Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is an independent, semi-autonomous body responsible for the Minneapolis park system. With 251 park properties totaling 6,790 acres of land and water, the Park Board provides places and recreation opportunities for all people to gather and engage in activities that promote health, well-being, community and the environment. Its Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, neighborhood parks, recreation centers and diversified programming have made the park system an important component of what makes Minneapolis a great place to live, play and work. More than 21 million annual visits are made to the nationally acclaimed park system, which was named the number one park system in the nation in 2013, 2014 and 2015 by The Trust for Public Land’s 2015 ParkScore® Index.
Department of Landscape Architecture
University of Minnesota College of Design
The Department of Landscape Architecture, College of Design, University of Minnesota, intends to aid students and government agencies in the Twin Cities and the state to build capacity for landscape architectural practice. The specific aim of this engaged graduate Research Assistantship will be to assist agencies in the examination of emerging best practices around sustainability, interdisciplinary professional and agency collaboration, and emerging market trends and societal needs more generally as they converge on complex problems faced by agencies that seek to protect and enhance the public realm and natural and cultural resources. Various management and policy rubrics, performance metrics, and emerging certifications such as B-3 – the Minnesota Sustainable Building Guide, Minnesota Green Step Cities, LEED-ND and Sustainable Sites have begun to create new multifunctional, performance-based imperatives and aesthetic criteria in landscape architectural projects both public and private. The long term goal of the program will be to have both a prospective strategy to increase project capacities in agencies in the metro and the state to bring innovative and integrative landscape-based approaches to solve the challenging problems while providing a more engaged approach to building professional careers in landscape architecture that also builds on the professional and academic strengths based in the Twin Cities.