As we welcome a new staff member, Director of Projects, Vicky Soukaseum, to the Minneapolis Parks Foundation team, we thought we’d touch base with our entire team this month for a round-up of staff-selected Minneapolis park favorites. While so many parks could be on this list, we asked our 8 person team at the Parks Foundation to try to pick just one of their favorite parks or park assets. We hope you enjoy this list and are able to get out and enjoy these spaces more and more as the weather warms up!
#1. Christine Moir, Development Manager — North Mississippi Regional Park
North Mississippi Regional Park is my family’s favorite. My kids love it! It has everything: wooded trails to explore and feel lost in, a wonderful playground, a nature play area that is fun and inspiring PLUS the Kroening Nature Center has beautiful exhibits with staff that are engaging and knowledgeable. This is a true gem in our city.
Images courtesy of MPRB.
#2. Shawn Lewis, Project Coordinator — McRae Park
My favorite park is McRae Park in South Minneapolis. I have so many good childhood memories from there. When I was younger, I played ice skating, hockey, sliding, T-ball and softball at that park, and I loved swimming in their pool as a kid. It’s been fun to watch as it’s changed and grown over the years.
Images Courtesy of MPRB.
#3. Jennifer Downham, Chief Development Officer — Minnehaha Creek
The Minnehaha Creek is my favorite park asset in Minneapolis. I love floating with friends on the creek in kayaks. I love jogging on the trails and paths along the creek. I love watching the raccoons, eagles, owls, muskrats and other humans enjoy it too.
#4. Madeleine Koski, Development and Communications Coordinator — Tower Hill Park
I love Tower Hill Park, and climbing up to the Witches Hat there. The view is awesome at any time of the day, but sunsets especially deliver a dreamy scene with a glowing city skyline. It’s a fun place for a park lunch in the summertime with picnic tables and a sloping grassy hill. My dog is a big fan of walks up here as well!
#5. Tom Evers, Executive Director — Farview Park
For me – One of my favorite parks in the system is Farview Park in North Minneapolis. The view from the hilltop is one of my favorite places in Minneapolis because it provides striking vistas of our skyline from North Minneapolis. As one of the original parks in the system, it was featured in Horace Cleveland’s original plan for the Grand Rounds, and yet the hilltop offers a quiet solitary retreat from the noises of the city. And on top of the hill is a park bench dedicated to President Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, who enjoyed their lunches there when building a Habitat for Humanity home in the neighborhood in the 2000s.
#6. Matt Karl, Finance and Administrative Director — Mississippi River Gorge
My favorite Minneapolis park is the Mississippi Gorge Regional Park. The only gorge on the entire length of the Mississippi, this park affords many opportunities for hiking, bird watching, and just enjoying the woods. As you walk the trails that wind through this semi-wild area, it’s easy to forget that you’re in the center of a major metro area.
#7. Vicky Soukaseum, Director of Projects — Victory Prairie Off-Leash Dog Park
Victory Prairie is a whimsical park with cute birdhouses hidden along the trails and tucked away in the NW corner is a branch hut dog memorial built by parkgoers. My kids love to build forts in the wooded area while our pup runs freely!
#8. Janette Law, Director of Communications — Neighborhood Parks
I couldn’t pick one park as my favorite. So, for sentimental reasons, I’ll choose our 160 neighborhood parks. When my kids were younger, we visited our local park weekly (at least!), but they also loved many others that we explored on playdates, around ice-cream socials and other events, or just passing by. They even had nicknames for a few, like “all colors park” for one with playground equipment in multiple eye-popping shades and “spider web park” for another with a circular rope climber. More and more, neighborhood parks and playgrounds are reflecting the unique communities they’re in, so it’s worth checking them out!
Images courtesy of MPRB