Background

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Brainerd’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), the City of Brainerd, the Brainerd Riverfront Committee, and the community’s public and private sectors are excited to be embarking on a multi-phased effort for implementing the Mississippi River Partnership Plan. The project presents an opportunity to connect the city and the Mississippi River and create a corridor as a place where residents and visitors can more easily access and enjoy year-round natural scenery.

The City of Brainerd previously partnered with the University of Minnesota Center for Rural Design (CRD) to develop a riverfront design plan for a two-mile section along the Mississippi River from Washington Street to Little Buffalo Creek in Brainerd, Minnesota. The U of M CRD led a riverfront steering committee process to create design ideas based on priorities established by the steering committee, which was accepted by the City Council.

As a result of the Mississippi River Partnership Plan, the City of Brainerd applied for and was awarded a Difference Maker Grant from the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation to begin the process of implementing some of the recommendations in the Plan. The City was awarded a $33,000 grant to retain a consultant firm or team for the first year with the opportunity to renew the grant for two additional years. The Brainerd HRA managed this grant on the City’s behalf for the first two years and then management of the third year grant transitioned back to the City of Brainerd in January 2018. Partnering with the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA), the City was able to use the grant to retain a part-time Riverfront Coordinator, Ashley Kaisershot.