(August, 29 2016) – The City of Saint Paul Department of Parks and Recreation has hired a new manager to oversee its Great River Passage Initiative. Mary deLaittre has been selected to lead the Great River Passage Initiative team, which will be tasked with developing and implementing a work plan that drives progress on the goals laid out in the Great River Passage Master Plan. The Great River Passage Master Plan is based on three guiding principles, which are to make the river more natural, more urban and more connected. The Great River Passage Initiative team will also be tasked with helping to advance specific projects laid out in the plan such as the River Balcony and the Environmental Learning Center at Watergate Marina.

“I am excited to welcome Mary to the team,” said Mike Hahm, Director of Parks and Recreation. “The Mississippi River is Saint Paul’s greatest environmental and economic asset and I have full confidence that she will be a great leader to continue the work to make the river more accessible for all the city’s residents.”

deLaittre brings with her proven expertise in realizing complex civic projects. Projects range from developing and managing RiverFirst, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board led revitalization of 5.5 miles of the Mississippi River, to most recently working with the City of Wayzata in developing and implementing a strategy to realize Lake Effect Park, the enhancement of the Minnetonka lakefront, and the private funding partner Lake Effect Conservancy. She also served as Executive Director of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, where she transformed the organization to focus on its new mission, creating the Next Generation of Parks™.

“I am honored and excited to lead this bold and important initiative and look forward to working with current and future stakeholders to advance the principles and goals of the Great River Passage Master Plan,” said Mary deLaittre, Great River Passage Manager. “The opportunity to help define the central role of this great river is something I am very passionate about, and I am happy to be a part of the team.”

Mary deLaittre can be reached at Mary.deLaittre@ci.stpaul.mn.us or 651-266-6375.

(April 27, 2016) – Planning is underway for the Saint Paul River Balcony. Part of the Great River Passage Master Plan, the Saint Paul River Balcony would run along the downtown river bluff from the Science Museum of Minnesota to Union Depot. The River Balcony will contribute to downtown’s economic vitality and extend community life to the edge of the river. For upcoming meetings and more detailed information, visit the Saint Paul River Balcony Website.

(February 2015) – The GRP Interpretive Plan is comprised of the initial fact finding “Foundations Report,” plus additional investigations and information from other sources; including community outreach, and site visits along the river by the consultants, Parks staff and TAC members.

(August 20, 2014) – The Great River Passage (GRP) Interpretive Plan is one of the first implementations of the GRP Master Plan. The Interpretive Plan will provide information about the historical, natural, and cultural resources along the Passage and recommendations for interpreting the stories and resources of the Mississippi River and Passage. Through the interpretive planning process, the project team will identify and engage with stakeholders and will actively seek ways to include the many cultures and communities who have knowledge and stories to share.

This Foundations Report summarizes initial public engagement efforts. From these foundations, the project team will develop the Interpretive Plan.

(October 3, 2013) –  October 2013- Updated Great River Master Plan

(March 11,2013)- Updated Great River Passage Amendment

(March 7,2013) Update on Approval Process PDF

(February 20, 2013)   City Council Public Hearing on Great River Passage Master Plan

The Saint Paul City Council will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan for the Great River Passage Master Plan on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, Third Floor City Hall, 15 West Kellogg Boulevard, Saint Paul.  All interested persons are invited to attend and address the Council on this matter.  Written comments may be sent to Don Ganje, at don.ganje@ci.stpaul.mn.us or 25 West Fourth Street; Suite 400, Saint Paul, MN  55102.  Questions may be directed to Mr. Ganje at (651) 266-6425.

The Great River Passage Master Plan is the City’s long-term plan for unifying the entire length of Saint Paul’s Mississippi riverfront into one grand and comprehensive vision to be realized over the next 30 – 50 years.  It sets the stage for sustainable parks and open spaces; ecological restoration; economic development; and connection of the city, its neighborhoods and people to the Mississippi River.

(Sept. 11, 2012 )  Although no new information has been generated for the Great River Passage Master Plan, this new chart has been posted to provide a graphic explanation of the approval process with quick links to documents and sites most relevant at this point of the process.

(Sept. 10, 2012) You can now click here to view the entire proposed amendment to Saint Paul’s Comprehensive Plan.

*Note: See separate sections of the plan below for faster loading time.

(Aug. 9, 2012) Planning Commission documents have been posted:


Parks Commission Update
During the February 29 – March 5 2012 public comment period,  a number of comments were brought to the attention of the Parks and Recreation Commission.  The following staff report to the Park Commission has suggested responses to the comments and suggested changes to the Master Plan resulting from discussions with the Great River passage Leadership and Steering committees, and consultations with Wenk Associates, and other City staff.

Staff Report May 23, 2012 (Response to public testimony)

Attachment A – Comment Matrix (Every comment received)

Attachment B – Changes (List of recommended changes)

Attachment C –  Comp Plan (Sections suitable for adoption as part of Saint Paul’s Comprehensive Plan)

Approval Process (Next steps for plan approval)



For more information, contact: ParksCustomerService@ci.stpaul.mn.us