Hidden Falls Park has connected Highland Park to the river for decades, but what if there was a way to draw locals to the bluff more than through its current reputation and an alluring name? Hidden Falls Creek has now risen back into visioning discussions of what could become of the Ford site and the possibilities are truly inspiring.
Around 2009, Lucius Jonett, now Water Resources and Landscape Designer at Wenk Associates Inc., conducted his Capstone Project at the U of M on how the Hidden Falls Creek underneath the Ford Site could be brought back to the surface as a central feature of the new redevelopment.
To resurface Jonett’s great work, as the public discussion around the redevelopment is stirring, ARISE invited Jonett to present on his findings at the October Highland District Council meeting. After we heard about the St. Paul Dept. of Parks and Rec.’s proposal to revitalize below the falls, Jonett wowed the room with keen, clear explanation of how deep research of the site’s natural history, combined with new technical engineering, can make possible an inspiring and wealth generating community amenity.
By “daylighting” Hidden Falls Creek, local residents and visitors can enjoy a new way to connect with each other and the natural surroundings, while increasing property values for homes and businesses.
What was submerged by a cutting edge industry of its time can be a revived and celebrated, in a new model of development that values economic prosperity with community and the environment.
Thank you, Jonett, for your great excellent, grounded visioning work!