North Commons

North Commons redevelopment is a community-rooted vision for realizing the park’s potential as the center of cultural, social, and economic vitality for North Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is collaborating with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and community partners to build momentum around the North Commons vision. Centered on park capital investments – including a new three-story tournament-quality community center and state-of-the-art water park – the renewed park will be a local gathering place where youth, families, and neighbors find community throughout the year, as well as a regional destination for jazz festivals and art fairs, Juneteenth celebrations, and athletic tournaments.

Key Partners

Seeds to Harvest community coalition
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
Minneapolis Parks Foundation

Community Vision

Situated directly between North High and the YMCA, North Commons covers nine blocks and 26 acres. More than 12,000 kids live within a one-mile radius, making it one of Minneapolis’s most densely populated neighborhoods. Already affected by historic and persistent systemic inequities, residents and businesses in North Minneapolis are bearing an outsize burden because of COVID isolation and its economic impacts, as well as an increase in violence amid the city’s reckoning with safety in public space for Black and Brown people.

“How are the children?” Seeds to Harvest’s guiding question was muralized at North Commons, summer 2021. Photo by Tamika Garscia

Enter Seeds to Harvest, a coalition of community members and organizations led by neighborhood residents, who are championing a vision for North Commons that would change the perceptions of North Minneapolis, generate revenue for local businesses, and use events to help underwrite the costs of participation in character-building athletic, service, and civic programs.

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation’s work as convener of Reimagining the Civic Commons (RCC) will also inform the project. Emerging out of concerns about increasing economic segregation and social isolation, the core RCC belief is that civic assets like parks can counter these trends by fostering engagement, elevating equity, prioritizing environmental sustainability, and promoting economic development.

Related Initiatives

Reimagining the Civic Commons
People for Parks Fund
North Commons Recreation Center and Water Park (MPRB)