Lower Spirit Mountain Riverfront Park Site Plan released

The nine-page Lower Spirit Mountain Riverfront Park Site Plan was presented to the Duluth Parks Commission on Jan. 10 and the city’s Parks and Recreation Division is seeking public comment on it until Jan. 31. A final draft of the plan will be presented and voted on at the Feb. 14 Parks Commission meeting.

The site sits below the BNSF Railroad, opposite Tallus Island in Duluth’s Riverside neighborhood, and has approximately 1,500 ft. of shoreline to the St. Louis River.

The Western Waterfront Park & Trail Mini Master Plan includes recommendations for five public water access points along the St. Louis River Estuary, one of which is the new Lower Spirit Mountian Riverfront Park. The multiple delays in the planning process over the past year have imposed challenges for other city departments that have been awaiting the passage of the mini-master plan in preparation for determining the terminus of the new public road construction of Kayak Bay Drive. The city, state, county and private partners need to know where the road should terminate. The project is now fully funded and must move into design stages to be ready to bid by spring 2018. In order to proceed, the city needs the assent of the parks commission or city council on the site plan separate from the larger Western Waterfront Park & Trail Mini Master Plan.



about 6 years ago

There is more to the story. Check out the bigger picture here.


about 6 years ago

In my opinion, the input meetings, public comment, etc. make absolutely no difference.  If the city has a "vision" that is what they are going to do regardless of opposition.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

The Duluth News Tribune reports the "plan to build a new paddle-sport park below Spirit Mountain encountered some turbulence (Feb. 14) when the project failed to garner the support of the Duluth Parks and Recreation Commission."

Story link: "Plan for West Duluth water access park to move ahead without commission’s support"


about 5 years ago

Turbulence? It was the first time in the history of the Parks Commission to vote down a park plan.  It actually was the second time a no vote was cast on a city plan.

This plan was approved by the council with Em posting a DNT piece the morning the council would vote on it later in the day. She, Noah Hobbs and Jay Fosle (co-signers) stated how she would vote before anyone from the public could speak to the council. She failed as the council liaison to the commission where I would think it is her duty to explain to the councilors why the commission voted it down. She did not speak to it at all.

This project was predetermined by the economic arm of the city many years ago working with a developer to assure the road would be at no cost to them. The only reason the city is creating another park is because the folks backing the commercial development in the area needed a free road. SIMPLE AS THAT. Yet again the city lacks transparency at all levels at the cost of our parks and the natural world. There are two sites within one mile of this that already have roads and parking available along with quiet waters. SUPER SAD for a mayor who holds the environment at such a high standard.  

Yes, I am still not happy and am working to prevent the park from actually happening and better yet to have the access to the water take place in currently blighted areas that need this money. The taxpayer's money should be spent with the best use for all in mind and that includes our environment such as the world's largest freshwater estuary!

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