Welcome to AFCAC!

The Above the Falls Community Advisory Council (AFCAC) is an organization made up of representatives from neighborhoods, businesses, and environmental organizations. In 2000, the Above the Falls: A Master Plan for the Upper River in Minneapolis was adopted, and it was enhanced in 2012/2013 under the name RiverFirst - a generational vision for transforming 11 miles of once- industrial Mississippi Riverfront. Both versions, and a plan update approved in 2019, build on our community's rich river heritage and passion for parks, nature, and wildlife. AFCAC's mission is to provide an inclusive, public process that will guide and support implementation of these plans.

AFCAC is a group to which the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board turns when it needs to gauge community needs, expertise, and opinions about land use and development ideas for parcels along and adjacent to the Mississippi River in the “above the falls” region which extends from Plymouth Ave north to the city limit.

Reach us at info@abovethefallsmpls.org with questions about activities in the Above the Falls area or to get involved with ongoing meetings and discussions.

Who We Are, What We Do, and How We Do It

AFCAC is about being people-first and river-first

Guiding Principles and Purpose

AFCAC keeps these foundational truths in mind at every meeting and upon making recommendations and decisions. We uphold:
Equitable public access to the RiverClimate resilient environmental restoration.Low-impact development planning which includes conscientiousness of Indigenous rights, traditions, and history.The importance of linking the river to neighborhoods, commercial corridors, and the Grand Rounds trail system.Designs and development standards that respect and reflect the uniqueness of our riverfront.

This committee is a go-to resource for the city and park board because it has active in master planning for two decades while be a dynamic group reflecting a diverse cross-section of people who live and work in “above the falls” communities. AFCAC contributes:
New information and analysis on existing conditions and feasibility .Specific and strategic guidance on implementation.New approaches to land use, in light of changes to legal and regulatory framework.New vision for parks via creative design and RiverFirst processing.New focus on public health, supporting benefits for local community.

Specific Priorities and Projects

When considering community needs and projects, AFCAC strives for a balanced point of view: vision and feasibility, housing and jobs, recreation and environment. Near term priorities are chosen based on viability and what can be achieved while integrating and preserving larger and longer-term objectives.

Land Use
Development of Upper Harbor Terminal.Continued development of Grain Belt mixed use activity center.Zoning changes needed to encourage riverfront compatible redevelopment.
Parks and Trails
New signature park and supportive facilities on Scherer Brothers site.Continued progress on riverfront trail connections and loops.Park connections to river via 26th Ave N and new, planned overlook.New park and parkway at Upper Harbor Terminal.
Environment and Infrastructure
Riverfront and natural habitat restoration efforts throughout area.Environmental cleanup and greening of development sites, new and rehabilitated.Continued progress on Riverway street improvements and connections.
Community/Economic Development
Support for diverse range of housing options near and on riverfront.Support for high quality, non‐polluting, job intensive office/light industrial development.Job training and linkage efforts to support local hiring and retention.

Join us!

AFCAC meets the last Tuesday of each month from 7:00-9:00 pm. Each member is also invited to work on a subcommittee: facilitation, membership & communications, vision & implementation. We are respectful of our members and keep to the time allocation which is about 2-5 hours per month.

We realize that centralized, evening meetings might not work be the best time to engage so we are undergoing an internal review to open up to new meeting times and locations so membership and accessibility. We would like your input and how you and/or your community can best be involved.