May 2017: Rita Trapp Receives National Leadership Award in NYC

Join HKGi in congratulating Rita Trapp, AICP, an Associate with HKGi, who attended the American Planning Association's (APA) annual conference in New York City, where she was recognized for her outstanding service to the APA's Minnesota Chapter. Rita received the Chapter Presidents Council Leadership Award for Chapter Professional Development Officers for her work as the MN APA's Professional Development Officer (PDO).

Rita served as chapter PDO for six years. During that time she helped the chapter transition to online reporting for continuing education. She also helped add two more PDO positions to better manage all of the PDO's responsibilities, including providing year-round educational sessions, annual conference planning, and AICP certification preparation. The MN APA made significant progress in the area of professional development during Rita's tenure, and her work has been much-appreciated.

You can email Rita, or read more about her service in this interview from the March-April 2017 Planning Minnesota newsletter.

January 2017: HKGi Projects in the News

HKGi projects in Fergus Falls and Saint Paul have attracted media coverage:

  • HKGi is currently leading a downtown and riverfront master planning project in Fergus Falls, working in collaboration with our neighbors Miller Dunwiddie and engineering firm Bolton & Menk. The project is still in its early phases, but the community turned out in large numbers for the first big engagement and input event. Read local coverage of the project from the Fergus Falls Journal right here and right here.
  • HKGi was a key consultant contributing to the award-winning Great River Passage Master Plan in Saint Paul. Implmentation work has been ongoing behind the scenes, but as the Star Tribune notes in this article, the plan's impact will become more noticeable this summer with the establishment of new recreational opportunities that create greater connections between the Mississippi River and the City.

December 2016: HKGi Projects in the News

A few past and current HKGi projects have been highlighted in the news around the state of Minnesota:

  • HKGi led the development of the master plan and design guidelines for Saint Paul's West Side Flats, which lies just across the river from downtown. The master plan, which was created in collaboration with the City of Saint Paul, Emmons & Olivier Resources, Forecast Public Art, Community Design Group, EcoDEEP, and Design Workshop, recommended creation of the West Side Flats Greenway and, as noted in this Star Tribune article, the use of shared, stacked-use green infrastructure to sustainably treat storm water from the site. Also noted in the article is the U.S. EPA planning grant awarded to the City for implementation of master plan components.
  • In Fergus Falls, HKGi is just beginning a planning process for that Minnesota city's downtown and riverfront. This exciting project is intended to help community members create a shared long term vision for redevelopment of the downtown and strategies to reconnect the Otter Tail River and downtown Fergus Falls.
  • Several projects to enhance Duluth's reputation as an outdoor recreation destination are in the works with HKGi providing leadership and planning expertise for several initiatives. This article and this article provide overviews of the St. Louis River Corridor Trails Plan, which HKGi is developing with the City and Duluth's current trail planning and building boom. Other projects mentioned in the articles for which HKGi is providing leadership include the St. Louis River Corridor Vision, the Trails and Bikeway Plan, the National Water Trail, the Cross City Trail, the Fairmount Park/Lake Superior Zoo Master Plan, and the Wade Stadium/Sport Corridor Master Plan.

October 2016: HKGi Welcomes New Project Manager/Market Analyst: Britt Palmberg, AICP

HKGi is pleased to announce that Britt Palmberg, a Project Manager and Planner with specialized expertise in market analysis, economic development, and real estate, has joined the firm. Britt's addition to HKGi's staff will allow the firm to more fully integrate economic analysis data and planning into a broader range of projects and opens up new opportunities for the firm to serve its clients.

Britt brings more than ten years of experience conducting comprehensive, growth area, redevelopment, downtown, site, and commercial corridor planning for both public and private sector clients. He has worked on projects across the country but has focused primarily on the Midwest and the West. His experience in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest includes collaborations with HKGi on UMore Park in Rosemount; the Upper Harbor Terminal Redevelopment Plan in Minneapolis; the Southwest Growth Area Plan in Chaska; the Eco-Business and Industrial Park Study in Northfield; and the Alice's Road Corridor Master Plan in Waukee, Iowa.

Britt is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a member of the Urban Land Institute. He earned his MBA in Real Estate and Finance and his Master in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and his BA in Economics from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Contact Information for Britt Palmberg

September 2016: HKGi Welcomes New Associate: Rita Trapp, AICP

HKGi is pleased to announce that Rita Trapp has been named an Associate of the firm. As an Associate, Rita is a firm shareholder and she will have an expanding role in the management and overall direction of the company.

Rita joined HKGi in 2003 as a Planner and has served as Project Manager on several community and parks planning projects, most recently for Rochester, Lindström, and Olmsted and Dakota Counties. Rita is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, earning her B.S. in Land Use Geography and Economics.

