St. Paul Seeks $20 Million For River Center

The city council of St. Paul, Minn., approved a resolution August 4 asking the state for a grant of $20 million (out of a total request of $70 million from a state bonding bill) to establish a recreation and environmental education center on a riverbank at the Watergate Marina in Crosby Farm Regional Park, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The site would also host the National Park Service’s Mississippi River headquarters.

The proposed River Learning Center would offer educational programming, walking tours, and rental equipment for outdoor recreation for visitors of all ages to engage with the area’s history and natural resources, said Mary deLaittre, executive director of the Great River Passage Conservancy, which advocates and fundraises for capital projects along St. Paul’s stretch of the Mississippi River.

In 2020, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz included $3 million to cover design and planning costs for the center, but that money was not included in the final bonding bill passed by the legislature. Private donors helped the Great River Passage Conservancy with design costs instead.

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