Common Ground

Connecting a Community

In 2010, Paul Reyelts brought to the Minneapolis Parks Foundation the vision of a renewed gathering place at St. Anthony Falls, where the shuttered Fuji Ya restaurant had sat vacant for more than two decades. This initial vision would blossom into the beautiful park and pavilion space we are days away from opening to the public.

Additionally, in 2016, Reyelts agreed to chair the RiverFirst Capital Campaign Committee, the group charged with raising the funding needed to ensure the Water Works concept – together with its companion project upriver, the Overlook at 26th Ave N – became a reality.

As we near the opening of these two new riverfront destinations, we’re revisiting a story that ran in our 2017 annual report, in recognition of Paul’s innumerable contributions to Minneapolis parks and the Mississippi Riverfront.

Connecting a Community

(Originally published in our 2017 Annual Report)

“With RiverFirst, we’re asking people to invest in public spaces that will be a significant contributor to the identity of the city, making it a more attractive place to live and a more exciting place for visitors. This is good for the economy, good for jobs — good for everyone.

“But the bigger story here is that parks are much more than trees and grass and a nice place to enjoy nature. When properly designed and programmed, parks connect neighborhoods and convene people from all walks of life in a way that builds community.

“That’s why we’re seeing donors stepping up to support the Minneapolis Parks Foundation’s public/private partnership. They want to ensure everyone in the city has access to a world-class park system. As we look at embracing the river in a new way, our work has to be worthy of what our predecessors did more than a century ago when they first imagined this parks system. The good news is we’re up to the challenge.”

—PAUL REYELTS, RiverFirst Campaign Chair

Featured Image: Paul Reyelts by Mark Heithoff

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