DNR to give Norin Landing boat launch a push

Sports Reporter

Norin Landing to become first developed access point in Otsego

by Eric Oslund
The city of Otsego has received an Outdoor Recreation Grant from the Department of Natural Resources for $150,000, which will help build the city’s first developed concrete boat launch on the Mississippi River.

Photo by Eric Oslund
Two fishermen work on their casting from the shoreline of Norin Landing before they head out for a day of fly fishing with their guide.

According to Otsego Parks and Recreation Director Ross Demant, it is one of the first grants the city has received through the DNR for park development.
“We identified the grant because how the park laid out, and it’s tied into the regional trail system and the Mississippi River Trail that runs all the way along the headwaters of the Mississippi down to the Gulf of Mexico, it does attach to that and it does allow access to the Mississippi, so the criteria of the outdoor rec trail, their criteria for funding, we really seemed like we hit all those bullet points,” Demant explained. “So we really felt like we potentially could have access to the full amount, which was $150,000.”

Otsego currently has two access points to the Mississippi River, but both are undeveloped – basically just a dirt parking lot that slopes down to the water’s edge. One is located at the northern end of Nashua Avenue and the other is located at the northern end of Kadler Avenue.

Photo by Eric Oslund
A sign by the entrance to the Norin Landing site depicts how the park will look upon completion.

The second of those two locations is the spot where this grant is for, Norin Landing.

The City Council approved plans and specifications for this site during its meeting on Jan. 23. Plans call for seven vehicle spaces, four additional pull-through spots for boat trailers – with the potential to add more in the future – a concrete casting platform, limestone blocks by the water’s edge for people to use, an open lawn area for gatherings or passive recreation, and a large gazebo that measures 20 feet high and 30 feet wide.

Now the city is waiting for the paperwork for the grant to be completed by the DNR, which likely won’t happen until the end of September. They will then put out an advertisement for bids once all the paperwork has gone through – hoping to do so this winter – and then they are hoping to break ground once the snow melts.

Photo by Eric Oslund
Kayakers float on down the Mississippi River, right in front of the undeveloped Norin Landing site at the end of Kadler Avenue.

“Breaking ground, more than likely, will be in the spring of 2018,” Demant said. “We will be doing some minor clearing of the site this fall and winter with our staff as time permits. There’s some dead trees that are down there already, cutting the brush out, that type of thing.”

“With everything lining up perfect, we would love to start construction in April, but obviously that’s all weather dependent and contract related as well.”
Once construction of the park is completed, Norin Landing will become the first developed access to the Mississippi in Otsego. The city is then hoping that draws people traveling down the river to pull up and relax on the shoreline, in the park or underneath the gazebo.