One of the core goals of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation is to increase access to our city’s invaluable parks and green spaces. Parks have the incredible ability to transform our communities by increasing environmental sustainability, fostering engagement, and countering trends like economic segregation and social isolation.
It’s crucial that each and every Minneapolis resident has access to the resources and programming that our natural spaces provide, which is why I’m excited that the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has approved a design concept for the North Commons Park renovation.
The North Commons renovation and expansion is a community-rooted vision for realizing the park’s potential as a driver for increased economic vitality and a community center for North Minneapolis. With more than 12,000 kids living within a one-mile radius of the park, North Commons is one of Minneapolis’ most densely populated neighborhoods and has been affected by many historic and systemic inequities.
The North Commons Park renovation will be the largest neighborhood park renovation project in the history of Minneapolis, and it will transform a much-loved space into a thriving community hub. In addition to the improvements at North Commons, investments around the park at North High School and other civic investments are aimed at addressing long-standing aspirations for North Minneapolis and create a campus approach to programming.
The new park design, estimated to total $35 million in renovations, includes a tournament-quality community center and state-of-the-art water park, among many other high-quality facilities for youth sports, social gatherings, and creative activities.
But what does all of this mean for the community?
The North Commons concept is designed to offer endless possibilities for recreation, education and connection, including:
- Sporting events at newly renovated fitness facilities and swimming pools;
- After-school education initiatives, including tutoring services, mentorship, and leadership programs for youth;
- Fitness programs, social activities, and health care services for seniors; and
- Access to top-notch amenities, workshops, and meeting spaces to foster tight-knit neighborhood connection.
The Minneapolis Parks Foundation has already raised $10 million to contribute to these efforts and we are excited to continue working with the community to raise more for this once-in-a-generation renovation, including seeking critical additional funding from the legislature this year and additional philanthropic gifts to complete this vision. If you’d like to donate to support North Commons Park or support our efforts to secure funding at the Capital, I encourage you to contact us at email@example.com.
Image features a concept rendering of the new multi-use field house at North Commons Park, courtesy of Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.