Fact Sheet > R1 Eco Significance: Scherer Park-Hall’s Island

Updated 17 January 2013

Scherer Park Design Concept

Reconnect people to the Mississippi River through a dynamic, year-round park experience of beach and water access in a protected channel, indoor and outdoor entertainment and gathering spaces, and restorative natural habitat on a river island.

Park Site

  • 11 acres on the Mississippi Riverfront
  • Armored shoreline, which interferes with the river’s natural processes
  • Within the Above the Falls Regional Park area with linkage to existing and new green space and regional recreational and commuter trails
  • Populous setting, adjacent to the Northeast Arts District and abundant nearby restaurants, businesses, historic and recreation areas, and mixed-income housing
  • Falls within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area protecting the Upper Mississippi as a National Park

Hall’s Island History

  • Originated as a natural island as part of a braided, prairie river
  • Once owned by the City of Minneapolis, which operated public bathing houses on the island in from 1905 to 1926
  • Historic ties to Minnesota’s timber industry: the adjacent mainland was the site of a sawmill in the late 1800s and, 100 years later, a lumberyard
  • Scherer Bros. purchased Hall’s Island from the City of Minneapolis in 1963, island-to-shore channel filled in 1966
  • Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board purchased the site in 2009 and completed soil remediation in 2012.

Island Restoration

  • Proposed channel restoration would create the opportunity for Regional and National Park visitors to experience a safe, protected swimming beach – the only one on the Minneapolis Upper Riverfront
  • Triples park shoreline, from 696 lineal feet to 2,778 lineal feet
  • Hall’s Island is the first of multiple, much-needed habitat “patches” in the Mississippi River flyway and aquatic corridor that will support native species and become a restorative urban destination for residents and tourists
  • Island and channel restoration will have no negative impact on river navigation, or flood and flow levels

Habitat Restoration

  • Hall’s Island will feature four types of native communities merging from its western riverbank to its eastern channel-bank: Floodplain Forest and Xeric, Mesic and Wet prairies
  • These four types of native habitats in turn support a diversity of native species, including trees, grasses and flowers, and birds, mammals, fish and pollinators
  • Visitors will enjoy the island via boardwalks bridging to Scherer Park from high points at either end of the island

2 Comments

  1. Matt Johnson
    Jan 02, 2013 / 11:09:19

    This sounds great, restoring native shorelines is a very appropriate project!

    Keep up the good work the wildlife in the area will certainly benefit, which is a benefit to us all.

    Regards,
    Matt Johnson
    Minneapolis

    Reply

  2. Patrick Kvidera
    Feb 01, 2013 / 12:21:04

    How about first preserving what is left of the Island, as far as I know un-named, adjacent to Marshall Terrace Park. It is only a short distance upstream and is eroding badly. It is currently used by the herons displaced by the tornado!

    Reply

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