Announcing our Minneapolis Parks Fellow
February 5, 2015 by Janette Law
Bruce Chamberlain takes the inaugural Minneapolis Parks Fellow position this month
Work will focus on RiverFirst and its signature projects, including Water Works and Scherer
Minneapolis, Minn. – The Minneapolis Parks Foundation announced yesterday at the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Commissioners Meeting that Bruce Chamberlain is the inaugural Minneapolis Parks Fellow, a new program the Parks Foundation debuted this month to elevate its expertise in design and city-building and expand its commitment to ensure the long-term vitality of the nationally recognized Minneapolis park system. Chamberlain is the immediate past-Assistant Superintendent for Planning with the Minneapolis Park Board and an award-winning landscape architect and urban designer.
“The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is invested in forward-thinking park innovations that help Minneapolis remain second-to-none when it comes to urban parks. As Minneapolis evolves, it is paramount that we continue to reimagine how our parks are woven into the city’s fabric and the lives of the people who live, work, and visit Minneapolis,” says Tom Evers, Executive Director of MPF. “Bruce brings to the Parks Foundation the perfect blend of skills that will allow us to bridge vision to implementation required by bold private/public initiatives. We’re thrilled to have him help shape a new generation of parks in Minneapolis.”
The Parks Fellow is a contract position of the Parks Foundation that leverages expertise in park design, planning and implementation to address significant opportunities and issues facing the park system today and in the future. Parks Fellows will have expertise in critical skills, such as design, planning, recreation or operations. In addition, Parks Fellows will provide visionary and strategic guidance to selected projects involving public and private partners, especially the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, along with the City of Minneapolis and other public and private interests. MPF funds the Minneapolis Parks Fellow program with generous support from institutional grants and individual gifts.
About Bruce Chamberlain & 2015-16 RiverFirst Concentration
Chamberlain takes the position in February and will serve a two-year term. His work will focus on RiverFirst and two of its signature projects – the Water Works and Hall’s Island/Scherer sites, both on the Mississippi Riverfront. MPF identified RiverFirst because of its transformative potential for three communities – North, Northeast and Downtown Minneapolis – historically under-resourced by parks. In addition, the Parks Foundation’s history of private-sector leadership in RiverFirst, the projects’ advancing development and broad local and regional support make the time right to maintain its momentum.
“Cities around the world are leveraging park investments to accomplish transformative urban redevelopment efforts. The Minneapolis Parks Foundation has played a pivotal role in partnership with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, the National Park Service, the Minnesota Historical Society and others to propel the city’s generational return to the Mississippi River as a celebrated urban amenity,” says Chamberlain. “As the Minneapolis Parks Fellow, I am pleased to focus significant expertise in furthering RiverFirst and Water Works, key Minneapolis riverfront park initiatives that hold the power to transform, forever, the city’s embrace of its river corridor.”
Prior to his term at the Minneapolis Park Board, Chamberlain served as vice-president of Minneapolis-based Hoisington Koegler Group Inc., where he led a variety of complex city-building efforts, including St. Paul’s Great River Park Master Plan. During his three-year term at the Minneapolis Park Board, Chamberlain formed an in-house design and planning team and established a broad tone of excellence, while transformed the organization’s approach to community engagement and bolstering community trust. He was also responsible for constructing more than $45 million in capital improvements, completing numerous planning initiatives and steering the bold riverfront vision of RiverFirst.
About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation
The Minneapolis Parks Foundation, which partners with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, is an independent 501c3 dedicated to community investment in the nation’s top park system. The Parks Foundation’s signature projects are the RiverFirst Initiative and Water Works, two design-based adaptive reuse parks projects on the Minneapolis riverfront, and the Next Generation of Parks Lecture Series. Beginning in 2015, the Parks Foundation will also provide key philanthropic support for park enhancements in Minneapolis neighborhood parks, with a special attention to under-resourced communities; invest in pilot programs and activities that provide new opportunities for people to better connect to each other and our city through their parks; and champion the value of parks and the Minneapolis Parks System through community conversations around national and international park trends and engage volunteers in community-wide, high-impact volunteer activities.
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Major Funding for MPF is Provided By:
The McKnight Foundation | The Minneapolis Foundation | General Mills
George Family Foundation| Curtis L. Carlson Foundation