December 2016: HKGi Projects in the News

A few past and current HKGi projects have been highlighted in the news around the state of Minnesota:

  • HKGi led the development of the master plan and design guidelines for Saint Paul's West Side Flats, which lies just across the river from downtown. The master plan, which was created in collaboration with the City of Saint Paul, Emmons & Olivier Resources, Forecast Public Art, Community Design Group, EcoDEEP, and Design Workshop, recommended creation of the West Side Flats Greenway and, as noted in this Star Tribune article, the use of shared, stacked-use green infrastructure to sustainably treat storm water from the site. Also noted in the article is the U.S. EPA planning grant awarded to the City for implementation of master plan components.
  • In Fergus Falls, HKGi is just beginning a planning process for that Minnesota city's downtown and riverfront. This exciting project is intended to help community members create a shared long term vision for redevelopment of the downtown and strategies to reconnect the Otter Tail River and downtown Fergus Falls.
  • Several projects to enhance Duluth's reputation as an outdoor recreation destination are in the works with HKGi providing leadership and planning expertise for several initiatives. This article and this article provide overviews of the St. Louis River Corridor Trails Plan, which HKGi is developing with the City and Duluth's current trail planning and building boom. Other projects mentioned in the articles for which HKGi is providing leadership include the St. Louis River Corridor Vision, the Trails and Bikeway Plan, the National Water Trail, the Cross City Trail, the Fairmount Park/Lake Superior Zoo Master Plan, and the Wade Stadium/Sport Corridor Master Plan.

October 2016: HKGi Welcomes New Project Manager/Market Analyst: Britt Palmberg, AICP

HKGi is pleased to announce that Britt Palmberg, a Project Manager and Planner with specialized expertise in market analysis, economic development, and real estate, has joined the firm. Britt's addition to HKGi's staff will allow the firm to more fully integrate economic analysis data and planning into a broader range of projects and opens up new opportunities for the firm to serve its clients.

Britt brings more than ten years of experience conducting comprehensive, growth area, redevelopment, downtown, site, and commercial corridor planning for both public and private sector clients. He has worked on projects across the country but has focused primarily on the Midwest and the West. His experience in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest includes collaborations with HKGi on UMore Park in Rosemount; the Upper Harbor Terminal Redevelopment Plan in Minneapolis; the Southwest Growth Area Plan in Chaska; the Eco-Business and Industrial Park Study in Northfield; and the Alice's Road Corridor Master Plan in Waukee, Iowa.

Britt is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a member of the Urban Land Institute. He earned his MBA in Real Estate and Finance and his Master in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and his BA in Economics from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Contact Information for Britt Palmberg

September 2016: HKGi Welcomes New Associate: Rita Trapp, AICP

HKGi is pleased to announce that Rita Trapp has been named an Associate of the firm. As an Associate, Rita is a firm shareholder and she will have an expanding role in the management and overall direction of the company.

Rita joined HKGi in 2003 as a Planner and has served as Project Manager on several community and parks planning projects, most recently for Rochester, Lindström, and Olmsted and Dakota Counties. Rita is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, earning her B.S. in Land Use Geography and Economics.

Rita has provided HKGi’s public sector clients with a variety of planning and project management services. She has conducted comprehensive planning, ordinance development, park and trail system master planning, grant writing, and general planning services to communities throughout Minnesota. Rita has also been an active member of the Minnesota chapter of the American Planning Association, serving in various leadership positions including Professional Development Officer.

Contact Information for Rita Trapp

August 2016: Streetscape Improvements Enhance Historic Downtown Chaska

HKGi has worked with the City of Chaska on a series of planning and design improvements to the city's historic downtown area. The most recent improvements feature brick-paved streets, Chaska-brick inspired monument signs and sidewalk paving, and street lights, bollards and railings that recall the iron work of the Ess Brothers Foundry, which called Chaska its home from the 1860's until 1990.

As Chaska prepares to host the Ryder Cup, You can read more about the latest improvements, and more to come, in the Chaska Herald.

July 2016: Springbrook Nature Center In the News

Springbrook Nature Center and the City of Fridley celebrated the Grand Opening of a new Visitor and Interpretive Center this past Saturday, July 30th. The festivities included a ribbon cutting followed by tours, music, ice cream and other goodies.

In anticipation of the new facility's opening, Springbrook Nature Center was recently featured in the news, and on page 15 of the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association Magazine.

HKGi designed the site plan and landscape improvements for the new center in collaboration with Partners and Sirny Architects, who designed the building. The new Visitor and Interpretive Center is the first of several planned enhancements outlined in the Master Plan that HKGi and Partners and Sirny developed in collaboration with Springbrook Nature Center and the City of Fridley. Read more about HKGi's work on the project.

