Harriet Island Phase II Renovations


Parks and Recreation is excited to announce that the construction of Phase II Renovations for Harriet Island, including the new picnic shelter, is now complete. Harriet Island's transformation has been a 10 year process and symbolizes the revival of Saint Paul's riverfront and a return to embracing the Mississippi River as an amenity.

Phase II amenities offer a restful and contemplative complement to Phase I's festival lawn and great gathering space. Through the continuation of Phase I's promenade walk at the river's edge, the once un-enhanced and seemingly forgotten part of the park now links visitors through a progression of a more formal park at the Wabasha Bridge, through to the smaller more intimate spaces to the more natural side of the park that comprises phase II. Additional circulation connects to the bicycle trail on Water Street with a path along the levee and a more casual crushed rock path winds through the wooded end to an informal council ring providing a unique experience of sitting in the woods, listening to birds and river sounds within sight of downtown.

The new picnic shelter, carefully sited within the Cottonwood trees and designed with materials to blend with the Wigington Pavilion, opens up to views of the river and downtown grounding itself within the park. Through careful grading, paving patterns and rock work, storm water is channeled from the shelter's roof into a series of biofiltration areas. These areas also collect storm water from the parking lot and other impervious parts of the park. The biofiltration area is designed to highlight the process of storm water as it flows through native plantings and rock out-croppings and winds its course to the Mississippi River.

The last component to be constructed will be a small children's play area which is currently being designed. It will be constructed in 2010.

The Harriet Island Master Plan Vision started in 1999. Phase I and Phase II of the renovation project are now complete. Details of each phase are below: PHASE I

  • Upgraded the Ohage Great Lawn
  • Restored the Wigington Pavilion
  • Added the Target Stage
  • Created a Pedestrian Gateway through the levy
  • Established the Riverwalk and the Great Stair down to the river's edge


  • Shoreline Restoration
  • New Picnic Shelter & Grounds
  • Trail Connection
  • Plazas
  • Extension of the Phase I Formal Promendate and Informal Paths & Walkways
  • Design of the tot lot for Phase II

Project Information

Project Manager: Ellen Stewart, ASLA Phone: 651-266-6380 Project Funding: CIB funds, MetroParks and TEA-21

Past Meetings

All meetings were open to the public, however, discussion during the meetings were confined to members of the task force, staff, consultants, and invited guests.