St. Louis Park City Council on Tuesday gave its blessing to a project that will add curves to the Minnehaha Creek—a process that should be both aesthetically and environmentally pleasing.
The roughly $1 million "re-meander" of the creek will return it closer to its original orientation, as its current alignment is actually the result of human intervention as well. Not only should this look better, but the curved creek will also interact more with natural buffers—like native prairie glass—which help purify the water. The creek is currently classified as "impaired," meaning it's not safe for fish or wildlife on the banks.
No city money will be going toward the project, as the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District—with help from a Minnesota Clean Water Fund grant—is picking up the tab. But council needed to approve a conditional use permit for the project, which will impact the creek between Louisiana Avenue and the city's western border with Hopkins.
A portion of the creek east of Louisiana was previously re-meandered in much the same way.
"We basically want to put the integrity into the creek that it once had," said Jim Vaughan, the city's environmental coordinator, in a previous interview with Patch.
The project is expected to begin in November, as frozen conditions make the water easier to control. The new and improved Minnehaha Creek should be on display by next spring.
A new trail that would run along the creek—and feature a boardwalk similar to the one near —has also been discussed, but as of yet, funding has not been secured for the estimated $1 million project.