Skip to main content

General Mills Foundation gives $3M to Mpls. riverfront revamp

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A huge overhaul for downtown Minneapolis' Mill Ruins Park riverfront area got a financial boost from one of the state's iconic companies.

The General Mills Foundation said Wednesday it's gifting $3 million to the RiverFirst project – an effort spearheaded by the Minneapolis Parks Foundation to turn what used to be an industrial space into a recreational, historic and artistic connection space, its website says.

The General Mills Foundation's gift will be used for what is essentially a re-imagining of an 11-mile stretch of the riverfront, to include community spaces, trails, river access and more, according to a release from the Parks Foundation.

The $3 million will be doled out over three years, and go toward three projects, the Parks Foundation says:

  • Water Works – a reworking of Mill Ruins Park (called Central Riverfront);
  • A trail link and pier at 26th Avenue North;
  • And a future riverfront park and beach at Hall’s Island.

The gift comes as part of General Mills' 150th anniversary celebration, and is targeted at the birthplace of General Mills. Cadwallader Washburn started the company that would turn into General Mills in 1866, building a flour mill at St. Anthony Falls, according to its history.

The gift was presented by General Mills Chairman and CEO Ken Powell at an event on Wednesday.

It's all tied in with the $27 million upgrade approved by the Minneapolis Parks Foundation last fall.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges called the project "transformative," according to General Mills.

Groundbreaking of phase one is expected to start this year, the Parks Foundation says.

According to last fall's timeline, this phase of the project is expected to be completed by 2019, with the second part – which will see even more of the historic mill ruins uncovered and a skim pond added – due to be done by 2023.

Here's a video overview of the project:

Next Up

Crane Lake

Flooding expected to worsen in MN's Arrowhead region

Hundreds of private homes are at-risk in northern St. Louis County.

St. Paul Police crash

St. Paul police: Kids in stolen car rammed squad, hid in porta-potty

The incident sent the Minnesota Capitol into a brief lockdown.


Watch: Storm updates after heavy hail slams Twin Cities

Sven Sundgaard is providing an update after Thursday's flash hail storm.

kim crockett facebook sos

MN GOP apologizes over antisemitic sequence in candidate's campaign video

Party leader says candidate didn't know the imagery perpetuated an antisemitic trope.

storm, severe

Tornado, severe thunderstorm watches issued in Minnesota

In addition to possible tornadoes, there is a threat for damaging winds and very large hail.

House sale keys door

High prices, stiff competition putting off homebuyers in Twin Cities

Prices continue to rise in the metro, but there are signs of buyer fatigue.

Screen Shot 2022-05-19 at 1.59.51 PM

Series of explosions at manufacturing plant injures 6 in Wisconsin

The blast rocked the Wisconsin town just before 7:45 a.m.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Medford man dies in Le Sueur County crash

The 49-year-old was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Denisovan molar

MN researcher part of team behind 'revolutionary' discovery of ancient tooth in Laos

The molar found in a remote cave is believed to have belonged to a Denisovan girl who lived 164,000-130,000 years ago.

Eagle Ridge Middle School

Charges: Sting catches MN principal trying to hire child prostitute

Authorities alleged Mohamed Selim attempted to meet a 15-year-old girl for sex on Tuesday.

cub donuts 1

Nominate a 'local hero' to get a dozen Cub donuts from Salvation Army

The organization is looking for 1,000 volunteers to help with the effort in the metro.


3M, Cargill, General Mills among companies to share energy secrets

Several companies gathered to swap power-saving tips at 3M's energy-efficiency summit on Monday. The Maplewood-based company touted its plan to change light bulbs across 35 million square feet of factory space, the Star Tribune reports.