I had the good fortune this past weekend of being able to bum a ride on the Mississippi River in St. Paul. If you were anywhere near the Twin Cities, I am sure you know that the weather was fantastic for such a voyage.
Traveling from downtown St. Paul up to Fort Snelling takes you past a wide variety of public lands that make up St. Paul’s riverfront – and St. Paul has more riverfront on the Mississippi than any other city on the river. It also showcases the many ways in which a city can have public land and design it to be utilized by a wide variety of interests. In the few short miles I went past, there were the traditional developed parks like Harriet Island and undeveloped floodplains found in and around Crosby Farms and Fort Snelling. Regardless of whether you like flat paved trails or tree-lined paths, kayaking or motor boating, St. Paul has great public space available for you.
I think the public riverfront is one of the greatest assets of St. Paul, so I get concerned when I hear about projects like The Bridges, which threatens to irrevocably change my city’s relationship to the river. St. Paul politicians had the vision long ago to maintain public space along the river and I can only hope that today’s lot will do nothing to diminish that.