Aerial view of Riverside Park area

Courtesy Metropolitan Design Center. Copyright (c) Regents of the University of Minnesota. Used with permission. All rights reserved.



Riverfront parkland expands; Upper River lags.

The character and history of each section of river has resulted in three very distinct versions of riverfront park. From the earliest days of city history, the riverfront along most of the Lower Gorge was set aside as parks. Today, over 90% of this riverfront is parkland. The Central Riverfront has shifted over the last three decades from industry toward fundamentally public park uses. Today, about two-thirds of the riverfront is parkland. A similar change in land use is underway in the Upper River - though many more changes are planned there in the years ahead. The Upper River has parks along 39% of its riverfront - the lowest amongst the three sections of riverfront - but this is changing. Parkland in the upper river increased 6% over last year, due to the completion of Sheridan Memorial Park and the backyard at the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization.

Portion of riverfront adjacent to parks

Upper River


Central Riverfront


Lower Gorge


Portion of riverfront
adjacent to parks


1 year

10 years

Sheridan Memorial Park

In 1995, a group of World War II veterans from Northeast Minneapolis, led by Ed Karbo Sr., began looking for a site along the Mississippi River to commemorate war veterans. In 2005, they joined forces with the Sheridan Neighborhood Organization (SNO) to pursue a memorial in this key Above the Falls location.

The Sheridan Veterans Memorial, honoring all Minnesota veterans, is centered around a large spherical sculpture of protective shields, created by local artist Robert Smart. The perimeter walk has quotes about peace engraved in granite. The memorial is surrounded by peace gardens and vertical markers describing the ten conflicts in which Minnesotans have served.

MWMO backyard public space

In 2014 the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) completed its riverfront demonstration park next to the headquarters just northeast of the Lowry Avenue Bridge.

The design objectives address three areas: restoring the historic stream and ravine, using the facility and site as a community resource and living laboratory, and engaging the employees in the active maintenance of the grounds.