Minnehaha Park: Banking on the creek

Historic stone walls along the creek in Minnehaha Park, built in the 1930s, are eroding away, and parts have collapsed. But plans are afoot to shore up the walls and the stream banks to keep them accessible.

By LAURIE BLAKE, Star Tribune

Last update: January 3, 2008 – 11:49 PM

A proposed $7.5 million restoration of Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis, aimed at reversing damage from erosion, is set to begin this year along Minnehaha Creek in the valley downstream from Minnehaha Falls.

A key part of the project is to secure state and federal money to renew the historic stone walls that define the creek channel and anchor popular trails near the 53-foot-tall cascade, which is the landmark of the 193-acre park off Hwy. 55 in south Minneapolis.

Victim of too much water

Built in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the walls were weakened by high-water erosion during a record 4-inch downpour in October 2005.

Since then, one 30-foot chunk of a wall has lain collapsed in the creekbed. Officials say the walls still standing defy gravity and could go in the next flood.

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