Monthly Archives: July 2007

HOW TO PRESENT CITIZEN CONCERNS TO THE PARK BOARD

THE BASICS: Park Board meetings are on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. They begin at 5:00 p.m. with Open Time at 5:30 p.m.

If you want to speak during Open Time, you need to call the Park Board (612-230-6400) before the meeting to sign up. It’s best to call on Monday or Tuesday prior to the meeting, but no later than 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday. If only a few people are signed up, then you will probably have three minutes to speak. Having a prepared statement to refer to is helpful. When you are through speaking, the Park Board president will refer your question or concern to a staff member. It’s a good idea to have a copy of your concern to give to Don Sigglekow, Park Board secretary.

Committee of the Whole Meeting

Details for
Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Commissisoners Meeting

Commissioners Walt Dziedzic, Bob Fine, Carol Kummer, Mary Merrill Anderson, Tom Nordyke, Tracy Nordstrom, Scott Vreeland, Annie Young and President Jon Olson

Date: 7/30/2007
Time: 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Type: Special
Location: Boom Island Regional Park
Address: 700 Sibley St. NE

see agenda attachment for details

uploaded07-30-07cow.pdf

Park notebook: High-maintenance trees

By Mary O’Regan

Park Board reviews superintendent’s workplan
Part of Minneapolis Park & Recreation Superintendent Jon Gurban’s three-year contract renewal includes following a workplan designed by the commissioners. At the July 11 board meeting, the commissioners reviewed a draft of the plan, which consists of ideas submitted by board members and ranked in order of priority.

Adherence to the Park Board mission tops the 12-item list, followed by completing the Comprehensive Plan, which is available for public comment at minneapolisparks.org until
Aug. 3.

Read more here Downtown Journal

Park Board’s Draft Comprehensive Plan Offered for Public Review

Open Houses and Comment Period Scheduled
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) announced that its draft Comprehensive Plan will be available for public review July 16 through August 3. The Board is seeking public comment on the plan, which will map the course for the park system in the future. The plan is available on http://www.minneapolisparks.org and copies will be available for review at MPRB recreation centers, district offices and golf courses and Minneapolis public libraries. Those wishing to comment may use the comment cards provided or comment online at MPRB Draft Comprehensive Plan.


Three open houses are scheduled at the following times and locations:
7-8:30 p.m., July 17, Powderhorn Park Recreation Center, 3400 15th Ave. S., Minneapolis 55407 Spanish interpreters provided. Additional language accommodations available upon request; call
612-230-6472 at least 48 hours in advance

12:30-2 p.m., July 19, Loring Park Community Center, 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis 55403
Language accommodations available upon request; call 612-230-6472 at least 48 hours in advance

7-8:30 p.m., July 24, Folwell Park Recreation Center, 1615 Dowling Ave. N., Minneapolis 55412
Language accommodations available upon request; call 612-230-6472 at least 48 hours in advance

There will also be an opportunity for public comment on August 15 during a Park Board planning committee meeting at 2117 West River Road, Minneapolis 55411.
All written comments received during the public comment period will become part of the official record. The final version of the MPRB Comprehensive Plan may be modified as a result of the comments received during the public review period. The final version of the plan will be submitted this fall to the Park Board for approval.
The Comprehensive Plan sets a vision for the future of the Minneapolis park system. In the fall of 2006, the MPRB launched a process that gave all city residents, park users and local elected officials the opportunity to share their thoughts about the community’s park and recreation needs. The process included a questionnaire mailed to 172,300 households, town meetings, focus groups, appointed community leader workshops and a statistically valid phone survey. The goal was to determine top community park and recreation needs.

CITY PLANNING COMMISSION REJECTS DELASALLE STADIUM PLAN

( from the Friends of the Riverfront website)

The Minneapolis City Planning Commission voted July 16, 2007 to deny DeLaSalle High School’s application to build a stadium over an historic street and public parkland on Nicollet Island. The Planning Commission followed the recommendations of the Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) department to deny a street vacation and conditional use permits for the stadium.

The planning commission also passed a resolution asking the Minneapolis City Council not to take action on the proposed vacation of Grove Street until pending court appeals are resolved and the Metropolitan Council decides whether to lift the current restrictive covenant that prohibits stadium construction on the Nicollet Island parkland. Planning Director Barb Sporlein told the commission that staff were researching whether it is possible for the city council to grant a “conditional vacation” — in order to avoid permanently vacating a street that the Minnesota Court of Appeals could decide must be protected, for a project the Met Council could reject because it removes regional parkland and violates the land’s public open space covenant.

Planning Commissioners, in upholding myriad city plans the stadium would violate, had this to say:
– Commenting on the stadium’s design and site plan, Commissioner Ted Tucker said, “It needs to look like a public park, not like a part of the DeLaSalle campus.”
– Commenting on the importance of public open space in the city, Commissioner Lara Norkus-Crampton said the DeLaSalle stadium “would be a tipping point in the wrong direction” for Nicollet Island.
– Commenting on Minneapolis initiatives to connect to the Mississippi River, Commissioner Lauren Huynh said, “Vacating Grove Street is against what we’re trying to do as a city.”

