December 2019: HKGi Welcomes New Associate: Gabrielle Grinde, ASLA, PLA

HKGi is pleased to announce that Gabrielle Grinde has been named an Associate of the firm and as a firm shareholder will have an expanding role in the management and overall direction of the company.

Gabrielle joined HKGi in 2009 and since then has continued to develop as a professional by filling leadership roles on a variety of park, trail and open space planning and design projects.

She has provided outstanding leadership, client service, and community engagement skills on projects such as:

  • Parks and Recreation Master Planning for communities such as Hutchinson, Maple Grove and Otsego;
  • Planning for Dakota County's innovative greenway network since its inception and leading master planning efforts for several individual greenways;
  • Park and Trail Master Planning for clients such as the Cities of Duluth and Elk River, Wright County, and Three Rivers Park District;
  • Park and Trail Design for the Cities of Chanhassen, Edina, and Dakota County;
  • Parks and Recreation planning for Comprehensive Plans for communities across the metropolitan area;
  • Involvement in planning projects that address cultural heritage interpretation and public arts planning;

Gabrielle is a licensed Landscape Architect and a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota's Landscape Architecture graduate program. In her free time she enjoys exploring Minneapolis' parks and playgrounds with her two young children, her husband, and the family dog.

Please join us in congratulating Gabrielle (email) on this career milestone.

September 2018: HKGi Master Plans Help Fergus Falls Secure $600K in State Grant Funding

Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources has recommended the City of Fergus Falls for a $600,000 grant to create a multi-use trail and bicycle-pedestrian bridge near the downtown area. HKGi recently completed the Downtown/Riverfront Master Plan and the Glacial Edge Trail Master Plan for the City, both of which were key elements of the City's grant application.

The Fergus Falls projects were among 67 projects across the state that were recommended for funding out of 273 applications. Funding comes from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. You can read more about the project and the award in the Fergus Falls Journal, and you can read more about the Downtown/Riverfront Master Plan.

September 2018: HKGi Clients Awarded Nearly $3 Million for Park and Trail Projects

Several HKGi clients will receive funding assistance in fiscal year 2019 from the state's Legacy Parks and Trails Fund for park and trail improvement projects that were reviewed and recommended for funding by the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC). HKGi collaborated with City and County staff members and other stakeholders to develop master plans for each of these parks and trails. HKGi led community members through the visioning process, concept exploration and refinement, and the establishment of implementation priorities and phasing. These master plans formed the basis for funding applications to the GMRPTC, and will form the basis for future improvement projects at each of these regionally designated parks and trails.

Projects recommended for funding include:

September 2019: HKGi Comprehensive Plans Garner Awards in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Two comprehensive plans authored by HKGi in collaboration with City staff and community members in Red Wing, Minnesota and New Richmond, Wisconsin, received planning awards from the Minnesota and Wisconsin chapters of the American Planning Association. The plan for Red Wing, named the 2040 Community Plan, received the Excellence in Community Engagement Award from the MN APA, and represented a strong collaborative effort with the City's community engagement team. In addition to providing comprehensive planning guidance for the process, HKGi's technical expertise and creative planning approach ensured that the plan would respond directly to input collected from community members. The community's voice is at the heart of the plan and is present throughout the plan report. This is the second consecutive year an HKGi-led plan has received the community engagement award following last year's recognition for the Chanhassen Parks and Recreation System Plan.

The New Richmond Comprehensive Plan was recognized with the WI APA's Innovation in Planning award. This planning process involved the City of New Richmond's planning staff and Community Collaboration, a local community engagement consultant, as well as HKGi's planning team. Several task forces, comprised of community members, drove the planning process forward with their work. HKGi provided technical advice and the expertise necessary to translate the input from these community-based task forces into an action-oriented plan for the future. The award jury noted the plan's focus on implementation initiatives and realistic goals that will make the plan an effective vehicle for enriching the community as it develops in the future.

Another plan authored by HKGi, the Fergus Falls Downtown/Riverfront Master Plan, was also recognized by the MN APA. The master plan, which has been a driving force for public improvements currently in the design phase for a key site along the Otter Tail Riverfront, received the District Director's Award.

Learn more about the Downtown/Riverfront Master Plan

September 2018: Chanhassen Parks and Recreation System Plan Will Receive Community Engagement Award

The Minnesota chapter of the American Planning Association will recognize the Chanhassen Parks and Recreation System Plan for Excellence in Community Engagement at its upcoming state planning conference in Rochester. HKGi and the City of Chanhassen recently collaborated to develop the city's first ever comprehensive park and recreation system plan, and the planning process enjoyed an exceptionally high level of participation from community members, park and trail users, and other stakeholders from throughout Chanhassen and the surrounding communities.

Nearly 10% of the community participated in the process by completing online surveys, leaving comments and suggestions via an interactive mapping application, and participating in open houses, public hearings, focus group meetings, and pop up meetings and workshops. The high rate of participation was the result of a proactive and expansive public awareness campaign and also reflects the community's pride and sense of ownership in its parks and recreation system.

In presentations to the City Council, Parks Department leadership was able to demonstrate the community's desire to maintain and enhance the system and confirm the value of investing in the system. The City Council responded by officially adopting the maintenance/repair/replacement of parks facilities as a Key Financial Strategy. Input also shaped the plan's priorities and will continue to shape implementation for the next two decades.