Minnehaha Creek Preserve
The Minnehaha Creek Preserve officially opened in July 2015, marking a major step in the renaissance of the iconic waterway and one of the largest urban stream restorations in Twin Cities history. The Preserve features 2,200 feet of boardwalk and 4,600 feet of paved trail around a restored stretch of Minnehaha Creek between Meadowbrook Avenue and Louisiana Avenue in St. Louis Park. It is the cornerstone of the Minnehaha Greenway, more than 109 acres of continuous green space constructed or planned along Minnehaha Creek.
The project is a result of a partnership between the MCWD and the City of St. Louis Park, and was financed in part by a grant from the Clean Water Fund. It is part of a larger effort to improve Minnehaha Creek through its most degraded stretch in St. Louis Park and Hopkins, where the stream had historically been straightened and hidden from sight. The restoration work returned natural curves to the previously straightened stream, lengthening the creek by 1,600 feet. The project treats polluted stormwater from the surrounding 79 acres that previously flowed untreated into the creek, prevents erosion by slowing down water, creates fish and wildlife habitat, and connects the creek to its historic wetlands. It has a significant impact on water quality in Minnehaha Creek and downstream Lake Hiawatha, both of which are on the state’s list of impaired water bodies. Overall, the Preserve creates access to 29 acres of previously inaccessible green space and provides a range of benefits for both water quality and the community.
In 2023, MCWD reconstructed the boardwalk at the Minnehaha Creek Preserve. The boardwalk was recently reopened for public use.
2011 — Project planning begins
2012 — Planning ends
2012 — Design phase begins
2013 — Design phase ends
2013 — Construction begins
2015 — Construction ends
2015 — Project completed
By the Numbers
stormwater treated on Site
stream channel restored
New stream channel length
- Extended the Minnehaha Creek Methodist Hospital Re-meander Project upstream from Louisiana Avenue to Meadowbrook Road
- Connects over 600 units of housing to local transit
- Prevents and reduces streambank erosion
- Invasive buckthorn and preventative ash tree removal
- Connects Minnehaha Creek to its historic floodplain
- Enhanced aquatic and terrestrial habitat
- New outdoor education area for schools and community groups
- Reconstructed canoe launches at Creekside Park and Louisiana Avenue
- New boardwalk with access to the floodplain wetlands
The City of St. Louis Park originally reached out to MCWD to discuss erosion issues along the creek. Seeing a larger opportunity to work together to restore Minnehaha Creek and treat regional stormwater, MCWD and St. Louis Park leveraged State Clean Water Grant funds, obtained donated easements from private landowners, and continued the work that began with the Minnehaha Creek Methodist Hospital Re-meander project. Additional support for the project was provided by Excelsior Townhomes, Japs-Olson Company, Meadowbrook Manor, and the Minnetonka and St. Louis Park Sunrise Rotary Clubs.