What’s your favorite view of the Mississippi River? The National Park Service wants to know


Is there a view of the Mississippi River that every time you pass by it, you can’t help but stop for a moment and take it all in?

The National Park Service wants to know what the view is and why you love it.

A Plan to Protect Scenic Views

NPS is collecting this information to inform the development of a Visual Resource Protection Plan that it is creating in partnership with the Mississippi River Parkway Commission. The plan will be used to guide efforts to protect and enhance the views along the Great River Road and the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. Specifically, it will use the information to request funding to improve favorite overlooks and public access to scenic views, and to help determine the impact that future development projects will have on our visual resources.

A national park in an urban setting is in a unique position. While it is charged with protecting the resources of the park, it also needs to work with developers and building projects. “NPS encourages sustainable development that does not impact important resources, which includes important views,” said NPS Park Planner Susan Overson. “We acknowledge that development will occur in an urban area and encourage developers and local communities to minimize impacts to resources.”

To better protect the viewshed, NPS is first looking to the community to determine the 50 most valuable views. “As a National Park, we are charged, through the NPS Organic Act, to protect scenic resources in national parks,” explained Overson. “Being that we are not your typical national park, we are taking the first step to identify important views worthy of protection.”

Submit Your Favorite Views

To submit your favorite views, visit https://mymississippiview.crowdmap.com/. NPS wants to know how often you visit the viewpoint, how long you stay there, how you reach the area, and why you feel it is scenic. While the official deadline for submitting a view is Friday, if you need the weekend to submit your view, Overson says that weekend submissions will still be included in the tally.

Next Steps

NPS will have volunteers rank the top 50 submitted views in April and June. If you’d like to help rank and assess the scenic views, send an email to Susan Overson at susan_overson@nps.gov.

Once the assessment is complete, NPS will develop a draft plan to be presented at a public meeting that is scheduled for June 5, 2013. The final plan will be available to the public this fall.