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4.14 Recreation

Goal 14 - Recreation

Promote the recreational use, where appropriate, of surface waters within MCWD by providing recreation opportunities for citizens by promoting the use and enjoyment of water resources with the intent of increasing the livability and quality of life within the watershed.


There is considerable aquatic recreation in this subwatershed.   The Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis attracts millions of users from across the Metro area, and Minnehaha Falls is known internationally.  Minnehaha Creek is an urban canoe route enjoyed by many users.  The District's primary strategies in promoting and supporting recreational use of water resources is improving water quality in the lakes and managing water flows in the creek.  The District is mindful that other public entities including cities and MPRB have historically maintained ownership of lands adjacent to many lakes and waterways throughout the subwatershed for the benefit of the public.  The District is committed to working with local partners to address mutual goals.  District and local efforts to improve ecological integrity and conserve corridors will enhance aesthetic and recreational values across the subwatershed.  

Desired Outcomes:  Manage surfaces waters to achieve water quality goals so designated use is maintained and unimpaired


  • In-lake nutrient concentrations/Trophic State Index Scores (TSI) for the lakes in the subwatershed
  • Nutrient loading goals (lbs) for Minnehaha Creek and the lakes of the subwatershed
  • Macroinvertebrate Index of Biotic Integrity (M-IBI) in Minnehaha Creek
  • Stream Visual Assessment Protocol (SVAP) in Minnehaha Creek

Goal 14.1 - Minnehaha Creek

Support recreational use of Minnehaha Creek lakes in the subwatershed by reducing phosphorus and other pollutant loads and improving water quality.

Goal 14.2 - Minnehaha Creek

Manage Lake Minnetonka discharge to Minnehaha Creek in a way that balances desirable Lake Minnetonka and Minnehaha Creek levels with recreation and ecological impacts.


  1. Continue to partner with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the DNR to explore options for adjusting the Grays Bay dam operating plan to balance maintenance of desirable Lake Minnetonka and Minnehaha Creek levels with recreation and ecological impacts.

Goal 14.3 - Minnehaha Creek

Coordinate with LGU's and stakeholders to develop plans and corridors which balance recreational use and opportunities with water quality and ecosystem needs.