The former “Ford Site” is now branded “Highland Bridge” and includes 122 acres along the Mississippi River and was the former home of Ford Motor Companies Twin Cities Assembly Plant. Within those 122 acres, four city-owned parks comprising approximately 9 acres, have been platted and designed. In addition to the four city-owned parks, there will be privately owned spaces available for public use.
Open House - May 12, 2021 6:30 pm
Please join Councilmember Tolbert and Parks and Recreation Director Mike Hahm for a virtual open house. The four parks final designs will be presented as we move into the construction phase of two of the parks.
Open House Flyer is available as a PDF you can download and share.
On May 12th, please join the meeting at this link: https://bit.ly/3sJ4JHC
Link will be live at 6:20 pm, please join early to download the WebEx app.
City Council approved names for the four parks at Highland Bridge. See the press release (pdf) for more details.
Gateway Park reflects the importance of this entry point to the city and to the neighborhood, and also references a gateway in time bridging the past to the future
Assembly Union Park recognizes the site's industrial history and the Ford Motor Company workforce as contributing members of the surrounding communities
Uŋči Makȟa Park means “Mother Earth” in Dakota includes geography and features that connect people from the developed site to more natural areas including access to Hidden Falls Regional Park. The park links the stormwater system from the neighborhood into the daylighted creek to the falls.
Míča Park reflects both Indigenous Recognition and Local Wildlife. There is a history of coyote families at the Highland Bridge site that come up from the rail site through this area. Míča is the abbreviation for “coyote” in Dakota.
The community engagement for open space on the site began many years ago along with the anticipated development of the Ford Motor Company property. The culmination of that planning work the City of Saint Paul adopted 2017 Ford Site Zoning and Public Realm Master Plan, which calls for a vibrant mixed-use urban village to be integrated into the existing community. The Ford Site Master Plan incorporated many ideas from a decade of community engagement on how to bring the site to life.
The specific design of the parks is currently underway with the Ryan team leading the community engagement process. (Insert document). Ryan has attended community events and provided a survey to gage the community’s interest and needs for the open space on site. Results of the survey work are included in the first PAC meeting presentation.
Parks Advisory Committee (PAC) meets virtually at significant points in the design process, from initial schematic design through design development. The original engagement plan included 3 meetings of the PAC, however we have determined that more meetings will be necessary to get the feedback and input needed for all four parks. The PAC is made up of representatives from several groups.