Mississippi River Greenway Strategic Plan

Dakota County, MN

American Society of Landscape Architects, National

The mostly rural landscape south of the Mississippi River between Rosemount and Ravenna, Minnesota is experiencing tremendous pressure for change. The Minneapolis/Saint Paul metro area is projected to continue growing and this beautiful area is seen by many as one of the "next frontiers" of metropolitan development. At the same time, many people believe that their local and regional quality of life is rooted in the tremendous natural and rural amenities that make this place and others like it special. Finding common ground between these two potentially opposing forces is the basis for the greenway effort.

Hoisington Koegler Group, in partnership with Friends of the Mississippi River, conducted a greenway strategic planning process covering an area of approximately 60,000 acres in the Dakota County communities of Hastings and Rosemount, as well as Marshan, Nininger and Ravenna Townships. Greenway preservation is a way to capture and hold on to the essence of a landscape by protecting the most critical natural and scenic lands. Agriculture, industry and neighborhoods can continue to grow and thrive, but the preserved fabric of natural landscapes also promotes a healthier ecosystem, a richer culture and a greater quality of life for the community.

The planning process included identifying opportunities for establishing contiguous greenways that would provide sufficient habitat for wildlife and would serve as critical areas for preservation of scenic views, vegetation, and landscapes. In addition to leading the planning effort, HKGi engaged the community, and particularly landowners whose cooperation was vital to the plan's success, through an extensive communications and participation process that helped identify alternatives, needs, and mitigation requirements. Finally, HKGi guided the plan through the various approvals processes required by each community, and has continued to provide consulting services as the plan has made its way through implementation stages.