In order to build a brighter future for our community, the River to Rail Initiative aims to unite many amazing efforts to revitalize Brainerd—from the Mississippi riverfront through the downtown area to the Northern Pacific Center. By completing this short survey before March 5th, you will have a powerful voice in Brainerd’s future. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas!
“I have just one message for everyone and that’s this: Our time is now. Is everybody with me on that?” Kilian said. “Look around. How many times do we have 250 people gathered to talk about the future of the community? To talk about a brighter future for Brainerd, Minnesota?”
Mayor Ed Menk echoed this sentiment, looking back at nearly a half-century of business in Brainerd’s downtown. He used that breadth of perspective as a lens to peek into a future of possibilities.
“I’ve worked in downtown Brainerd, come May, 44 years. During that time, I’ve seen a lot of changes—most of them weren’t so good,” Menk said. “Right now, we’re on the cusp of some fantastic things happening. We’ve got new restaurants, we’ve got new retailers, we’ve all sorts of fun stuff.”
The River to Rail initiative, started in 2017, represents the combined efforts and joint projects toward strategic projects and investments for the economic future of Brainerd.