Service and gratitude

November 20, 2017 by Tom Evers

November is a remarkable month bookended by Election Day and Thanksgiving, with Give to the Max Day falling between. The month is truly about service and gratitude.

In that spirit, I want to share with you a little of what we are grateful for here at the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. As someone who follows our work, contributes to our efforts, volunteers, or has attended an event, you know that parks and public space have the power to transform life.

How we design, activate, and fund our parks defines us as a community. I am continually amazed and humbled by the countless people committing time and resources to ensure that our parks remain places where everyone feels welcome and everyone benefits.

We are grateful for the service of our volunteers and donors who continue to place their trust in the Minneapolis Parks Foundation through commitments of time, talent, and financial resources. Without the wider community supporting our efforts and actively participating in our work, we could not do our work. As one small example, our donors contributed more than $12,000 during Give to the Max, which will help us restock the 55 Little Free Libraries we helped install earlier this year near every recreation center.

We are grateful to all the people who work in and around our parks – Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board staff, community partners, vendors, coaches, and teachers who create and activate our parks in meaningful ways.

We are grateful for all the people who campaigned to serve as Park Board Commissioners. Elections are challenging. Public service is difficult and sometimes thankless – the hours are long, the pay is small, and each debate is infused with passion. For all who serve, and the many who ran for office, we thank you. Our parks are at their best when people pay attention and fight for community values in the spaces we share.

Finally, we are grateful for those quiet moments of natural awe that fill our parks – like the remarkable times a bald eagle blessed our events this year – providing us all with a reminder of the wonder of the natural world we live within.

As we head into the holiday season – please know that all of us at the Minneapolis Parks Foundation feel honored to serve in our roles and that we are continually grateful for the myriad of contributions made on behalf of our parks. We’re honored to serve so that Minneapolis remains a city in a park and we’ll continue to strive so that everyone benefits. In service and gratitude, thank you.

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