As I reflect on the past decade of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, there are countless reasons I am grateful for the ways your generosity has made our parks system better.
This year alone is filled with moments of generosity that have made a meaningful, long-lasting impact. The passion, dedication, and generous support of our community is like spring sun for the tree canopy – it energizes and sustains our parks and provides benefits beyond measure. And like trees turn sunlight into energy, we turn your generosity into new and enhanced park features, community programs and events that connect people more deeply to the power of parks.
As I look back, I can point to dozens of inspiring activities and initiatives in 2023. A few that come to mind include:
- The creative artistic installation from the Juxtaposition Arts youth apprentices who turned a quiet stretch of the Great Northern Greenway leading to the River Overlook into a double entendre homage to the mighty Mississippi and the Riverview Supper Club, an iconic feature of the Minneapolis music scene. By investing in their exploration, we deepened their personal connection with our public realm and created future champions for the Minneapolis Riverfront.
- Hosting international thought leaders Mikyoung Kim, José Gonzáles, and Nisha Botchwey who expand how we think about the beauty and power of parks in shaping our communities, protecting the planet, and improving wellness – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
- Investing in community design for the improved North Commons Park that incorporates all voices to ensure its vision truly reflects the future city we are striving to build. In the past year, we’ve secured more than $11 million for the construction and future programming of this site.
- Targeted investments through the People for Parks Fund including pickleball equipment and lessons at Folwell Park, free swim lessons for kids, bike repairs for everyone, new benches along Minnehaha Creek, sailing scholarships at Bde Maka Ska, and other programs that connect people to the natural world and each other in our parks.
Ultimately, the mission of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation is as much about people as it is about parks. The Parks Foundation is creating a movement of people who deeply believe that parks transform our lives and that Minneapolis parks are some of the best places in the world. The future of the Parks Foundation is brighter than ever before, and I am excited to see what the next 20 years will bring. If you love Minneapolis parks and are in a position to make a year-end contribution, I ask you to help the Parks Foundation do even more in the years to come. With your support, we can ensure everyone can experience firsthand the true power of our parks. Thank you!