It is official: Highland Bridge’s four new city parks now have names. The Saint Paul City Council on April 21 approved the names that were recommended earlier in the month by the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission.

Ward 3 council member Chris Tolbert praised the new names. More than 300 were suggested by citizens, with ideas ranging from famous Saint Paul residents to popular models of Ford Motor Company vehicles.

Highland Bridge, a development of 3,800 new homes, offices, retail and institutional uses, is being constructed on the former site of Ford’s Twin Cities Assembly Plant. The plant closed in 2011 after 85 years of operation.

The four parks will be named as follows:

Highland Bridge parks
The four city-owned parks and the other privately owned public spaces that will be part of the Highland Bridge development.
  • Gateway Park for Park A, for the open space near Ford Parkway and Mississippi River Boulevard.
  • Assembly Union Park for Park B, for the open space in the west-central portion of Highland Bridge.
  • Uŋči Mak’a (pronounced oon-CHEE mah-KAH) Park for Park C in the southwestern portion of the site. The name translates as “mother earth” in the Dakota language, reflecting the area’s early history as Dakota tribal land.
  • Míča (pronounced MEE-cha) Park for Park D in the southeastern portion of the site. Míča is an abbreviation for “coyote” in the Dakota language, and coyote sightings have been common in the area.

The city and Highland Bridge master developer Ryan Companies will hold a virtual open house on the new parks at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 12. The parks are expected to open in 2022. Visit

— Jane McClure


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