The Green Line is ripe for a green infusion

September 30, 2014

By: Jenna Fletcher, The Trust for Public Land

While there has been ample news coverage about the Green Line, one important aspect has received less attention — the need for green space in the Green Line corridor. However, four local media outlets recently highlighted the release of the report developed by the Parks & Commons workgroup, funded by the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative. These media headlines tell the story:

“Add more green space along the Green Line; without it, transit corridor will fall short of its full potential” (Sept 4th StarTribune editorial)

“Green Line is ripe for a green infusion; 10 year plan recommends a ‘charm bracelet’ of parks” (August 27, StarTribune)

“Making room for green space on the Green Line” (August 28, Finance & Commerce)

“More parks and green spaces needed in neighborhoods along the Green Line” (August 27, MinnPost)

“Can the Green Line get greener? Groups look to new POP parks” (August 27, Pioneer Press)

The four articles and editorial do a nice job of highlighting the key messages of the guidebook, Greening the Green Line: Public and Private Strategies to Integrate Parks and Open Space in Green Line Development:

Key message 1: The Green Line corridor (1/2 mile north and south of the LRT line) has far less parkland than the two cities in which it runs. The total percentage of park land in Minneapolis and St. Paul is about 15%, but in this LRT corridor, parkland constitutes less than 5%. In fact, portions of the corridor are especially park-poor: the Midway area spanning from the Fairview to Western stations, and downtown Minneapolis.

Key message 2: Because development will bring more residents to the Green Line corridor, the green space situation could get worse if nothing is done. The vision of a green charm bracelet can be achieved through both public and private investments. Fortunately, parks and open spaces can serve as catalyst for, and increase the value of, development.

Key message 3: Both the public and private sectors have a role in greening the Green Line. The public sector needs to ensure that additional public parks are developed to keep pace with the demand from new residents and new workers. In addition, private developers should play their part by incorporating high quality POPS (privately-owned public spaces) into their developments.  

The Greening the Green Line parks and commons guidebook is available on our Resources page.

Background

The Trust for Public Land, the Cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, developers and other stakeholders worked together for fifteen months to develop a vision for parks and open space, and to identify approaches to increasing green space in the Green Line LRT corridor. On August 21st, the 34-page Greening the Green Line report was released, generating significant media coverage. The audience for the Greening the Green Line includes city policy leaders, property owners and developers, and community organizations.

For more information, contact Jenna Fletcher – The Trust for Public Land, Project Manager for the Green Line Parks & Commons initiative.

Jenna.fletcher@tpl.org or 651-999-5306