July 2016: Alexandria's Broadway Street In the News

The reconstruction of Broadway Street in Alexandria has proven to be extremely successful and extremely popular across the community. HKGi and WSN developed the Complete Streets study and produced final designs, cost estimations, and construction documentation for the project. HKGi's plan for the "Missing Link," a two-block segment of Broadway from downtown to the Central Lakes Trail, is currently being tested prior to reconstruction.

Read more about HKGi's work in Alexandria, watch a video about the project and about Complete Streets, and learn more about the Missing Link.

July 2016: Andrews Park In the News

Clyde Andrews Park, one of the busier parks in Champlin with its splash pad and many athletic fields, was the subject of a brief article in the summer edition of the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association Magazine (page 16). You can read more about HKGi's work on Andrews Park on our project page.

July 2016: Duluth Adopts St. Louis River Corridor Park Plans

The Duluth City Council approved the St. Louis River Corridor Parks Mini-Master Plan document, which contains mini-master plans for eleven neighborhood parks and recreational areas in the St. Louis River Corridor. Landscape architects from HKGi led the planning process for these parks, conducting a comprehensive survey of current conditions at each park and leading a series of community and stakeholder meetings to ensure that input would be collected from each neighborhood in the corridor. Input from these processes identified needs for each park and provide the foundation for the mini-master plans. Recreational needs and the overall vision for parks in the St. Louis River Corridor and the City as a whole also informed the initiatives contained in the mini-master plans.

Plans for each park include the identification of strengths, opportunities, and issues to be addressed; a concept plan with recommended improvements; phasing recommendations; and short-and long-term cost estimates for each improvement.

Bolstered by the thorough guidance provided by the mini-master plans, current plans by the City seek to place a higher priority on funding for neighborhood park improvements. For more information about the Mini-Master Plan, read our project page or visit the City's web site.

July 2016: Red Wing's He Mni Can - Barn Bluff Park Master Plan Completed

On June 27th the Red Wing City Council formally adopted the He Mni Can - Barn Bluff Park Master Plan, which will guide stewardship of this park and its remarkable landscape for the next 20-plus years. HKGi and LOAM, Inc. collaborated with the City of Red Wing and its residents to produce a master plan that builds on the park's multi-cultural history and its local significance. The planning process included an analysis of current site conditions which, when coupled with an extensive community engagement process, identified short- and long-term needs for the park. The master plan responds to those needs and also includes a wide-ranging implementation section that covers phasing of improvements and potential funding sources and partnerships.

One highlight of the plan is use of the Dakota name for the area, He Mni Can, which translates as "Hill, Water, Wood," alongside the English name for the park, Barn Bluff, which is actually an adaptation of the name French explorers gave to the area, Mont La Grange. Other highlights include restoration of the park's diverse natural habitat and greater protection of its cultural resources; improvements to the safety and durability of the park's trail network; greater trail connections to the park; and improvements to the park entry, its East and West Overlooks, and the G.A. Carlson Lime Kiln and Plaza.

For more information about the park master plan, visit our project page or read this article from the Post-Bulletin.

May 2016: Minnehaha Refectory Project Earns Preservation Award

The renovation of the extremely popular Minnehaha Refectory in Minneapolis' Minnehaha Park was one of three projects to earn a 2016 Minneapolis Preservation Award for historic restoration or rehabilitation. HKGi provided site design and landscape architecture services on the multi-disciplinary consultant team retained by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) to design and complete the renovation project. HKGi collaborated with the MPRB, representatives from Sea Salt, the restaurant located inside the Refectory, and Miller Dunwiddie, the project architect, to develop a site plan that accommodates restaurant improvements and resolves functional issues that had plagued the site previously.

HKGi's plan creates better foot and bicycle circulation to and around the Refectory and the adjacent Minnehaha Falls. The final design also accommodates expanded outdoor seating, more bicycle parking, and improvements to the drop-off and delivery access to the restaurant. Site design services provided by HKGi included concept planning, planting plans, construction documentation, and construction administration.

For more information, read the official award news release

April 2016: Mark Koegler, HKGi CEO, 2016 Initiate of Lambda Alpha International

Mark Koegler, ASLA, CEO of Hoisington Koegler Group, was initiated as a member of the Minnesota Chapter of Lambda Alpha International, a land use society whose membership consists of distinguished professionals from fields related to land use, economics and development. The 2,000-plus international society's mission is to connect professionals, share knowledge, and advance best practices. In addition to networking opportunities and professional development programs, the society promotes land economics research and education through the Land Economics Foundation.

Mark was accepted into the society in recognition of his expertise in land use planning and landscape architecture for public and private sectors. Over the course of his 35-year career Mark has been a leader in his field and has been a key figure in the promotion and growth of local land use and economics organizations.

For more information on LAI, visit the Minnesota chapter's web site.

