People for Parks Fund

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The People for Parks Fund exists to advance under-supported projects and programs in Minneapolis parks and to serve as the catalyst for connecting community-driven ideas and funding that nurture stewardship, community, and enjoyment of Minneapolis parks.

2021 People for Parks Fund Grants

In 2021, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation awarded $35,000 in its debut round of People for Parks Fund grants, providing funding for six equity-aligned programs in Minneapolis parks that span the city and the seasons. This year’s grantees are the Heritage Youth Sports Foundation/Twin Cities Sol Futsol Academy, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, The Loppet Foundation, and Urban Bird Collective. To read stories and see more photos from these grantees, please visit our blog Common Ground.

We expect to announce the next grant round in early 2022. Please sign up for our newsletter to be notified. For further information regarding the grant program, please email Christine at Give@MplsParksFoundation.org.


About the People for Parks Fund

Created in 2020 with the consolidation of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation and People for Parks, the People for Parks Fund carries forward a 42-year legacy of grassroots support for Minneapolis parks through a grants program and fundraising events.

Grants Program

The People for Parks Fund Advisory Committee recommends grant guidelines and goals for annual grant distributions, which are announced in the spring. All grants will be directed in support of Minneapolis parks and organizations whose mission supports Minneapolis parks. Proceeds from bench and paver sales and signature fundraising events help support the grant program.

Advisory Committee
The People for Parks Fund Advisory Committee recommends and guides the annual process for setting grant priorities, a timeline for seeking proposals, distributing grants, methods for tracking results, and capturing stories about the impact of each grant. The Advisory Committee also works with volunteers to produce Fund-supporting events.

2021 Advisory Committee Members

Steve Bailey – Committee Chair
Michele Girard
Jay Halvorson
Angelica Klebsch
Dan Peterson
Jasmine RuKim
Jean Sazevich
Marsha Yang

Fundraising Events

Posters for Parks Show (Fall)
The show is a free and family-friendly event that features limited-edition posters created by local artists and designers, inspired by Minneapolis’ award-winning park system. Posters for Parks is a joint venture with LoveMplsParks.org, and in 2021 it raised a record $36,000 for the PFP Fund and local artists. 

Root Beer Run (Spring)
The Root Beer Run is open to all people from throughout the community who want to be active in our parks and who enjoy root beer—with or without ice cream! Participants choose to run, walk, or stroll either a 1⁄2-mile or full mile and then receive root beer after they cross the finish line. 100% of all registration fees are donated to People for Parks, a Minneapolis nonprofit that sponsors programs and projects to enhance and promote our city’s parks.

Bench and Paver Sales
Proceeds from the sale of benches at Lake Harriet and pavers at Lake Harriet and Bde Maka Ska support the People for Parks Fund.

Order a Bench or Paver


History of People for Parks

Founded in 1977, People for Parks has identified and directed $2.5 million to Minneapolis parks through grant making, fundraising events, and fiscal agency. Its work originated with Dutch elm disease and grew to include support for the Lake Harriet Bandshell rehabilitation, Wabun universal access play area – the first of its kind in Minneapolis – and the nature playscape at North Mississippi Regional Park. In 2020, People for Parks consolidated with the Minneapolis Parks Foundation.

People for Parks History (pdf)

YOUR DONATION helps ensure the parks in our city remain accessible, equitable and serving everyone.