Speaking in support of the CPED recommendation to deny the stadium application
were representatives from:
– National Park Service – Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
– Friends of the Mississippi River
– Sierra Club – North Star Chapter
– Preservation Alliance of Minnesota
– Nicollet Island-East Bank Neighborhood Association

For links to the planning commission findings Friends of the Riverfront

Board Meeting

Details for
Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Commissisoners Meeting

Commissioners Walt Dziedzic, Bob Fine, Carol Kummer, Mary Merrill Anderson, Tom Nordyke, Tracy Nordstrom, Scott Vreeland, Annie Young and President Jon Olson

Rebroadcasts of current meetings can be seen on Channel 14 only on Thursday at 2 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m. Rebroadcast of the previous meeting can be seen on Channel 14 on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. and Thursdays at 9 a.m.

Date: 8/15/2007
Time: 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Type: Regular
Location: MPRB Administrative Offices, Board Room Suite 255
Address: 2117 West River Road

Park Board Agenda

Board Meeting

This meeting will be preceded by a Committee of the whole session
4-4:30 open to the public
4:30-5:00 closed… 201 Building offers

Details for
Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Commissisoners Meeting

Commissioners Walt Dziedzic, Bob Fine, Carol Kummer, Mary Merrill Anderson, Tom Nordyke, Tracy Nordstrom, Scott Vreeland, Annie Young and President Jon Olson

Rebroadcasts of current meetings can be seen on Channel 14 only on Thursday at 2 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m. Rebroadcast of the previous meeting can be seen on Channel 14 on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. and Thursdays at 9 a.m.

Date: 8/1/2007
Time: 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Type: Regular
Location: MPRB Administrative Offices, Board Room Suite 255
Address: 2117 West River Road
Park Board Agenda

JUNE 20, 2007 PARK BOARD MEETING

The highlight of the June 20, 2007, Park Board meeting was the Board’s approval of its 2008 legislative bonding bill. The total amount to be requested of the legislature is $20,700,000 for five projects. According to
a staff report, “the 2008 budget process will be driven by the Comprehensive Plan, once it is Board approved.”

Listed below in order of priority are the five projects comprising the Park Board’s 2008 legislative bonding bill request:

1. Grand Rounds Scenic Byway–$10,000,000

2. Regional Park Playgrounds–$2,000,000

3. Father Hennepin Regional Park–$2,000,000

4. Theodore Wirth Regional Park–$5,000,000

5. Health & Wellness Centers–$2,700,000

WATER SAFETY PATROL

The following letter to Park Watch is from Chip tenBensel, who has had experience as a lifeguard, a water safety instructor and a camp aquatics director. His letter has been condensed:

WHAT IS A LIFE WORTH?

On Saturday, June 9, I was going to sail with a friend down at Lake Calhoun. Earlier that morning, the morning regatta had been canceled due to high winds. When we got to the lake, the winds were still too strong for us to go Out. Around the lake, there were at least three sailboats having trouble with the wind, two sailboats with their masts snapped off and one that was flipped. There were kayakers, people in canoes, and people in paddle boats that were having a difficult time with the strong winds that were funneling down through the bridge by the Lake Calhoun Refectory. I wondered why it was taking the water safety patrol so long to aid the sailors and people on the lake that were having trouble with the wind. I asked my friend “Where is the water safety?” He said there were none; that because of budget cuts, the Minneapolis Park Board had cut the funding for water safety patrols on all the lakes in Minneapolis. If this is true, the “City of Lakes” is in trouble.

On the beautiful warm and sunny days, the lakes are filled with people enjoying the water from the novice to the experienced. It is the water safety patrol’s responsibility to monitor the lake activity and respond as
necessary. I grew up going to most of the lakes in Minneapolis and in an emergency, the water safety patrol was at potentially dangerous situations minutes before any Minneapolis fire stations responded to the call.

There is a firehouse on the northwest side of Lake Calhoun, but the time it takes to call 911 and have the EMS system activated is longer than the time the water safety patrol could possibly respond. This could mean the difference between life and death, because the amount of time a person can survive without oxygen is around four minutes. This is not a commentary on the fire and rescue in the state, but a sad commentary on the lack of the Park Board’s responsibility to make our lakes and beaches safer places.

So the Minneapolis Park board wants to save some money. If there is a lawsuit, the resources wasted will far outweigh the costs of a water safety patrol and of endangering the lives of those from aquatics accidents. Even the best swimmers have known to drown in the lakes. Without any water safety patrols, we are only to tarnish Minneapolis’ fine reputation of the City of Lakes.

Does the Minneapolis Park and Recreation care?

Chip tenBensel
Minneapolis
chippychunga@hotmail.com