Lake Calhoun + Lake Harriet Master Plan

Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Project Info
Lake Calhoun + Lake Harriet Master Plan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Completion date: Fall 2016

Lake Calhoun and Harriet are part of the Minneapolis’ Chain of Lakes Regional Park, conceived originally by Horace W. S. Cleveland, these lakes are the most popular and heavily-used parks in the seven-county metropolitan area. Park usage has doubled in less than 20 years to an estimated 5.5 million visits per year. Almost half of estimated visitors come from outside Minneapolis city limits.

Scope of work involved creating a visionary 25-year master plan to establish priorities for implementing resiliency measures, promote sustainable public/private partnerships, and identify potential funding resources.

An extensive community engagement plan was adopted and included four advisory committees from multi-jurisdictional backgrounds. Many design iterations were vetted through several community activities, and to date, more than 1,900 people have been engaged as part of the outreach campaign.

Strategic goals include adoption of recommendations that focus on improving environmental and natural resources, achieving equitable use and access to public land, addressing demographic trends and demands, and preserving cultural resources.

Some main recommendations include: Address water quality treating stormwater run-off and hazardous turf chemicals before discharge; Design infrastructure prohibiting floatables entering the lakes; Provide shoreline restoration strategies to minimize human impact, reduce mowing areas to improve native habitats, and promote environmental learning opportunities; Reduce CO2 emissions by prioritizing public transit‐related and non‐motorized solutions including shared use parking facilities and improved pedestrian and bicycle circulation; Design facilities with climate change in mind resilient to extreme weather conditions; Incorporate interpretation that honor the broader history and culture of Native American heritage.