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Merit Award -- Analysis & Planning

Mississippi River Greenway Strategic Plan
The Communities of Hastings, Marshan, Nininger, Ravenna, and Rosemount
In Dakota County, Minnesota

Hoisington Koegler Group Inc.

Mark Koegler
President, Hoisington Koegler Group Inc.
123 North Third Street
Suite 100
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Tel: 612-338-0800
Fax: 612-338-6838
mkoegler@hkgi.com

Statement of Purpose: The Mississippi River Greenway Strategic Plan suggests that the livability of a region depends on the preservation of its ecology. Land uses should occur within the context of natural systems and preservation of a region's essential, ecological framework should be the baseline determinant tying urban and rural land use patterns together.

Although the project proposes a model approach to metropolitan growth, its true purpose is grounded in the desire to create a multi-jurisdictional greenway strategy for a 55,000-acre area experiencing significant metropolitan growth pressure. The intent of the project is to:

  1. Build public consensus around a unified greenway effort;
  2. Determine potential green way locations based on ecological and cultural factors;
  3. Demonstrate how green ways can coexist w/various land uses;
  4. Identify necessary tools and implementation steps.

Community Context: The project is an outgrowth of a greenway plan developed three years ago by the landscape architect for the City of Hastings, a growing community of 18,000 at the fringe of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. At that time, the people of Hastings expressed their desire to preserve surrounding rural lands and local natural amenities. As a result, the Hastings plan concluded that meaningful land preservation would require collaboration with surrounding rural townships and the near-by city of Rosemount. The affected communities formed a coalition, establishing the Mississippi River Greenway Project. A successful grant application, prepared by the landscape architect, jump-started the project.

Since completion, the Plan has been adopted by each of the coalition communities; Dakota County is planning a greenway referendum to provide land protection monies; and the Metropolitan Council, the regional governing body, has contracted with the landscape architect to expand the greenway concept to a metro-wide vision. The latter project will serve as a basis for creation of a regional "greenprint."

Role of the Landscape, Participants, Client and Collaborators: The landscape architect was the lead consultant responsible for overall coordination, ecological analysis, green way planning, final report preparation and presentation to numerous communities, agencies an organizations. A non-profit environmental organization provided valuable support, leading the community outreach effort and developing the implementation blueprint portion of the report. Officials from each of the partner communities formed an advisory committee to oversee the project, and a series of well-attended public workshops helped formulate the tone of the final product.

Special Factors: The project suggests a defensible process by which metropolitan growth decisions can be made within the context of ecological principles. It also illustrates that greenway preservation can be an overarching value common to urban and rural neighbors that often have opposing land use agendas. The Strategic Plan capitalizes on the unique circumstances that have allowed a diverse group of communities to find common cause and a means to cooperate.

Significance: The project demonstrates how the leadership and inherent approach of the landscape architectural profession can bring a sense of common understanding to complex issues of integrated land uses, ecological integrity and metropolitan livability.

Client Statement: Mississippi River Greenway Strategic Plan The City of Hastings is a Historic River Community that treasures its high quality of life. A big contributor to that quality of life is the rural land that surrounds the community. The Mississippi Greenway Strategic Plan provides a framework for land preservation that will help Hastings maintain its natural heritage in the face of growth, as well as, work with its neighbors toward the common goal of preserving farmland and open space.

2002 Award Winners
Press Releases
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