People for Parks Fund

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2023 People for Parks Fund Grants

This year, we’ve made 11 grants totaling $57,570 through the Minneapolis Parks Foundation’s People for Parks Fund. Eight organizations were selected from a pool of 44 applicants to receive support in 2023: Baztec Outdoors, Folwell Neighborhood Association, Huellas Latinas, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Minneapolis Sailing Club, Minneapolis Southwest High School Performing Arts, Mississippi Park Connection, and Urban Strategies. For details about the projects and activities being supported, please read the announcement.

To read stories and see more photos from these grantees, please visit our blog Common Ground.

Grants in 2021 and 2022

Since introducing the program in 2021, we’ve granted over $80,000 for 15 projects and activities, including youth swimming and snowboarding lessons, bird watching for BIPOC adults, Slow Roll community bike rides, and Afro Cardio/Yoga classes, and much more.

Past grantees have included: Armatage Neighborhood Association, Cultural Wellness Center, Heritage Youth Sports Foundation/Twin Cities Sol Futsol Academy, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, Friends of Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Minneapolis Sailing Center, The Loppet Foundation, Urban Bird Collective.

About the People for Parks Fund

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.

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.

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.

Current Advisory Committee Members

Jasmine Russell – Committee Chair
Jay Halvorson
Jennifer Herman Spiller
Judy Hohmann
Miluska Novota
Dan Peterson
Jean Sazevich
Marsha Yang

Fundraising Activities

Proceeds from the Fund’s signature fundraising event and bench and paver sales help support the grants program.

Posters for Parks Show
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 an annual event each October and is joint venture with

Bench and Paver Sales
All memorial benches and pavers within our program are placed at the Lake Harriet Bandshell or near Bde Maka Ska. Proceeds from memorial bench and paver orders go directly into supporting the People for Parks Fund. Information on prices, sizing, and message length, can be found here: Order a Bench or Paver

All other memorial benches around Lake Harriet and throughout Minneapolis parks are managed by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Their information can be found here or by calling customer service at 612.230.6400.

History of People for Parks

Founded in 1977, People for Parks identified and directed $2.5 million to Minneapolis parks through grant making, fundraising events, and fiscal agency during its 42-year history. Its work originated with Dutch elm disease and grew to include support for the Lake Harriet Band Shell 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.