Minot residents at an open house Thurday caught of glimpse of how the river valley through the city might look in time.
The Riverfront and Center project began involving residents 10 months ago in planning the post-flood future of the valley, particularly how the city might create new assets once a flood protection system is built.
"I am looking forward to something positive happening," said Miranda Schuler, who came to review and comment on the draft plans. "I am excited about it. I hope it works."
John Slack, left, a landscape architect with Stantec, visits with a participant at a Riverfront and Center meeting Thursday in the Municipal Auditorium, where a maps and sketches detailed proposals for enhancing Minot’s valley neighborhoods.
A new east entrance into Oak Park was one feature that Schuler, who lives east of the park, is eager to see happen. The draft plan includes a proposal for an eastside bridge into the park so that neighbors would not have to worry about safety in walking along the sidewalk that abuts busy Fourth Avenue.
"I like the connectivity," Schuler added of the plan. The greenway created by a flood protection plan would run through the city, providing for parks and walking trails.
The greenway plan would expand the size of Moose Park about 10 times, said Phil Carlson, senior planner with Stantec, the city's' consulting firm involved in the planning. The greenway would knit the community together, which residents have indicated is important to them, he said.
Creating areas where community members can gather is important to Stacey Gallup of Minot, who lives in the area near the former Ramstad middle school that was destroyed by the 2011 flood. She would like the city to develop a park on the former site to provide something of lasting quality for the neighborhood.
The logistics of funding and making the project come to fruition was a concern of participants.
Phil Lowe of Minot said the proposed layout of the new valley would be beautiful if the city can make it happen.
"It's great. But we need the flood protection first," he said.
Carlson said there are some ideas that can be implemented before the floodway is built. Streetscape suggestions for downtown, like those in the draft plan, are being considered in a three-year downtown infrastructure project that begins this summer.