We transform human life through parks

February 22, 2017 by Tom Evers

Parks have the power to connect us, heal us, and make us whole. The Minneapolis Parks Foundation believes in the power of parks to transform human life.

Minneapolis is a world-class city because we value city parks as integral to the human experience and we have fostered a legacy of philanthropy since the earliest days. The Minneapolis Parks Foundation aspires to find new ways to bridge these two areas of community strength to ensure that the Minneapolis park system continues to define us as a thriving, diverse, and healthy city.

We envision a parks system that weaves together the best of our public and private sectors to generate new solutions for complex urban environments and inspires residents and visitors to connect with each other in new and meaningful ways. We imagine a park system that helps to restore, heal and strengthen anyone who visits and provides a place and time for all to connect with their best selves and each other.

To reflect our commitment to the transformative impact parks have on our lives and our community and to emphasize the role the Parks Foundation plays in bringing forward bold ideas, we have updated our mission:

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation transforms human lives through parks and public spaces by aligning philanthropic investment and community vision.

This new mission does not change our commitment to the RiverFirst Vision or other efforts within the Minneapolis parks system. In fact, it strengthens it. We look forward to advancing our mission by bringing forward visionary ideas, collaborating with the Park Board, the City and stakeholder organizations, accelerating transformative public space projects and working directly with philanthropic and community leaders to advance the most transformative ideas.

In the coming months we will be updating our brand identity and website with the most important difference being our increased focus on the people our work directly impacts and the people who help us deliver our mission.

We hope you will see it most in how we live out this renewed promise – to transform not just pubic spaces through design and collaboration, but rather to transform the lives of those who use and enjoy these parks and public spaces. Because the legacy we have been entrusted with stewarding is one-of-a-kind, you should expect nothing less.


One Response to We transform human life through parks

  1. Vicki Hovde says:

    Hello Tom,
    After reading your message above, an idea sparked that I would like to share with you or whoever in your group I might follow-up with.

    I am leading a community-based arts programming and acquisition for HCMC’s new facility opening Spring 2018. I am exploring partnership opportunities within the Mpls. community who share goals as you have expressed above to “transform human lives and help to restore, heal and strengthen” people – especially inviting our diverse population. This Spring, our art committee is initiating a local Call for Artists (and maybe poets) whose work expresses the healing power of nature. From this Call, we plan to curate, commission and purchase works of locally created art for the new facility as a showcase of our local and regional talent.

    With that said, I thought it might be a great opportunity for my group to collaborate with the Park Board in some way. Example: We could incorporate the Mpls parks into our competition and promote your cause by focusing the Call for Artists to use the Mpls Parks as inspiration, e.g. artwork showing the restorative beauty of seasons in a Mpls park of the artist’s choosing; people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds participating in healthy activities from all over the park system, the possibilities for our artists would be unlimited. The results no doubt would capture extraordinary visual content for your group to use at no cost, and provide an engaging way to advance your goal to the public.

    If there’s interest in discussing this initiative (at no cost or man power from your group), let’s schedule a meeting to brainstorm how this might look to benefit both the Hennepin Health System and the Park System efforts. I believe amazing results could come out of this from a PR standpoint for both groups, but more importantly, as a grassroots collaboration that brings people together through nature and art for healing. Let’s talk!

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