Great River Passage Interpretive Plan




Approved by the Saint Paul City Council in April of 2013, after a multi-year public planning process, the Great River Passage (GRP) Master Plan (the “Plan”) formed the framework for appropriate development, preservation and restoration in the Great River Passage, a 17 mile, 3500 acre park and open space system along the Mississippi River in Saint Paul. The major goals of the Plan are for the GRP to be “More Natural, More Urban and More Connected.” This area contains a variety of habitats, natural areas, unique geological formations, and historic and cultural resource sites.

Several projects have been identified within the Passage to jump start implementation. One of the first to be funded was the Great River Passage Interpretive Plan. Funding for the Interpretive Plan included a $25,000 Legacy Amendment grant from the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS), and a $65,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The first phase of the GRP Interpretive Plan, The Foundations Report, was completed in 2014. The report is a summary of research results and stories of memories of life along the river that were brought out with input from a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) comprised of persons with deep knowledge, and experience with, the historic and cultural resources along the River.

The Foundations Report was the first step in completing the Interpretive Plan. It is a “fact finding” report designed to bring out stories surrounding the history and other aspects of the river in Saint Paul. Story topic areas included food, health and recreation; ecological resources, Native culture, immigration, home and shelter; and commerce and control, economic, and river transport.

  • The Foundations Report is linked here for your review:

The final GRP Interpretive Plan is comprised of the initial fact finding “Foundations Report,” plus additional investigations and information from other sources; including community outreach, and site visits along the river by the consultants, Parks staff and TAC members. Citizen interviews were conducted last summer by setting up “lemonade stands” to obtain additional local lore from residents as they passed by on the way to their destinations. All of this information is documented and used to help determine a list of possible sites along the river for interpretation, potential design ideas for those sites as gathering places, and to discuss connections of those sites to the greater GRP and the City. The final GRP Interpretive Plan was completed in March of this year, and is linked below for your review.

We appreciate your interest in the City of Saint Paul’s park system, and in the Great River Passage Master Plan and Interpretive Plan. The 106 Group provided excellent consulting experience and guidance in compiling the Interpretive Plan.

Links to Relevant Websites: