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Minneapolis Parks Foundation > Common Ground > Projects > Great Northern Greenway River Link > Minnesota Twins Community Fund Grant Supports RiverFirst Youth Engagement

Minnesota Twins Community Fund Grant Supports RiverFirst Youth Engagement


MPF will collaborate with Juxtaposition Arts on visioning and designing community connections to the Mississippi River

Minneapolis, Minn. – The Minneapolis Parks Foundation (MPF) received a $50,000 grant from the Minnesota Twins Community Fund to bring fresh ideas, a new approach, and younger voices to the design and development of RiverFirst. A portion of the grant will support an MPF youth engagement collaboration with Environmental Design Studio students at Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA) into the fall of 2016. Since 1991, the Twins Community Fund has led the team’s community work in the Upper Midwest, Southwest Florida and Latin America.

RiverFirst is a Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board-led vision for regional riverfront parks and trails that will transform the Upper Mississippi into a world-class cultural and recreational destination for residents and visitors, as well as a regional economic engine for the 21st century. MPF is the Park Board’s primary philanthropic partner in the public-private RiverFirst Initiative. MPF also contributes design and planning expertise to RiverFirst projects through the Minneapolis Parks Fellow program and private sector support.

“The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is committed to supporting innovation and equity throughout the whole Minneapolis Park system,” said Tom Evers, MPF Executive Director. “As part of implementing RiverFirst, we believe it’s important to expand community and youth involvement in the visioning of community connections to the Mississippi River, along with design and programming of future Upper Riverfront parks and trails.”

The grant will support MPF’s relationship building with multiple youth organizations. MPF’s principal partnership under this grant is with Juxtaposition Arts, through which MPF is hiring youth designers-in-training enrolled in the Environmental Design Studio program. JXTA’s young designers will create and implement planning and engagement for the 26th Ave N Trail Link & Pier Project, a critical trail link and future Mississippi Riverfront destination on what’s being called the Great Northern Greenway.

“We are proud to support the Minneapolis Parks Foundation and its commitment to involving Minneapolis youth in shaping the city’s essential recreational and green spaces,” says Bryan Donaldson, Minnesota Twins Community Fund Executive Director. “This innovative approach to parks- and community-building enhances our commitment to healthy youth, healthy families, and enriching Minneapolis communities.”

About the Minnesota Twins Community Fund

The Twins Community Fund was established as a nonprofit organization in 1991. Its mission is to enrich local and regional communities by providing resources for the healthy development of children and families through an association with baseball, softball and the Minnesota Twins. The Twins Community Fund is governed by a board of directors representative of the Upper Midwest. For more information visit

About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is an independent, donor-supported nonprofit that brings visionary leadership, philanthropic investment and private sector expertise to support innovation and equity throughout the Minneapolis park system. It co-leads the RiverFirst Initiative with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and is responsible for private fundraising and implementation of the Water Works and 26th Ave N to Ole Olson projects. It also supports innovative projects for Minneapolis parks through equity funding and champions world-class design through its Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series. Get involved at


Major Funding for MPF is Provided By:
Minnesota Twins Community Fund | General Mills | The McKnight Foundation
Bank of America Foundation| The Minneapolis Foundation
George Family Foundation| Curtis L. Carlson Foundation


Featured Image: Still from 2015 RiverFirst Vision video, featuring JXTA students

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