Project Description

Minnehaha Creek, Minnesota

The Minnehaha Creek is a ditched, straightened, and incised system that is largely detached from its floodplain. Since 2003, Inter-Fluve has worked closely with the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and partners to restore and renaturalize the system. Efforts have included two geomorphic assessments (2003 and 2012) from the mouth of the creek at the Mississippi River to Grays Bay at Lake Minnetonka and its tributaries. We’ve since completed the design and construction oversight on several bank stabilization, habitat enhancement, riparian restoration, natural channel restoration, dam removal, recreational access design, and wetland restoration projects.

Because Minnehaha Creek runs through populated urban and suburban areas, the projects have heavily focused on connecting people to the creek by integrating new boardwalks, trails, water access sites, and recreational facilities into projects. We are also currently helping develop a Master Plan for the 5-mile Parkway Regional Trail led by a collaboration between the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board, City of Minneapolis and Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

We completed two geomorphic assessments (2003 and 2012) from the mouth of the creek at the Mississippi River to Grays Bay at Lake Minnetonka and its tributaries.

Constructed channel at Methodist Hospital. This photo was taken just after construction was completed.

Six months after construction, the meandering creek supports wet prairie vegetation including cottonwood and black willow.

In the 1800s, Minnehaha Creek was straightened and relocated near today’s Methodist Hospital.

In 2009, we built approximately 2,000 feet of new channel in -20F weather..

The canoe-friendly realignment reflects a more natural design.

The boardwalks near Methodist Hospital are are frequently used by both hospital staff and patients.

The Arden Park project was constructed in 2019. One year after it was completed, Arden Park was popular with families, tubers, kayakers and dog walkers.

Aerial view of Arden Park.

The project improved fish passage and restored natural stream function by removing a 4-foot dam that was located adjacent to the new canoe launch in the photo above.

Swimmers at the former location of a 4-foot tall dam.

Boardwalk at Arden Park.

Boardwalks like this one connect people to the river, and in the future, will connect to a nearby proposed Light Rail Transit station.