Survey says: Keep Minnehaha Creek natural

Credit: Michelle Bruch

More than 600 people responded to surveys about how they would improve Minnehaha Creek.

When the results were tallied, neighborhood leaders decided they won’t push to extend the paved path any farther than it sits today. A one-mile stretch of the creek between Lynnhurst Park and the Edina border has no formal path.

“Do not commercialize it more!” wrote one Lynnhurst survey respondent.

“Our section of the creek feels wild, so enjoying the creek as we do, in a sense, takes us out of the city,” wrote a Fulton resident.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has $2.5 million available for work on Minnehaha Creek in 2018-19, leading neighborhoods to pose the question of how the creek might be improved.

Half of the survey respondents said they use the creek at least once a week.

“It’s not a real surprise that people love the creek,” said Jim Tincher, Fulton Neighborhood Association president. “They love the fact that it’s more natural. … There was strong agreement around shoring it up and improving it environmentally.”

At a March community meeting, attendees discussed a wide range of potential improvements including improved access and crossings at Penn and Xerxes, more trash cans, new raingardens, and removal of spillways at York and Washburn. The group also discussed a pedestrian bridge from 54th Street to the hill below Zenith Avenue.

“[People said] take what’s there today and shore it up, but don’t put in cement and formalize it too far,” Tincher said.

The neighborhood groups can advocate for how the funds are used, but the final decision rests with the Park Board.

For more information on survey results, visit fultonneighborhood.org.