What is the Minnesota Mississippi River Parkway Commission?
The Minnesota Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MN-MRPC) is a statutory Commission whose mission is:
To preserve, promote and enhance the scenic, historic and recreational resources of the Mississippi River, to foster economic growth in the corridor and to develop the national, scenic and historic byway known as the Great River Road.
The MN-MPRC is part of the larger 10-State National MRPC, which was organized in 1938 to celebrate the Mississippi River by developing the Great River Road Scenic Byway in all of the Mississippi River's border states. They include: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The National MRPC is one of the only — and certainly the oldest — organizations whose work ties together all of the Mississippi River states.
Historically, the MRPC has coordinated efforts on federal, state, and local levels to leverage millions of dollars for highway improvements, recreation trails, bikeways, scenic overlooks, and historic preservation. The MRPC also coordinates both domestic and international marketing for the river valley through Mississippi River Country USA, and facilitates efforts to enhance economic development and resource awareness.
The Minnesota MRPC was legislatively recognized by statute in 1963 and is currently comprised of 15 members: One each appointed by the Minnesota Commissioners of Transportation, Natural Resources and Agriculture, the Directors of Explore Minnesota Tourism and the Historical Society; two members of the Minnesota Senate; two members of the Minnesota House of Representatives; one appointed by the other nine; and one each from the five Great River Road regions.
The current MN-MPRC Roster includes:
Rep. Sheldon Johnson, Chair
Ms. Sheronne Mulry (Hastings to Iowa Border Region), Vice Chair
Mr. Mark Anderson (At-Large Member), Secretary - Treasurer
Mr. Scott Bradley (Department of Transportation Appointee)
Mr. Adam Johnson (Explore Minnesota Tourism Appointee)
Mr. Jim Lucachick (Lake Itasca to Grand Rapids Region)
Mr. Paul Hugunin (Agriculture Appointee)
Ms. Cordelia Pierson (Elk River to Hastings Region)
Mr. Keith Parker (Department of Natural Resources Appointee)
Sen. Patricia Torres Ray (DFL-Dist. 62)
Mr. Karl Samp (Brainerd to Elk River Region)
Mr. John Schaubach (Grand Rapids to Brainerd Region)
Sen. David Senjem (R-Dist. 29)
Rep. Mike Benson (R - Dist. 26B)
Ms. Andrea Kajer (Historical Society Appointee)
The MN-MRPC also has five Technical Members who participate in a non-voting capacity:
Ms. Cheryl Offerman (Explore Minnesota Tourism)
Ms. Cynthia Wheeler (Department of Natural Resources)
Mr. David Kelliher (Minnesota Historical Society)
Ms. Carol Zoff (Department of Transportation)
Mr. Paul Labovitz (National Park Service - Mississippi National River & Recreation Area)
To e-mail any member of the MN-MRPC, click here.