In 1999 the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area awarded a $15,000 grant and design assistance to the Marcy Holmes Neighborhood Association for the establishment of native wildflowers and grasses along the Sixth Avenue Greenway in Minneapolis. The Greenway Project is part of a larger community effort to revitalize an industrial area and encourage local access to the Mississippi River, Stone Arch Bridge, Father Hennepin Bluff Park, and the St. Anthony Falls Historic District.
This project is innovative because it uses native, prairie plants as ornamentals in a public space. The landscape design was developed by the National Park Service in 2001 and, in June 2002, the native grasses and wildflowers were planted. Using native grasses and wildflowers helps perpetuate native Minnesota species. Natives are more able to withstand the harsh Minnesota climate and they require less water and other maintenance than non-native species. The plants selected for this project are classified as "salt-tolerant" and are able to handle urban conditions. Once established, these plants will provide an ever-changing array of colors and textures and greatly enhance the neighborhood’s connection to the Mississippi River.