St. Paul District Gives Waterfront Land To City

The St. Paul Engineer District is donating three acres of historic riverfront property to the city of Minneapolis. The land sits behind the lock and dam at Upper St. Anthony Falls. The lock was permanently closed to commercial navigation in 2015 to prevent the spread of Asian carp. Corps officials will remain on site to operate the dam, which has not been closed and which is operated for flood control. The donation went through after a law was signed by President Donald Trump allowing the donation.

The property runs along the Mississippi River’s western bank from under the Stone Arch Bridge to just above the falls. It abuts the city-owned Water Works property, a $30 million redevelopment project that has been under construction since 2019.

A nonprofit community group called Friends of the Falls has been formed to help the city decide what to do with the land. According to the St. Paul Star Tribune, the group is working closely with the city and the Native American Community Development Institute to design a plan for what to put on the land. Mark Andrew, president of Friends of the Falls, told the Star Tribune that no plans have been made yet. Andrew said that although the site is small, it is historic because it was one of the first places in the city to be settled by immigrants and was a key cultural and spiritual site for the Dakota and other communities for centuries.

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