Past Projects

Since 2003, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation has been dedicated to connecting people to each other and the natural world through parks. Explore some of our recent past projects that our donors and partners have made possible through their generous support.

Biohaven Islands (2011)

Together with our partners the Minneapolis Parks Foundation launched seven floating islands in Spring Lake, a severely impaired pond in the Lowry Hill Neighborhood of Minneapolis as part of an effort to restore the area to its original designation, as a bird and wildlife sanctuary.

Primary Partners: MPRB, ASLA-MN, Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association, Blake School, Bassett Creek Watershed Management Organization

_[ (Minne the Lake Creature) (2009-2015)

_[ is a sculpture by artist Cameron Gainer. Nicknamed “Minne the Lake Creature,” the sculpture made its way into the hearts and minds of Minneapolis parks visitors when it summered in the city’s lakes from 2009 to 2015. In 2017, Minne was retired from Minneapolis lakes and returned to the sculptor.

Primary Partner: MPRB

Minneapolis Parks Fellow (2015-2019)

The Minneapolis Parks Fellow was an adjunct position that focused on park design and planning to address opportunities and issues that intersect with parks. Bruce Chamberlain, FASLA, held the position from 2015-2019, with a concentration on planning and implementation of RiverFirst signature projects, including Water Works, Great Northern Greenway River Link, and Upper Riverfront neighborhood trails and connections.

Primary Partner: MPRB

Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition (2010-2011)

In September 2010, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, with creative partners the Walker Art Center and University of Minnesota College of Design announced an international design competition to address 5.5 miles of Minneapolis’ Upper Mississippi River, extending from the Stone Arch Bridge to the northern city limits. The early vision for RiverFirst was selected as the winning concept from a pool of 55 submittals from 14 countries on five continents.

Primary Partners: MPRB, Walker Art Center, University of Minnesota College of Design

Minneapolis Riverfront Development Initiative (2011-2013)

In April 2011, the Minneapolis Park Board established the Minneapolis Riverfront Development Initiative (MRDI) as a special project to carry through the promise of connecting people from near and far with new multifunctional Upper Riverfront parks along “America’s fourth coast.” The MRDI was charged with transforming RiverFirst from a visionary concept to a workable plan for short- and long-term parks-based development. More than 60 agency and community partners, along with a broad spectrum of community members, were directly involved in the MRDI.

Primary Partner: MPRB

SiteSeeing (2013)

Summer 2013 saw a group of kids at Webber Park Rec+ Program experience a one-of-a-kind design and planning program created just for kids. Through a series of field trips and creative and analytical exercises, they discovered “what’s there” and “what’s missing,” on the way to creating their own ideas of “what could be” for the neighborhood around their park. 

Primary Partner: MPRB

YOUR DONATION helps us transform lives through parks and programming.