Minnehaha Creek Reach 20 Remeander
(Updated May 6, 2013) -- Construction will finish up by the end of May 2013. Crews will finish work on the Excelsior Avenue stormwater pond, installing pipes that bring in stormwater to betreated and adding topsoil to the area around the pond. The smaller pond behind Meadowbrook Manor is online. Staff are working with the city of St. Louis Park to plan the trail system.
For much of the first half of the 20th Century, Minnehaha Creek was ignored and treated like a ditch for polluted rainwater flowing off the landscape. Later, during the post-World War II building boom, urban expansion did not mix well with the meandering creek. Wetlands were drained and filled and the creek was moved out of the way. The result was a straightened waterway that’s polluted, prone to flooding and lacks sufficient public access for recreation.
But there’s an effort to carefully restore the creek to its former state by redirecting the water through a series of curves, rebuilding wetlands and wildlife habitat and incorporating opportunities for public access. It started in 2005 when MCWD partnered with Park Nicollet to restore the creek to a more natural shape behind Methodist Hospital and is the composite of several major projects. When the work is done, Minnehaha Creek will look and function more like it did decades ago and is destined to become a regional attraction.
The second phase occurred during the winter of 2013, extending the re-meandering of Minnehaha Creek from Louisiana Avenue to Meadowbrook Road. The restoration returned 3,000 foot long section of the creek to a more natural shape, which will slow down the water, prevent erosion, create fish and wildlife habitat, and improve water quality. The re-meander created an additional 1,600 feet of creek length and connect the creek to some of its historic floodplains.
The project also will increase the amount of green space and park land in the area, which will improve aesthetic appeal and boost property values. The MCWD is working with its partners to secure funding for a trail system that would further increase recreational opportunities and access to the creek.