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Minneapolis Parks Foundation > Common Ground > News Releases > Minneapolis Parks Foundation awards $48,270 in 2022 People for Parks Fund Grants

Minneapolis Parks Foundation awards $48,270 in 2022 People for Parks Fund Grants

Armatage Neighborhood Association, Cultural Wellness Center, Friends of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Friends of Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Minneapolis Sailing Center, and Urban Bird Collective will receive funding for equity-aligned projects and programs

Minneapolis, Minn. – The Minneapolis Parks Foundation announced $48,270 in 2022 People for Parks Fund grants to support community-grown, equity-aligned programs in Minneapolis parks. The grants will support nine projects led by seven organizations, including the Armatage Neighborhood AssociationCultural Wellness CenterFriends of the Boundary Waters Canoe AreaFriends of Lake NokomisMinneapolis Park and Recreation BoardMinneapolis Sailing Center, and Urban Bird Collective. Programs and projects will take place in nearly every corner of the city and serve a range of parks users, including children, adults, trail users, birdwatchers, swimmers, and more.

The People for Parks Fund was created through the Parks Foundation’s 2020 consolidation with People for Parks, a nonprofit that for 42 years provided grass-roots support for activities in Minneapolis parks. This year is the second year that grants – ranging from $3,500 to $10,000 each – have been made from the Fund, which are selected by the People for Parks Fund Advisory Committee, a volunteer group of community members and Parks Foundation board members. This year’s grantmaking also included for the first time a disbursement from the Mary Ann and Harold Feldman endowment for the People for Parks Fund. Last year’s inaugural round of funding was $34,880 to five organizations for six programs. Grantee stories can be found on the Parks Foundation’s blog, Common Ground.

“We’re delighted with how the People for Parks Fund is growing and becoming a meaningful resource for communities transforming lives and local parks,” says Tom Evers, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation’s Executive Director, who notes that a number of 2021 grantees reapplied. “Our mission is to align community vision and philanthropic investment, and the People for Parks Fund provides a tangible, immediate impact for Minneapolis communities using the power of parks to connect us, heal us, and make us whole.”

About the 2022 People for Parks Fund Grants

In evaluating grant applications, the People for Parks Fund Advisory Committee prioritized alignment with the Parks Foundation’s “guiding themes,” especially equity and cultural inclusion, as well as resilience to climate change, community health and wellbeing, connections to the natural world, and economic vitality. This year’s grant recipients are:

  • Armatage Neighborhood Association, for the Washburn Avenue Tot Lot project, which will create a beautiful natural vegetation barrier between the park and adjacent alleyway, increasing safety for nearby families, improving aesthetics, and benefiting pollinators.
  • Cultural Wellness Center, for Slow Roll events, which empower people to rediscover, reconnect and reimagine their communities, together, by bike.
  • Friends of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and CLUES, for Boundary Waters Day at a Minneapolis park for the CLUES YA! youth and mentors.
  • Friends of Lake Nokomis, for a landscape intervention to preserve the adjacent trail, ease lake access during periods of low water and reduce nutrient loading from erosion in the lake through shoreline stabilization.
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, for three grants for Afro-cardio yoga at North Commons Park, swimming lesson instruction and bussing for children enrolled in the summer Rec Plus program at Webber and Harrison recreation centers, and East Phillips Outdoor Adventures offering fishing, bicycling and camping skills with Youth Program and Naturalist staff for ages 5-17, and field trips to state parks for ages 12-17.
  • Minneapolis Sailing Center, for the MSC Outreach Program, which makes sailing accessible by removing barriers to sailing and outdoor recreation through Free Sailing Sundays, field trips with local non-profits, and scholarships for young sailors.
  • Urban Bird Collective, for exploring Minneapolis parks and waterways with the Urban Bird Collective, supporting safe and welcoming space along the way.

Origin of the People for Parks Fund

The People for Parks Fund carries forward People for Parks’ 42-year legacy of supporting community-grown parks projects. Founded in 1977, People for Parks identified and directed $2.5 million to Minneapolis parks through grant making, fundraising events, and fiscal agency. Its work included support for the Lake Harriet Bandshell rehabilitation, Wabun universal access play area (the first of its kind in Minneapolis) and the nature playscape at North Mississippi Regional Park, as well as numerous neighborhood park projects throughout Minneapolis.

About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation mission is to transform lives through parks and public spaces by aligning philanthropic investment and community vision. Since 2003, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation has raised more than $26 million for transformative parks and programming in Minneapolis Parks by aligning philanthropic investment and community vision. Today, the Parks Foundation champions equitable investments in Minneapolis parks with Reimagining the Civic Commons, the North Commons regional vision, and the RiverFirst Initiative, through which Water Works and Great Northern Greenway River Link projects were made possible. The Parks Foundation also supports community-based parks projects with the People for Parks Fund, and explores the intersection of public space with the key issues of our time by presenting the Next Generation of Parks™ Event Series. Learn more and become a supporter at

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Featured image: Traditional Somali Games at Currie Park 2021

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