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Mississippi riverfront design ideas sought

A public workshop to solicit Mississippi Riverfront design ideas from Brainerd area residents is scheduled from 10 a.m.-noon May 31 at the Central Lakes College cafeteria.

The city of Brainerd is working with the University of Minnesota Center for Rural Design to create a riverfront improvement plan for a two-mile area from Washington Street to Little Buffalo Creek. Residents’ riverfront improvement thoughts and ideas are needed to help create the plan.

The Mississippi River can be a place where residents and visitors access and enjoy year-round natural scenery along with a variety of active and passive recreational opportunities in harmony with a healthy river environment, officials say. It can be a place for community gatherings, trail systems, festivals and events can be a part of a riverfront environment. The riverfront area also has commercial redevelopment potential which would help the community grow.

Many things have occurred that can be important elements of a riverfront design plan. They include:

• The College Drive reconstruction project that creates a gateway to the river and also includes a College Drive Bridge pedestrian underpass.

• The donation by the Noon Rotary Club of about 40 acres of land just north of Little Buffalo Creek to create Rotary Riverside Park located at the south end of the design plan area. The park is designated as a natural area and will be used for passive recreation activities.

• Establishing the westerly terminus of the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail.

• Construction of the Buffalo Hills Trail for year around recreational activities.

• Construction of a community dog park.

• Establishing a community garden.

The above improvements are only the beginning. To create a riverfront that becomes a destination there is much more we can do. Thoughts and ideas are needed to help create the plan.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889