Last month the City of Duluth unveiled plans for developing the remainder of the Bayfront area near the Great Lakes Aquarium. While a task force looks to build a restaurant on the land, a local group of concerned citizens, calling themselves the “Bayfront Visions Group” (BVG) has put a lot of time and money into developing detailed plans that would mitigate the major problems inherent in the development proposed by the Mayor’s “Bayfront Task Force” (which, by the way, never held a public comment period on its plan, despite the fact that the City Council mandated this last January).
BVG has developed plans that would integrate the restaurant with a botanical conservatory and visitors’ center. The Bayfront Task Force’s plan converts a majority of the potentially scenic land into a massive parking lot. BVG’s plan has a subterranean parking garage—providing more parking than the City’s plan, and quietly out of view from Highway I-35. BVG advocates for conserving the remaining area as ecologically protected scenic “green space” with trees, shrubs, flowering plants, a park, and a pond for winter skating.
Considering this area is the first impression visitors receive as they begin to enter the heart of downtown Duluth, the pursuit towards a synergistic relationship between economics, environment, and aesthetics is of the utmost importance to all. The City Council is expected to make a decision on this issue by early 2002.
Environmental Association for Great Lakes Education (EAGLE)
Serving as Hub for Minnesota
394 Lake Avenue South, #308
Duluth, MN 55802
(218)-726-1828 (phone and fax)