Friday, March 27, 2009

Along the Mississippi Mud


The National Park Service occupies a corner of the lobby of the Science Museum of Minnesota. Many visitors to the science museum visit for years without ever stopping in their office to look at the exhibits or view films. The NPS holds regular activities and tours in the summer in their work as the Mississippi River Visitor Center.

On this tour a couple years ago, we walked along the river and discussed geology, transportation and its importance--both to the life of people and industry. It is utterly amazing to look at the river and then look to the city and realize how far the ancient river flowed when the glacial melt flowed at the end of the last ice age.

As we looked across the river, we viewed Harriett Island. This island has served as a park for St. Paul since 1900. The park has several festivals through out the year including an Irish fair, the Taste of Minnesota and is home to the Winter Carnival every year. The annual ice palace has become a not so annual part of the winter festival.

We could also see a Mississippi river boat. We discussed the building restrictions for the new construction that has been located within the historic flood zone. In the past, this area was known to be a "bad" area because of the poverty that the new immigrants who lived there contended with . The area was eventually devastated in a flood. The area has now been redeveloped into a beautiful area that many like to stroll through, very unaware of its history.

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