SOUTHWEST JOURNAL'S PARKS UPDATE

The following Parks Update is from the March 24, 2008, issue of the Southwest Journal. It is Mary O’Regan’s last Park Board article; she is no longer with the Southwest Journal. We will miss her.

Parks update
Mary O’Regan

Bringing back swim docks

During open time at the March 5 Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) meeting, Fulton Neighborhood Association member Steve Young asked commissioners to consider bringing back docks to the city’s lakes.

All of the rules imposed at the lakes have essentially turned them into wading pools, Young said, adding that his family goes instead to Shady Oak Beach in Minnetonka, which charges a fee for beach usage but has more amenities.

Linden Hills resident Brad Bart agreed, saying that when his family visited Lake Calhoun, they weren’t allowed to play with inflatable toys, splash, throw anything or play tag, so they ended up leaving. Bringing back docks would be a reasonable thing, he said.

According to Lakes District Manager Paul Hokeness, the docks were removed in the early ’80s due to the high cost of installing them each year, paying extra lifeguards and safety concerns.

Ninety-five percent of the rescues back then were around the docks, said Hokeness who was once a lifeguard for the MPRB, adding that floating docks proved to be even more hazardous because kids could slip under them.

New sign at Linden Hills Park

Visitors to Linden Hills Park may notice a new sign at the park’s entrance. The Park Board approved the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council’s request to use Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) funds to install the $7,000 sign, which will have a bulletin board design to communicate announcements to the neighborhood.

Golf rates to go up at Minneapolis courses

The Park Board’s Administration and Finance Committee has approved new rates for the 2008 golf season at Minneapolis courses.

The cost of playing 18 holes at Meadowbrook Golf Course off Excelsior Boulevard went up $1 (to $32) and weekday rates will stay the same at $28. An 18-hole game at Wirth Golf Course at 1301 Theodore Wirth Pkwy. also went up $1 for weekend play, making the fee $30, and remained $26 on weekdays. Additionally, the cost of an 18-hole weekend patron card, which gives golfers advance-registration privileges, went up $1, making it $25.

The Park Board also decided to move up the date that fall rates will apply from Columbus Day to the first Monday in October, meaning golfers will have lower rates for two more weeks each season. The rates went up $1, however, bringing the cost to $19 on weekdays and $23 on weekends and holidays.

The price of season passes to Minneapolis golf courses has also increased. A seven-day/full-season pass to any course now costs $1,365 for adults, $1,225 for kids or seniors, and $930 for kids or seniors playing Monday—Friday. Passes for seven-day/full-season usage of a specific course cost $1,025 for adults, $920 for kids and seniors, and $700 for kids and seniors golfing Monday—Friday.

Cart rental fees have also increased. An 18-hold cart now costs $28 and 9-hole carts cost $16. Seniors are eligible for a $2 decrease and during the fall, carts cost $22. At Wirth Par 3 course, carts now cost $12 for nine holes.

Men’s and Women’s league registration has increased to $65 for residents and $70 for nonresidents, which will allow for greater money awards in competitions.

According to a memo from Tim Kuebelbeck, the Park Board’s director of golf, the rate increases will generate $172,250 in additional revenue for the organization. He noted that fees were determined based on rates at comparable facilities in the Twin Cities, ensuring that Minneapolis’ courses will stay competitive. Visit minneapolisparks.org for more information.

Keep signs off the parkways

The Minneapolis Park Police has issued a statement asking residents to refrain from putting signs on park property, including advertisements for garage sales, open houses and community events. Under the city’s ordinance, unapproved signs are considered a public nuisance and will be removed.

Foundation for Minneapolis Parks’ board of trustees

The Foundation for Minneapolis Parks, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public parks in the city, elected three new members to its board of trustees:

Steve Dowling currently works as the director of marketing operations for Tradition Golf and holds leadership positions in several golf associations.

Wendy Holmes is the vice president of consulting and resource development for Artspace Projects, a local nonprofit real estate developer for the arts, and has worked in the development departments for Minnesota Public Radio, Walker Art Center and
Macalester College.

Patrick Klinger has been the vice president of marketing for the Minnesota Twins since 1999, overseeing advertising and broadcasting projects.

The new members will serve three-year terms alongside five other members, including MPRB President Tom Nordyke and General Manager Don Siggelkow.