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Minneapolis Parks Foundation > Common Ground > Projects > RiverFirst > MPF to Present Vision for Water Works park to Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, October 22

MPF to Present Vision for Water Works park to Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, October 22

Community invited to see the design and meet the designers at a public open house, Thursday, October 23, at Mill City Museum

Minneapolis, Minn. – It’s been more than 50 years since the Mississippi River thundered through the 34-ft deep and 50-ft wide “great canal,” a feat of engineering that made the City of Lakes the world’s milling powerhouse over 100 years ago. Now in the 21st Century, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation (MPF) has underwritten the creation of a new vision for excavating and experiencing the historic canal, the prominent feature in an experiential future Water Works park. MPF will present the Water Works design, developed through a 13-month collaborative process, to Commissioners as a study item at the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board’s regular meeting, Wednesday, October 22.

Water Works is a Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board-owned site located on the Mississippi River adjacent to its only true waterfall  – St. Anthony Falls. It is also on the edge of downtown Minneapolis within both a growing mixed-use neighborhood and the St. Anthony Falls Heritage District. The area has long been significant to First Nations, and, because of its milling past, has several important historic features.

In July 2013, the design team of SCAPE Studio, Rogers Partners, James Lima Planning + Design and SRF Consulting was selected in a competitive Request for Proposal process by a multidisciplinary Designer Selection Committee that included representatives from the Minneapolis Park Board, the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board, the City of Minneapolis, University of Minnesota and MPF. The Team’s design work was concurrent with the Park Board’s Central Riverfront Regional Park Master Plan Revision process and was addressed by its Community and Technical Advisory Committees through a yearlong engagement process that also included three public meetings, a community input survey and numerous individual consultations with experts and community members.

Tom Evers, MPF’s Executive Director, will present the Water Works design, with Kate Orff and Robert Rogers, principals of SCAPE and Rogers Partners, respectively. The presenters will showcase the design’s key features, including the re-envisioned canal and a new park pavilion, along with more detail about the future park’s three zones and connections – Mezzanine & Outdoor Rooms, River’s Edge, and Canal & Gatehouse. The presentation will also include park development phasing and cost estimates.

MPF and the Park Board invite the public to see the Water Works design and meet the designers, 6-7:30, Thursday, October 23, at Mill City Museum, when MPF will also officially debut a 3D flythrough animation of the future park.

For more on the Water Works park process and to subscribe to news about the project, please visit

About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation (MPF) is an independent non-profit serving Minneapolis by securing knowledge, talent and funds to improve and sustain the city’s legacy of world-class parks. Through the generosity of donors and grantmakers, MPF provides private-sector leadership and funding for RiverFirst and Water Works, adaptive reuse urban design projects that build on our community’s 100-year legacy of visionary parks. Since 2011, MPF has worked collaboratively with multiple government and non-profit partners on these parks projects, as well as our signature Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series. The Minneapolis park system enhances the quality of life of the city and contributes to social and economic environments that strengthen communities throughout the region. For more information or to support our work, please visit

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Major Funding Provided by:

Pentair Foundation | St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board | General Mills Foundation

Additional Support Provided by:

The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation | Many generous individuals

YOUR DONATION helps ensure the parks in our city remain accessible, equitable and serving everyone.