Riverfront Enhancement Advisory Committee

Proposed Riverfront Enhancement Action Plan

City Council Resolution Approving Riverfront Enhancement Action Plan

Resolution 2020-125

Updated materials as of November 6, 2020

Guiding implementation and future design work

The Riverfront Enhancement Action Plan is a framework to guide improvements along the River and future design of park spaces.  It is intended to create enthusiasm and identify actions necessary to further enhance Northfield’s riverfront parks into an exciting regional experience. While some actions can be implemented in the next few years, many will be longer term and may require incremental steps to complete.

Engaging with property owners and key users before advancing major improvements is important to facilitate successful implementation, and will be part of future actions. There will be opportunities to further explore how to implement the vision and to expand more year-round activity. The Action Plan is not a construction plan document and not a final design approval for park improvements.

Early years (1-5+)

The Action Plan identifies steps necessary to move toward the greater vision of a regional park destination. In the early years of implementation, those steps will likely include:

Parks: Ames Park and Bridge Square emerge as early priorities for park improvements. While Ames Park will require additional design, coordination with the adjacent property owners and identifying alternate design options to accommodate the DJJD carnival event or secure a desirable alternate location, Bridge Square improvements to expand pedestrian spaces could advance to implementation more quickly.

Regional Designation and Technical Studies: Additional early effort will be necessary to pursue a regional park designation, identify and pursue potential funding streams, develop partnerships, evaluate flood related issues and study  potential alternate designs for the dam.

Aesthetics: Improving how structures relate to the river and aesthetics along and adjacent to the River will be incremental and can start early. This might include cleaning up the riverbank, addressing aesthetics and considering artwork and lighting.

Connections: Steps may include enhancing connections to the River by improving public spaces that connect to the commercial district, eliminating gaps in sidewalks and trails, and pursuing design solutions to create a series of pedestrian loops that extend to both sides of the River and connect to the urban historic core of the community.

Way Finding: Developing a way finding plan and design approach for signs and kiosks, securing funding and implementing.

Supporting resources

Comments received

Materials as of September 11, 2020

Read the draft Riverfront Action Plan (PDF)

View the Riverfront Enhancement ZOOM Event

Update to council

Update to council on November 17, 2020 (PDF)


Second Wednesday of each month
11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.

City Hall
Second Floor Training Room
801 Washington St.
Northfield, MN 55057

Members - Committee Disbanded in 2020

Name Title
Tracy Heisler Co-chair
Norman Oberto Co-chair
Joe Gasior Member
Daniel Hollerung Member
Peder Jothen Member
Rachel Leatham Member
Suzie Nakasian Member
Kristi Pursell Member
Robert Stai Member
Erica Zweifel Member
Greg Siems - NDDC Ex-officio Member
Glenn Switzer or City of Dundas appointee Ex-officio Member

Staff liaisons

Name Title Phone number
Mitzi Baker Community Development Director 507-645-3005
Mikayla Schmidt City Planner 507-645-3059
Kari Bonde Administrative Associate 507-645-3036