LWVMpls May Discussion Topic

Study Guide and Links for Parks Research

League of Women Voters Minneapolis

May 2015

During the last year a LWVMpls committee has begun to investigate issues relating to parks in Minneapolis, inspired partly by the new Parkland Dedication Ordinance, which requires developers to dedicate land or fees to support parks near their developments. Other new issues include ambitious efforts to renew and add to the parklands along the Mississippi River in the city, and the movement towards public/private models for developing new green spaces in the downtown area. These new developments are progressing at the same time that neighborhood and community parks continue to suffer from years of under-funding for capital improvements, so that these facilities are facing a funding crisis.

We see two important themes for continuing research and possible action:

  1. The funding crisis for neighborhood and community parks and recreation centers, most of which are not eligible for the kinds of state and regional funding that are available to the regional parks.
  2. New models for park development and support, including the Parkland Dedication Ordinance, increasing enterprise partnerships, and various public/private models like the proposed conservancy to raise funds for and manage new downtown green spaces. What is the role of the Park Board, if any, and how is the public interest being protected?