Located within the city of Saint Paul and adjacent suburbs, Mississippi National River & Recreation Area St Paul MN is a unique kind of national park. It’s a “partner park,” where the National Park Service doesn’t own any of the land but works in partnership with local governments, non-profits, educational institutions, and businesses who have interests along the river to achieve the goal of protecting it for future generations. Read on to know more.
Boom Island Park
The park’s 1.7-acre island is home to bald eagles, herons, turtles, pollinators and other wildlife. The National Park Service works to restore this site to improve water quality and habitat for these species.
This unique type of national park, known as a partnership park, works in collaboration with many partners to protect globally significant resources along the Mississippi River. These partnerships include local, state, and federal governments, non-profits, businesses, educational institutions, and individual people.
The park has also worked to protect the environment on Nicollet Island, where Boom Island Park is located. The National Park Service has restored a portion of the island by removing invasive and weedy plant species, enhancing degraded forest areas through increasing diversity and adding climate-adapted tree and shrub species, and re-creating the pocket of maple forest historically present on the island. These restoration projects will increase habitat for pollinators and other species, reduce sedimentation and nutrient transfer, and improve water quality.
Sibley House Historic Site
Sibley House Historic Site is one of the few remaining structures in Minnesota that dates back to the fur trade era. Four limestone buildings sit on the bluff overlooking the Minnesota River across from Historic Fort Snelling.
This hidden treasure was originally built by Henry Sibley, the first governor of Minnesota and the regional manager for the American Fur Company. He lived in one of the houses and used another for his office.
In 1910, the DAR secured the house from ruin. It was restored and opened to the public in 1910.
The Mississippi National River & Recreation Area encompasses federal, state, and local public lands that protect globally significant resources along the 72-mile-long stretch of the river. It includes many partner parks, museums, and historical sites. This article is worth reading.
Harriet Island is a historic site and a popular summer destination in the Mississippi National River & Recreation Area St Paul MN. Located on the west bank of the Mississippi, Harriet Island features picnic areas, boating, fishing, and a 90-minute narrated cruise.
The area also includes Lilydale-Harriet Island Regional Park, an undeveloped floodplain area that consists of l00 acres of marsh and wooded areas and a small lake. This park is known for its unique habitats and the Decorah Shale formation, which contains abundant fossils dating back to 440 million years ago.
One of the oldest natural resources in Minnesota, the Mississippi River is home to numerous backwater sanctuaries that offer a unique aquatic environment. Rejuvenated by periodic flooding, these sites provide critical habitats for plants and wildlife.
The pristine Mississippi River is an ideal place for students to learn about history and ecology. There are many opportunities to tie the river into nearly every subject you’re studying, from literature to social studies to math and science.
Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary
In recent years, this small 29-acre park has been renovated little by little from a toxic dump site to a vibrant prairie. The work of Lower Phalen Creek Project, the City of Saint Paul and many community partners has made it a thriving habitat for wildlife with six ecosystems including floodplain forest, dry prairie, oak savannah, bluff prairie, oak woodland and spring-fed streams and wetlands.
The sanctuary features several important sites including the cave known as Wakan Tipi (Carver’s Cave), under sacred burial mounds along the bluff in Indian Mounds Regional Park and a Native American archaeological site with petroglyphs from explorers. It also has an extensive eagle nest and many trails connecting it to downtown St. Paul and surrounding neighborhoods.
This is a very special place where communities come together. It’s a mix of modern and wild, urban and natural, something that isn’t always the case in urban areas. It’s a great place to walk or bike, or just enjoy the views of the river and skyline! Click here for the next blog post.
Driving directions from Shine Window Cleaning Company to Mississippi National River & Recreation Area
Driving directions from Mississippi National River & Recreation Area to Phalen Regional Park