Equity & Cultural Inclusion

Minneapolis Parks Foundation > Equity & Cultural Inclusion

CASE STUDY

Equity & Cultural Inclusion
The Minneapolis Parks Foundation believes everyone has an ownership stake in the future of our park system, regardless of historic barriers that often separate us.

Nearly every resident of Minneapolis lives within walking distance of a park—but not every park has the resources it needs, or access to the wider social and economic opportunities that have earned our park system world-class status. Solving this community problem with smart civic design, creative community engagement, and generous private support is the focus of our work at the Minneapolis Parks Foundation.

Since 2003, the Parks Foundation has been bringing together diverse perspectives to help advance innovative and community-oriented park design, promoting stewardship of Minneapolis parks among emerging community leaders, and ensuring that our city parks equitably reflect and serve residents from every walk of life—especially in neighborhoods that have been historically underserved.

Our Work in Action

Making Space for Youth

Paddling by Upper Harbor Terminal with JXTA and Wildnerness Inquiry

Beginning in 2016, the Parks Foundation has partnered with Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA) on community engagement and design visioning for future riverfront parks in North Minneapolis. The goal is to give JXTA apprentices a real-world project to dig into, while bringing youth voices – especially youth of color – to the parks planning process in a meaningful way. After four years of exploring North Minneapolis’s connection to the Mississippi and talking with community, the apprentices designed the interpretive steel rail that is featured in the Great Northern Greenway Overlook – the first new riverfront park in North Minneapolis in nearly a generation.

A Champion for Equitable Parks Funding

Humans of Minneapolis, Bethune Park, 2016 ®Stephanie Glaros

In 2016, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation focused its support behind a successful referendum that increased public funding for neighborhood parks. Now in practice at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board as NPP20, through it the park system is beginning to address a variety of equity and access issues within the parks system using a Racial Equity Matrix to guide future capital investments to neighborhood parks most in need of accelerated investments.

Talking About Equity and Inclusion

Sabina Ali (R) with State Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, 2018

Through our long-running and always-free Next Generation of Parks Event Series, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation opens up a conversation about the intersection of parks and public space with race, access, culture, and economic status. Our speakers have included NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, urban planner Maurice Cox, Sabina Ali of Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park, and artist Lily Yeh.

Updated May 2020

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