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Technical Tours

St. Anthony Falls Laboratory at the University of Minnesota Tour (ticketed event) - limited availability

Tuesday, June 5, 2018
3:00 – 6:30 p.m.

The St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL), located on Hennepin Island in the Mississippi River at the heart of Minneapolis, is an interdisciplinary fluid mechanics research and educational facility of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. A tour through this historic facility will showcase the range of experimental facilities available for use by researchers and SAFL collaborators as well as current research projects.

A social hour with light refreshments will be hosted after the tour on the lab's lower deck with views of the Minneapolis skyline.

NOTE: Buses for this tour will assemble outside the hotel at 3:00 p.m., with a 3:15 p.m. departure.

Saint Anthony Falls Lock & Dam Tour (ticketed event)

Thursday, June 7, 2018
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

The St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam is the tallest lock & dam on the Mississippi River. The Locks have been recently closed to navigation to stop the migration of the Asian Carp into northern Minnesota. It will still be active to pass floods, however. The plans for the utilization of this multiple resource facility will be presented and discussed.

Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam provides panoramic views of the Upper St. Anthony Lock and Dam, St. Anthony Falls, and the surrounding mill district. Exhibits at the visitor center provide information about the falls and its place in Minnesota history.

NOTE: Buses for this tour will assemble outside the hotel at 2:00 p.m., with a 2:15 p.m. departure.

Hall’s Island Reconstruction Project & Upper Mississippi River Tour (ticketed event)

Thursday, June 7, 2018
2:00 – 6:00 p.m.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is currently undertaking a project to reconstruct a historic island on the Mississippi River (Hall’s Island) and to develop a park on the adjacent Scherer site. The Scherer Site and Hall’s Island Reconstruction Project is the first to be developed from the RiverFirst initiative. RiverFirst is a 20-year vision for development of riverfront parks along the Mississippi River, focusing on 5.5 miles of the Upper Riverfront in Minneapolis.

The Scherer Site and Hall’s Island Reconstruction Project transforms an area, currently a low-value segment of the Mississippi River corridor, by providing new opportunities for improved habitat and recreation in an underserved portion of Minneapolis. The intended use of the restored Hall’s Island shifted as the RiverFirst initiative developed – originally from an area of intense public use, to now a habitat-focused opportunity for passive human recreation. This field trip will describe regulatory drivers for the project’s vision, technical challenges of island design on a major waterway, and perspectives from a cross section of Mississippi River stakeholders.

Construction of Hall’s Island and grading on a portion of the Scherer Site began in Fall 2017. We will visit the project site, allowing participants the opportunity to view the restored Hall’s Island near the final construction stages. This field trip will also visit other sites along the Mississippi River that demonstrate MRPB’s and the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization’s visions for creation of future combined habitat and recreation features along the Mississippi River further upstream.

NOTE: Buses for this tour will assemble outside the hotel at 2:00 p.m., with a 2:15 p.m. departure. This is an active construction site, so proper closed-toe shoes are required.

CHS Field (Lowerton Ball Park) Sustainability and Water Reuse Tour (ticketed event) - limited availability

Thursday, June 7, 2018
2:00 – 5:15 p.m.

CHS Field, “The Greenest Ballpark in America,” is the new home to the Saint Paul Saints Baseball team, located in Downtown Saint Paul. The former Brownfield site now consists of more than 60% green space. Onsite stormwater runoff is treated through sand filters, tree trenches and rain gardens, and a 27,000 cistern collects rain water for field irrigation and toilet flushing. The LEED Silver equivalent ballpark also uses renewable and district energy, efficient lighting, occupant-sensor lighting, Low VOC finishes, and recycled concrete. Additionally, onsite vegetation is estimated to sequester approximately 22.5 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

The park has a goal becoming a zero-waste facility through use of its recycling and compost programs. Project sustainability partners include Solution Blue Inc., the Metropolitan Council, Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment, Ecolab, and the Capitol Region Watershed District. The building and design project partners include Ryan A&E, Snow Kreilich Architects, AECOM and the Lowertown Ballpark Design and Construction Committee.

Sponsored by Solution Blue.

NOTE: Buses for this tour will assemble outside the hotel at 2:00 p.m., with a 2:15 p.m. departure.

Village of St. Anthony Sustainability Tour (ticketed event)

Thursday, June 7, 2018
2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Located five miles northeast of downtown Minneapolis, the City of St. Anthony Village is a leader in the state on sustainability and storm water best practices. The City’s mission is to be a progressive and livable community and recently received an award for its “Sustainable City Through Collaboration” program. Thanks to the efforts of city government, residents, and regulatory agencies, St. Anthony has implemented multiple projects to become a more sustainable place to live.

The St. Anthony Village Sustainability Tour will visit four sites, along a 2-mile route, that highlight their sustainability efforts around water issues. City staff, engineers and project partners will describe the motivators for the projects, innovative design details, and the observed benefits of the following sites:

  1. Regional Stormwater Treatment and Research Facility: Receiving runoff from 600-acres of urban development, this facility is estimated to clean 169 million gallons of stormwater, removing 39 tons of sediments and 176 pounds of phosphorus each year. By using a large swirl chamber along with two separate filtration devices, new technologies can be plugged into the system and monitored for their effectiveness at pollutant removal and cost for operation.
  2. Trillium Park: Trillium Park provides 22 acre-feet of storm water storage for the neighborhood. Designed to be a partially wet pond, the facility not only provides 100-year flood protection for 110 houses of St. Anthony Village, but also is used for passive recreational park space.
  3. Treatment Facilities in City Hall Campus: The City installed the state’s first Advanced Oxidation Process Water Treatment Plant in 2017. The plant uses hydrogen peroxide and ultraviolet light to remove contaminants from the City’s groundwater source. Backwash water from the plant is transferred to the City’s Water Re-use Facility, where it’s combined with residential stormwater runoff. The combined water is used to irrigate 20-acres of greenspace at the City Hall campus, saving an average of 4.6 million gallons of potable water each year.
  4. Salo Pond Alum System: Treating stormwater runoff from 52-acres, the system works by drawing water from the north pond, injecting it with a chemical that binds to pollutants and causes them to settle out in large underground tanks. The treated water is sent to the south pond while settled pollutants are discharged into the sanitary sewer, resulting in 26 pounds of phosphorus removed from Silver Lake annually.
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