April 2016: Farmington Approved Downtown Redevelopment Plan

On April 18th the Farmington City Council formally adopted the Downtown Farmington Redevelopment Plan, which was created during a six-month process led by HKGi. While HKGi addressed land use planning and redevelopment concept and strategic planning, consultants Northland Securities and Maxfield Research addressed public financing strategies and market analysis. A task force representing downtown property owners, businesses, the school district, students, Dakota County Library, and the City of Farmington provided essential guidance and information about the community to the consultant team, resulting in a plan designed to better connect downtown to the rest of Farmington and to increase the number of residents living in or near downtown.

You can read the entire plan at the City of Farmington's web site, and you can read news coverage of the plan at the Farmington Independent.

You can also read more about this project in this archived article from the Star Tribune.

April 2016: West Saint Paul Awarded Safe Routes to School Grant

As a result of the firm's grant writing work with Dakota County, HKGi helped West Saint Paul schools secure a grant of nearly $290,000 to build a sidewalk connection along Bidwell Street. The sidewalk will create a safe route for kids attending Moreland Arts and Health Science Magnet School, and Heritage E-Stem Middle School.

You can see all the 2016 Safe Routes to School grants at the Mn DOT web site.

February 2016: HKGi Conducting Winona Development Code Revision Project

Since mid-2015 a planning team from HKGi has been working with the City of Winona to rewrite that city's development code. The initial public input phase has ended and planners are in the process of writing the code.

You can read more about the project at the Winona Daily News.

December 2015: Downtown Osseo Recognized as a 2015 Great Place

The Sensible Land Use Coalition (SLUC) named downtown Osseo one of its 2015 Great Places at its annual banquet on December 9, 2015. The Great Places Initiative honors great public places in the 7-county metropolitan area, and downtown Osseo was recognized for its economic vitality, its pedestrian-friendly environment, the continued commitment by civic organizations to enrich and improve the downtown, and the City's ongoing plans for maintaining and enhancing the downtown's economic viability.

When Osseo was established in 1875, it was a freestanding town that developed in a traditional grid pattern featuring small, walkable blocks and narrow streets. The city has since been surrounded by much larger suburban communities, but its one square mile of area mostly maintains its traditional development pattern with Central Avenue serving as its Main Street. Recent streetscape and park improvements and redevelopment projects in the Central Avenue corridor have injected new vitality into the downtown. Central Avenue provides a comfortable place to stroll and Boerboom Veterans Park is a great gathering place, especially during the summer season. New high and medium density residential projects on and around Central Avenue have greatly increased the number of downtown residents and have provided new patrons for the several restaurants, pubs, and other businesses that call downtown Osseo home.

HKGi would like to congratulate the City of Osseo and the businesses, civic organizations, and community members who have contributed to making downtown Osseo one of the Twin Cities' Great Places. We are proud to have worked with the community to enhance and enrich its downtown, and we look forward to seeing the community continue to grow and develop.

You can see all of the 2015 Great Places and presentation videos at the SLUC web site. Check out our project page to learn more about some of our work in Osseo..


The River to River Greenway, which connects the Big Rivers Regional Trail along the Minnesota River to the Mississippi River Regional Trail, was recognized for exceptional environmental stewardship at the Minnesota Department of Transportation's Environmental Stewardship Conference this past spring. HKGi, serving in a subconsultant role for the lead consultant, Bolton and Menk, conducted alternative routes analyses, landscape and trail design, and construction documentation services for the final one-mile segment of the trail.

This segment had been the final hurdle to completion of the greenway and had been controversial because of its potential impacts on Dodge Nature Center and Henry Sibley High School. HKGi and Bolton and Menk worked together to conduct a public engagement campaign that built consensus around a collaborative design. Addressing stakeholder concerns through this engagement effort allowed the final trail segment to be completed.

The River to River Greenway is another link in the innovative greenway system that Dakota County has been developing. HKGi has worked closely with the County and its residents to plan the greenway system. HKGi has completed master plans for six greenways, and is currently leading the master planning effort for the River to River Greenway.

Read more about the completion of the River to River Greenway in the Star Tribune.


The Parks and Recreation Master Plan HKGi completed for the City of Duluth in 2010 received a Merit Award in the Analysis and Planning category in the American Society of Landscape Architects Minnesota chapter 2015 awards program.

Adoption of the plan has proven to be the catalyst for a flurry of parks and recreation improvements made by the City. Eight of the plan's thirteen top priorities have been accomplished or are in progress, and efforts to implement the plan's other 54 recommended actions are either complete or ongoing. Priority initiatives contained in the plan include establishment of a Parks Enterprise Fund; completion of a comprehensive Trail and Bikeway Plan; creation of Trail Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator positions; and park and recreation center improvements.

The City has realized significant results from the plan's recommendations. The Parks Enterprise Fund has provided nearly $2.7 million annually for operations and improvement projects, and the City has successfully secured $5 million in state matching funds for further improvements. A new entertainment tax fund also provides $1.4 million annually for further improvements.

You can find out more about the parks master plan here or at the City of Duluth web site.