Design > Hall’s Island restoration at Scherer Park in question

The RiverFirst Design Team’s most recent visit to Minneapolis included a lengthy and intensive discussion with staff at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – St. Paul District. The particular focus of their meeting was Hall’s Island, a key feature of our Scherer Park Priority Project.

The presentation below includes some very exciting new renderings of Hall’s Island, adapted by the Design Team in response to DNR, USACE and other input. In 1966, the island channel was filled in; restoring it would make way for a beach and much-needed habitat.

Unfortunately, the fate of Hall’s Island is uncertain. To some, re-establishing Hall’s Island is akin a cabin owner filling a natural lakeshore to create a private beach, and therefore shouldn’t be granted an exception to the state regulation against creating “upland” in protected waters.

We see it as a Regional and National Park amenity that will become home to native plants, animals and aquatic species, as well as a restorative natural destination for thousands of residents and visitors in the heart of the city.

We’re wondering: How do you see it? Take a look at the presentation and share your comments below.

Image Info

Hall’s Island Biodiversity Concept Diagram: Create unique habitat zones along ecologically impoverished stretch of the Mississippi River. TLS/KVA


  1. Sally Grans-Korsh
    Dec 26, 2012 / 11:15:25

    It is unfortunate that the Halls Island cannot be “found” again. If it cannot reappear still hope that the “beach” and ability to touch the water can be done with removal of the high bank. Touching the river was an important concept.


    • Janette Law
      Dec 28, 2012 / 07:45:09

      Hi, Sally –

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on connecting with the river at Scherer! We’re continuing to pursue Hall’s restoration, while “sketching” other design possibilities. There will be a public open house in late January where you can explore this more; details will be sent out the first week of January.

      All the best,



  2. Paul D Mitchell
    Dec 27, 2012 / 18:24:51

    Hello Janette,

    I just finished reviewing your Hall’s Island Restoration presentation – it is wonderful & I hope to live to see the day when it implemented.

    Firstly, I cannot understand how “To some…” this would be harmful to the protected waters. That seems to me to be a strange concern, given the history and the proposed future. Maybe if you included a little more about that problem, and contacts to those who are opposed, some of us would write a letter in support of your proposal.

    Secondly, since I am interested in your presentation, it is disapointing that I cannot read most of the text. I’m sure that your visuals are much sharper than what appears on my screen – I’d like to be able to review it again and read the text.

    Thirdly, I am impresed with the plan ideas. I did not expect to see so many improvements. I was just expecting a park with a beach; this is a bunch of creative things I never would have thought of. GOOD WORK!

    And lastly, I’m proud to say that I am the first person to have used Scherer Park for recreation. Soon after the purchase was announced I went over there and rode my bicycle round & round – imagining the day when that large asphalt pad would be green grass where I could sit under a tree and watch children play. Keep up the good work & I’ll see that day.

    Best Regards,


    • Janette Law
      Dec 28, 2012 / 07:53:27

      Hi, Mr. Mitchell –

      We’re following-up on your requests for an agency contact and getting you text from the presentation. In the meantime, I wanted to thank you for your support of the Scherer-Hall’s design and your exploration of the soon-to-be park – your vision of children playing along the riverfront is one we share!

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me at Janette [ at ]

      All the best,



    • Janette Law
      Jan 21, 2013 / 22:05:41

      Hi, Mitchell –

      Following up again. In case you didn’t see it, I wanted to let you know that we posted contacts whom you can contact to express support for Hall’s Island restoration. And thank you so much if you do – it’s really valuable to the project. Here’s the link:

      Also, I realize that the issue of readability is important, with regard to the Design Team presentations. I mentioned in my reply to your more recent comment that we’re looking into it, and we’ll make sure this presentation is part of what we’re addressing.

      Thanks, again!



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