By Kathleen Boe
Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership
Through the course of this series on placemaking, we’re visiting parks, areas of green space and locations of interest along the upper river and the Minneapolis Riverfront.
But as you’re driving along Marshall St. NE, you might miss this spot. It’s at a busy intersection of Marshall and Lowry, where we’ve already written about Stormwater Park and there’s even more to discover than can be covered in this piece. So you might be forgiven if Edgewater Park has receded into the background for you so far.
I’m here to change that.
Edgewater Park sits on the southwest corner of Marshall and Lowry. The park is, of course, at the edge of the water, but the name also comes from the Edgewater Inn, which was a popular music spot on the site. The city acquired the land in 1993 and Edgewater Park was built as part of the Above the Falls Master Plan in 2006 thanks in part to funding from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. The park was dedicated in the spring of 2007.
This space was envisioned as parkland as far back as 1883, among Horace Cleveland’s initial suggestions to the city of Minneapolis, but it was not originally developed as such.
The park itself features a small picnic area and a walking path, but you might easily miss its key feature if you’re not aware of it coming in. The layout of Edgewater Park mimics the flow of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers through the area, with the Mississippi (pictured) heading out of the park toward Lowry and the Minnesota headed out toward Marshall. An aerial view will give you the best perspective.
While you’re there, also take note of how the park is divided into two distinct pieces, with planting and grasses distinguishing the metro area from the prairie.
At the midpoint of the park, near the confluence, as it were, of the two paths, is a lookout, mimicking the view Fort Snelling has on the actual rivers themselves.
This lookout is a great spot, too, to observe what is going on across the river. In two years we’ll have Northern Metals shutting down and starting to head out, removing some of the heavy industrial work. So when you visit, take a few minutes to envision what a mixture of parkland, trails and housing or light industrial use might look like on the river’s west bank.
So, the next time you’re taking a Nice Ride bike along the East Bank trail, continue up Marshall for a few more blocks and check out Edgewater Park. Drop off your bike and head into Tony Jaros Rivergarden for a greenie, or check in at Betty Danger’s. It’s a good time of year to hit the Ferris Wheel.
Kathleen Boe is Executive Director of the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership. She can be reached at email@example.com via email, or minneapolisriverfront.org on the web.