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Moorhead trail project seeks personal stories about Red River

Collected stories will be accessible from signs established along river.

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Boaters navigate the Red River after launching from the Hjemkomst Landing in Moorhead on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. The excursion was the Animals of the Red River tour hosted by the Red River Zoo along with Moorhead Parks and Recreation and River Keepers.
David Samson / The Forum
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MOORHEAD — If you are or have been a Moorhead resident and you have a personal story about your experiences with the Red River, Su Legatt wants to hear about them.

And then she wants to share them.

Legatt is a social practice artist, meaning she enjoys using her art to help enhance communities in some way.

She is currently working with the City of Moorhead, the Moorhead Parks Department, the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County and River Keepers to establish interpretive signs along what is being called the River Corridor Trail.

The trail is a combination of bike/walking paths and dedicated space on city streets that once completed will provide a continuous link from Moorhead's northernmost reaches to the southern edge of the city.

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Legatt said except for one stretch of trail on the city's south side the trail is close to completion.

Meanwhile, an effort is underway to collect personal stories that will be recorded and used in conjunction with signs that will be established along the River Corridor Trail, a collection Legatt said is tentatively being called "The Red River Chronicles."

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The city of Moorhead is teaming with other entities and a local artist to create an interpreative trail along the Red River that will incorporate personal stories submitted by Moorhead residents.
Image courtesty the City of Moorhead.

Legatt said the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County will provide information about specific locations along the river that will be incorporated into the signs and River Keepers will contribute information about the natural elements connected to the river.

Legatt said she aims to provide the living history component of the trail and she is doing that by collecting people's stories via an online link that can be found on the city's website at www.cityofmoorhead.com/river .

A more direct link to the story submission page may be found here.

Legatt said the plan calls for trail signs to include QR codes people can read with their cell phones, which will take them to a website where they can read submitted stories.

"We are also going to turn them into audio files, so you can listen to the stories while you're on the trail," Legatt said.

While plans are still in flux, Legatt said the hope is signs and other elements of the trail could start coming together by this fall or next summer.

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Bicyclists enjoy a sunny cruise across the Sertoma Freedoom Bridge over the Red River in March 2015.
David Samson/Forum Communications Co.

Once all of the sections of the trail are connected, Legatt said it should be possible to go from Johnson Park in north Moorhead "all the way down to Bluestem (Performing Arts Center) along the river."

Legatt said even after the river trail is populated with signs, the collection of public stories will continue, with additional stories being added to the collection over time.

"I see this as an ongoing project, where for years and years we can keep adding to the Red River Chronicles. So there is no specific end date, or anything like that," Legatt said.

Related Topics: RED RIVER
I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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