About the Coalition

The Midtown Greenway Coalition is coalition of neighborhoods, organizations, and individuals who love the Midtown Greenway and want to protect and enhance it.  Our mission is to empower communities to develop, improve, protect, and enjoy the Midtown Greenway as a green urban corridor to improve people's lives.

We’re the grassroots nonprofit organization that advocated for the Midtown Greenway trails to be put in by public agencies.  The Midtown Greenway wouldn’t be here without the work of our early volunteers, who had the original vision for the Greenway and worked for years to get it built.   

Our founders first started working on the Greenway in the late 80's by meeting with neighborhood leaders all along the corridor.  We became an official nonprofit organization in 1995, and worked to get each section of the Greenway completed from 2000 - 2007.  It has since become one of the busiest bikeways in Minnesota and recognized as the best urban bike trail in the nation.

Our work wasn't done when the trail was finished.  Now, we work to protect and enhance the Midtown Greenway.  We:

  • Help install public artworks that celebrate the diversity of our community and create a welcoming space for all people.
  • Work with developers to make sure they build Greenway "friendly" buildings.
  • Work to make street crossings and trail entrances safer.
  • Coordinate the Trail Watch safety patrol, which bikes the Greenway at night to help keep it safe.
  • Clean glass from the trail and conduct regular clean-ups through our Adopt-A-Greenway orgram.
  • Plant trees and gardens and work to make the Greenway even greener.
  • Advocate for a turf-track streetcar, which will bring more people to the Greenway and increase safety, while offering a great way for community members to connect to the Blue Line and future Green Line SWLRT.
  • Encourage more people to use the Greenway for biking, walking, exercise, relaxation, and transportation.
  • Work to get more ramps installed and improve signage and wayfinding.

Selected accomplishments:

  • Launched the Extend the Greenway Parternship, to work on extending the Greenway over the river and through Saint Paul.
  • NO HIGH VOLTAGE POWER LINES IN THE GREENWAY!  Our Coalition led a neighborhood-based coalition that fought to keep ugly and harmful power lines out of the Greenway.   After more that two years of work, and with the help of our attorney and the neighborhood groups, we WON.  The power company was forced to bury the lines under 28th street.  Now, we are working to make the above-ground power sub-stations less ugly.  The resulting designs call for the sub-stations to be more like works of art.
  • NO BUSWAY.  Kept a limited stop, rapid busway out of the Greenway by proposing electric streetcars instead.
  • NEW ACCESS STAIRWAYS AND FRONT DOORS.  Modified plans for dozens of developments on land adjacent to the Greenway so they enhance the Greenway instead of wall it in.  For example, the stairway behind the Midtown Sheraton Hotel is the result of our advocacy work, and the Midtown Lofts at Bryant Avenue would be separated from the Greenway by a roadway rather than a public walkway if not for us.  We are currently working with the developers of the former Bennett Lumber site, to create new public access stairs and public plazas.  This new site will also feature a wonderful public promenade/bridge along the edge of the project.
  • GRACEFUL NEW TRAIL ENTRANCE RAMP.  Along with Midtown Phillips, successfully advocated for a new trail entrance ramp at 10th Avenue connecting the Greenway to Midtown Exchange, Midtown Phillips, Stewart Park, Anderson Schools, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, and Powderhorn Park.   We call this the CEPRO site, in honor of the former grain elevators that were there.
  • SUSTAINABLE GARDENS.  Installed and maintain gardens in the Greenway with volunteer power to showcase native plants, on site water management, and ecological sustainability.  Along with public and private partners and many volunteers, we have also helped planted about 3,000 trees in the Greenway during eight annual arbor day events.
  • OUTREACH.  Engaged hundreds of Hispanic immigrants and Native people via group walks in the Greenway, resulting in many families now using the Greenway regularly on their own.
  • SAFETY.  Organize volunteers to sweep up broken glass daily, maintain communications with police and the City about trail and crime issues, coordinate the Trail Watch bike patrol, advocate for improvements in traffic control devices at the trail’s at-grade crossings with roadways.


  • SAFETY, including growing our Trail Watch safety patrol and enhancing our new Crime Prevention Task Force.
  • GREENING the Greenway through volunteer engagement caring for existing plantings and fostering the work of other to install new sustainable plantings.
  • PUBLIC ART, including working on our vision that the Greenway some day rivals the Walker sculpture garden as an art destination in Minneapolis.
  • NEW PARKS AND PLAZAS on land adjacent to the Greenway, part of a long-term community vision for more trail entrance ramps, greenspaces, public walkways along the street-level edge of the Greenway’s trench segment, and plazas at future trail transit stations.  These open spaces will improve Greenway access, safety, and aesthetics.
  • GUIDING NEW DEVELOPMENTS on land adjacent to the Greenway so that they front the Greenway rather than hide it behind parking lots or loading docks.
  • TURF-TRACK STREETCARS in the Greenway alongside the trails, to provide a cross-town link connecting the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit line with the future Southwest Corridor Light Rail Transit line as an important part of a growing regional rail system.
  • BRIDGING THE MISSISSIPPI, infrastructure plan still unknown such as using the existing freight rail bridge for the trails to cross the River, or building a new bike/ped bridge instead of or in addition to the existing bridge freight rail bridge.

The Coalition has a seat on its board for each of the 17 neighborhoods along the Lake Street/Midtown Greenway Corridor, and four at-large seats. Contact soren@midtowngreenway.org if you're interested.

We are funded by individuals like you, and foundations and corporate giving programs.  None of the dollars for trail construction or maintenance pass through our hands. 

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