Rita has provided HKGi’s public sector clients with a variety of planning and project management services. She has conducted comprehensive planning, ordinance development, park and trail system master planning, grant writing, and general planning services to communities throughout Minnesota. Rita has also been an active member of the Minnesota chapter of the American Planning Association, serving in various leadership positions including Professional Development Officer.

Contact Information for Rita Trapp

August 2016: Streetscape Improvements Enhance Historic Downtown Chaska

HKGi has worked with the City of Chaska on a series of planning and design improvements to the city's historic downtown area. The most recent improvements feature brick-paved streets, Chaska-brick inspired monument signs and sidewalk paving, and street lights, bollards and railings that recall the iron work of the Ess Brothers Foundry, which called Chaska its home from the 1860's until 1990.

As Chaska prepares to host the Ryder Cup, You can read more about the latest improvements, and more to come, in the Chaska Herald.

July 2016: Springbrook Nature Center In the News

Springbrook Nature Center and the City of Fridley celebrated the Grand Opening of a new Visitor and Interpretive Center this past Saturday, July 30th. The festivities included a ribbon cutting followed by tours, music, ice cream and other goodies.

In anticipation of the new facility's opening, Springbrook Nature Center was recently featured in the news, and on page 15 of the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association Magazine.

HKGi designed the site plan and landscape improvements for the new center in collaboration with Partners and Sirny Architects, who designed the building. The new Visitor and Interpretive Center is the first of several planned enhancements outlined in the Master Plan that HKGi and Partners and Sirny developed in collaboration with Springbrook Nature Center and the City of Fridley. Read more about HKGi's work on the project.

July 2016: Alexandria's Broadway Street In the News

The reconstruction of Broadway Street in Alexandria has proven to be extremely successful and extremely popular across the community. HKGi and WSN developed the Complete Streets study and produced final designs, cost estimations, and construction documentation for the project. HKGi's plan for the "Missing Link," a two-block segment of Broadway from downtown to the Central Lakes Trail, is currently being tested prior to reconstruction.

Read more about HKGi's work in Alexandria, watch a video about the project and about Complete Streets, and learn more about the Missing Link.

July 2016: Andrews Park In the News

Clyde Andrews Park, one of the busier parks in Champlin with its splash pad and many athletic fields, was the subject of a brief article in the summer edition of the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association Magazine (page 16). You can read more about HKGi's work on Andrews Park on our project page.

July 2016: Duluth Adopts St. Louis River Corridor Park Plans

The Duluth City Council approved the St. Louis River Corridor Parks Mini-Master Plan document, which contains mini-master plans for eleven neighborhood parks and recreational areas in the St. Louis River Corridor. Landscape architects from HKGi led the planning process for these parks, conducting a comprehensive survey of current conditions at each park and leading a series of community and stakeholder meetings to ensure that input would be collected from each neighborhood in the corridor. Input from these processes identified needs for each park and provide the foundation for the mini-master plans. Recreational needs and the overall vision for parks in the St. Louis River Corridor and the City as a whole also informed the initiatives contained in the mini-master plans.

Plans for each park include the identification of strengths, opportunities, and issues to be addressed; a concept plan with recommended improvements; phasing recommendations; and short-and long-term cost estimates for each improvement.

Bolstered by the thorough guidance provided by the mini-master plans, current plans by the City seek to place a higher priority on funding for neighborhood park improvements. For more information about the Mini-Master Plan, read our project page or visit the City's web site.

July 2016: Red Wing's He Mni Can - Barn Bluff Park Master Plan Completed

On June 27th the Red Wing City Council formally adopted the He Mni Can - Barn Bluff Park Master Plan, which will guide stewardship of this park and its remarkable landscape for the next 20-plus years. HKGi and LOAM, Inc. collaborated with the City of Red Wing and its residents to produce a master plan that builds on the park's multi-cultural history and its local significance. The planning process included an analysis of current site conditions which, when coupled with an extensive community engagement process, identified short- and long-term needs for the park. The master plan responds to those needs and also includes a wide-ranging implementation section that covers phasing of improvements and potential funding sources and partnerships.

One highlight of the plan is use of the Dakota name for the area, He Mni Can, which translates as "Hill, Water, Wood," alongside the English name for the park, Barn Bluff, which is actually an adaptation of the name French explorers gave to the area, Mont La Grange. Other highlights include restoration of the park's diverse natural habitat and greater protection of its cultural resources; improvements to the safety and durability of the park's trail network; greater trail connections to the park; and improvements to the park entry, its East and West Overlooks, and the G.A. Carlson Lime Kiln and Plaza.

For more information about the park master plan, visit our project page or read this article from the Post-Bulletin.