The Annual Tree Sale is over and what fun it was! With your help, we raised a little pot of money to help fund our work and enough dough to donate over 100 trees to area parks.
Time to turn our attention to what comes next. On Wednesday of this week, the Parks and Recreation Commission is holding a public hearing on the Grand Round bicycle plan and the Department of Natural Resources’ proposed rules for the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area. Join us for the hearing at 6:45pm at 1544 Timberlake Road, St. Paul (the McDonough Recreation Center).
Details on the Grand Round can be found on the city’s website. Head on over to the DNR’s website to learn about the MRCCA. In simple terms, the MRCCA rules govern how high buildings can be built, how close to the water, on what types of slopes, vegetation management, and other important resource protections. You can leave comments on their website.
The MRCCA is a small ribbon of land that extends on either side of the Mississippi River from the area roughly near Anoka about to Hastings. It was designated “critical” 40 years ago and has had special protections ever since.
Its interesting to note that the DNR governs the MRCCA but the National Park Service calls the exact same area home, with it being the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. Wow, we have a National Park right in our midst! So cool.
The St. Paul City Council is also holding a public hearing on the MRCCA rules. That will be the following Wednesday, May 18, at 5:30 in the City Council Chambers, 330, in City Hall at 15 Kellogg Boulevard W. Be sure to send your city council member a note or testify at the hearing, asking them to truly protect this precious natural resource.
No need for official-sounding language or to feel shy. Just tell them what you love about the river in our midst and why we should protect it for those who come after us. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out on that river and heard someone say, “Wow, you’d never know we were in the middle of a major metropolitan area!”
For example, the proposed rules would allow 65’+ height buildings, 50 feet from the bluff, from the confluence with the Minnesota River (by Fort Snelling) all the way to downtown and beyond. Is that the kind of “resource protection” we want our city leaders to support? We suggest that a lower height is more appropriate for that area.
That’s just one of the issues with the proposed MRCCA rules. If you have questions, feel free to email us and we’ll answer as best we can.
On another topic, we’re seeking nominations for our “Park Citizen of the Year” award. For further details on how to nominate an awesome person, go to our FAQ link on our website. All nominees will be honored at our Annual Meeting, 6:00, June 23 at Hidden Falls Park. Mark your calendars and plan to join us.
Now get out there and enjoy our beautiful Minnesota weather!