Officials Plan for Present Flood Concerns, Future Vitality at Minnehaha Watershed

April 05, 2018 06:09 PM

Minnehaha Creek is 22 miles long and runs through five communities: Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, Edina and Minneapolis – from Gray's Bay Dam at Lake Minnetonka to Minnehaha Falls.

Heavy snow and spring showers are always a concern for the creek. Think 2014, when record rainfall that season led to record flooding.


RELATED: Neighbors Rally to Save Fishing Hole, Waterfall on Minnehaha Creek

"So with (2014) it was sustained over several months period of time, where the creek was flowing over its banks and has resulted in some erosion and some infrastructure damage," said Tiffany Schaufler, of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

She said bank erosion and culvert failure was common. To rectify the problem, the district is trying native restoration techniques.

"Take big boulders to rip rap at the tow, because that's what we're seeing sustained flow regularly," Schaufler said. "And then on top of that, if we can install native vegetation."

Now, officials want to do even more as they start to craft the creek's master plan.

Adam Arvidson, of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, said the watershed is a unique feature that deserves a strategy for the future.

RELATED: Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Celebrates 50 Years with Cleanup

"It's essentially a way to create a community vision for what that creek should be for the next 20 to 30 years," he said.

Arvidson said the master plan will drive capital improvements – whether that's trail improvements, new bridges, or new gathering areas near ecological restoration. 


Todd Wilson

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