The path to a free-flowing Souris River walks hand-in-hand with long-term flood protection and the City’s disaster resilience efforts. Protecting valley residents from the next flood event must be Minot’s first and highest priority, but if we plan well, there’s a way to make the river a community asset!
Step One: Get Organized
Right now we have seven passionate supporters who put their name on our website, and countless others we’ve spoken to have offered encouragement. But if we’re going to be successful, we need a much bigger team. So we’re asking you now, will you be a supporter?
Step Two: Set Some Small, Achievable Goals
Once organized, we have to prove we’re committed to our cause. And that’s going to take more than a website — that’s going to take action. We’re already organizing a Souris River Clean-up Day, and we’re working on a few other ideas to showcase the river as a focal point for Minot.
Consider this idea: what about developing the first leg of a blue trail — a river trail that’s safe and easy to use? It could start at Riverside Park below the cofferdam and run to Roosevelt Park. Turning the river into a recreation center starts with providing access!
Step Three: Develop the Political Will
Once we prove we’re not going anywhere and that we’re capable of getting things done, we’ll have no trouble wrangling a few political friends. And those friends will be critical in finding a project sponsor (probably the Park District or the City) who’ll take up the cause.
Step Four: Sell the Plan & Secure Funding
From the grass roots levels to the federal government, river restorations are the cause du jour. There is funding available to help kickstart the work required, but it’s our job as the Friends of the Souris River to make sure we’ve got the whole community on board. And if we’re proactive right now — while the disaster resilience and flood protection projects are getting started — there are construction savings that could be realized.
In other words, this idea needs to be included in decisions we’re making right now! And we’ll be working to make sure everyone in town understands the opportunity before us!