Boom Island

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724 Sibley St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

When: July 17, 2010

How:
By bike it is very easy to reach Boom Island via West River Parkway. You can also make the trip via East River Parkway, but take note that there are some train tracks just south of Hennepin Island Park and the 10th ave bridge. To navigate around them, you may have to detour on SE University Ave. Other that that one detour, you will rarely have to ride next to car traffic if you take East or West River Parkway towards downtown Minneapolis.

By transit the closest bus route is the #11, which drops you about 2 blocks east of Boom Island on 2nd St NE (only a block west of NE University Ave). The #11 runs straight through downtown Minneapolis along Nicollet and Hennepin Avenues.

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Ease:
Boom Island Park, between 1st Ave and 8th St, is pretty hidden. Hugging the Mississippi River and located in a residential area, it is helpful to keep some signs in mind for its whereabouts. 1) St. Anthony Falls and Nicollet Island are popular locations very close to Boom Island. 2) If you area coming from West River Parkway, it is very easy to spot the park on your right after you cross the 8th St. bridge. 3) If you are coming from East River Parkway and Main Street, you can enter the park on your left at the large open field.

Worth Doing:
Boom Island’s view of downtown Minneapolis is exceptional. Just across the river from the hub of the city, this park is very much a part of an urban landscape, and is a hot spot for local residents. The Sierra Club outing to Boom Island attracted local Northeast Minneapolis residents, St. Paulites, a Ceder Riverside Sierra Club member, an innocent bystander with his pug, and an Anoka resident (who took the Northstar to join us!).

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Our outing wasn’t a typical walk in the park, due to the inclusion of Sally Grans, a local citizen activist. Sally gave us an overview of the local issues surrounding the development of Boom Island. In addition, Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner Scott Vreeland led an interesting discussion about the history of the area. Scott was ready to hear from locals about what they appreciate in urban parks, and took some notes regarding local suggestions. The group then toured the park, learning more about different features of this special place.

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