Minnesota River Valley Planning



Minnesota River Valley Ownership

The Minnesota River Valley forms the entire 13-mile southern border of the City of Bloomington.  While it is one of the City's most unique and compelling assets, there has been limited intentional analysis and documentation, at the City level, of the benefits and opportunities it provides.  Recognizing this, the City Council directed staff to assess how to enhance and better utilize this significant resource.

Plans & Resources

Strategic Plan

In early 2014, the City of Bloomington began work on a strategic plan for City property in the Minnesota River Valley.  The purpose of the Minnesota River Valley Strategic Plan (MRVSP) is to identify opportunities to enhance access, use, and stewardship of the portion of the Minnesota River Valley owned by and located within the City of Bloomington. The MRVSP also recommends preparation of four "system plans" over the next few years to identify and prioritize specific implementation actions regarding:  natural and cultural resources; signage; trails; and maintenance.

The Strategic Plan was completed in 2016.  More information and a link to the final plan final is available here.

Natural and Cultural Systems Plan

The purpose of the Natural and Cultural Systems plan is to identify high priority areas for resource enhancement.  This plan also provides detailed analysis of natural and cultural resources in the River Valley in order to assess management strategies and where they should be applied.    

More information and a link to the draft can be found here.

Signage Systems Plan

Anticipated to begin work on a draft in 2020.

Trail Systems Plan

Anticipated to begin work on a draft in 2020.

State Trail

The Minnesota Valley State Trail is a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MnDNR) project funded by the State Legislature.  In 2014, the State Legislature approved $2.164 million to construct the Bloomington segment of the State Trail, which extends between the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center and the Bloomington Ferry Road trailhead.  The State Trail corridor through Bloomington will contain a paved trail as well as a natural surface trail. 

More information can be found here.

Questions regarding the State Trail should be directed to Brandon Helm with MnDNR Parks and Trails at Brandon.helm@state.mn.us

Other Agencies / Links