Before Minneapolis was the “city of lakes,” we were a river city.
RiverFirst is a broad vision for transforming 11 miles of once-industrial Mississippi Riverfront as it flows through the heart of Minneapolis into a welcoming place for all people through improved habitat and miles of new interconnected parks and trails.
RiverFirst is a model public-private partnership for next-generation parks rooted in equity and cultural inclusion, community health and wellbeing, connections to the natural world, climate resiliency, and economic vitality.
With RiverFirst, the community has the opportunity to redefine its relationship to the river and transform the Upper Mississippi Riverfront into a world-class cultural and recreation destination – through restored habitat, access to vital amenities, and a network of interconnected parks and trails – as well as a place for equitable, sustainable economic growth.
The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is the primary philanthropic partner of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board in RiverFirst, an initiative adopted by the Park Board in 2012 to develop riverfront parks and trails on both sides of the Mississippi River from the northern city limits to Downtown.
Discover RiverFirst Signature Projects
RiverFirst signature projects provide unique opportunities for connecting with the Mississippi River and each other, through restored habitat, walking and biking trails, historical interpretation, artistic performance, and civic engagement.
Now under construction
Great Northern Greenway River Link
Grand opening this summer
2020-2023 Anticipated Key Dates & Milestones
- 2020 – Grand openings-Water Works park/pavilion and Great Northern Greenway Overlook
- 2021 – Grand opening-The Sioux Chef’s restaurant at Water Works; River Link project continues
- 2022 – Scherer site/Hall’s Island in progress
- 2023 – Water Works Riverside phase in progress
Additional RiverFirst Projects (External Links)
Related Plans (External Links)
Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park Master Plan (MPRB)
Above the Falls Master Plan Update (City of Minneapolis)
St. Anthony Falls Interpretive Plan (St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board)
Project & Campaign – Institutional Support
Bank of America
Carlson Family Foundation
City of Minneapolis
Edward R. Bazinet Foundation
General Mills Foundation
Hubbard Broadcasting Foundation
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
Minnesota Twins Community Fund
Mississippi Watershed Management Org
Pohlad Family Foundation
RBC Wealth Management Foundation USA
Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation
St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board
Weiser Family Foundation
RiverFirst Campaign Committee
Paul Reyelts, Chair
For more information on how you can support the RiverFirst Campaign, and for a full list of Individual Campaign Donors, visit our RiverFirst Capital Campaign Page!
YOUR DONATION helps ensure the parks in our city remain accessible, equitable and serving everyone.