Water Works

A new riverfront park in the heart of Minneapolis will include a stormwater reuse system and other stormwater BMPs.


Project Details

City: Minneapolis

Type: MWMO Capital Project

Status: Active

Timeline: 2018-2020

MWMO Funding: $900,000

Partners: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board; Minneapolis Parks Foundation

Staff Contact:
Nancy Stowe
Projects and Outreach Director
Email Nancy Stowe
View Bio

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is leading a team creating a new park along the Mississippi River. Water Works is a 6-acre park development project within Mill Ruins Park in downtown Minneapolis. It will be located along the west bank of the Mississippi River, just north of the Stone Arch Bridge.

The first phase of park development (the “Mezzanine” phase) will include realignment of West River Parkway, the creation of park spaces between 1st Street South and 5th Avenue South, and the construction of a park pavilion amidst the mill ruins. A future “Riverside” development phase will include the portion of the park between West River Parkway and the Mississippi River.

The MWMO is funding a stormwater reuse system that will collect and treat roof runoff from the existing rooftops of adjacent buildings. This water will be used for irrigation at the Water Works site and toilet flushing in the pavilion. The Water Works project will also include a variety of stormwater best management practices such as raingardens (not funded by the MWMO).

Water Works is part of the RiverFirst Initiative, a 20-year, phased urban design vision and implementation framework for the Upper Mississippi River corridor. Goals include establishing parks as economic drivers, connecting communities to the riverfront, and refocusing the city toward the Mississippi River.

The setting of Water Works is a historic grain milling district full of stone ruins, abandoned water power canals, railroad remnants, and a partially-developed park experiencing nearly 2.5 million visits per year (and growing fast).

Construction began in 2019, with the park scheduled to open in 2020.

See more photos of this project on Flickr.

Learn More: MPRB Project Page