in the early stages of schematic design,” Gardner said. By the fall, the city is expected to unveil a general concept plan, fundraising options and a possible price tag.

World Nation News Desk
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