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Minneapolis Parks Foundation > Common Ground > People for Parks Fund > News Release: Minneapolis Parks Foundation Invites Applications for 2021 People for Parks Fund Grants

News Release: Minneapolis Parks Foundation Invites Applications for 2021 People for Parks Fund Grants


Debut round of the newly created grant program will distribute up to $35,000 in equity-aligned grants to community-based groups and individuals working in Minneapolis parks

Minneapolis, Minn. – The Minneapolis Parks Foundation today invited community members and groups with projects and programs in Minneapolis parks to apply for inaugural People for Parks Fund grants.

The People for Parks Fund Advisory Committee approved up to $35,000 for distribution in equity-aligned grants during the 2021 grant cycle, which runs May 1-December 31, 2021. Grants will be awarded to 501c3 and 501c4 organizations, government entities, community groups, and others that have a fiscal agent. Grant applications are being accepted March 15-April 16, 2021, via, where formal Grantmaking Policies & Criteria can also be found.

The People for Parks Fund, which is overseen by the community-based volunteer Advisory Committee, exists to advance under-supported projects and programs in Minneapolis parks and to serve as the catalyst for connecting community-driven ideas and funding that nurture stewardship, community and enjoyment of Minneapolis parks. In evaluating grant applications, the Advisory Committee will prioritize 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. Applications and FAQs are available on the website in English, Spanish, and Somali. 

“Throughout Minneapolis, neighborhood residents, local organizations and parks and recreation staff are coming up with new ways that parks can better serve the people who use them,” says Tom Evers, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. “Our mission is to transform lives by aligning philanthropic funding with community vision, and we’re delighted to carry forward the legacy of giving by People for Parks through the new People for Parks Fund. Community directed investments will make an immediate difference in our parks and neighborhoods.”

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation established the Fund in 2020 through a consolidation with another nonprofit called People for Parks. 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.

“The People for Parks Fund Advisory Committee is thrilled to be able to carry forward a legacy of supporting community-grown projects and programs in Minneapolis parks through this grant program,” says Steve Bailey, Chair of the Advisory Committee, a Parks Foundation Board Member and former member of the People for Parks Board of Directors.

About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation

Since 2003, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation has raised more than $25 million for transformative parks and programming in Minneapolis Parks by aligning philanthropic investment and community vision. Today, the Parks Foundation champions equitable investment in Minneapolis parks through the RiverFirst Initiative and Reimagining the Civic Commons and is responsible for private fundraising and implementation of the Water Works and Great Northern Greenway River Link projects. The Parks Foundation also supports community-based parks projects with the People for Parks Fund, and explores the intersection of parks and today’s most pressing issues by presenting the Next Generation of Parks™ Event Series. Learn more at

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Featured image: Bethune playground and pool grand re-opening, 2016

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