Monthly Archives: May 2012

Wirth Park Plan Open House June 2

The following item has been distributed by the MPRB:


The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) will hold an open house June 2 and a public hearing June 20 for the proposed concept plan and funding priorities for Theodore Wirth Regional Park.

The open house will provide Wirth Park neighbors and users an opportunity to learn about and comment on the concept plan proposed for the whole park. It will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Saturday, June 2, at the MPRB administrative offices, 2117 W River Rd. The Community Advisory Committee (CAC), which developed the plan and priorities in conjunction with MPRB staff and consultants, will then meet from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. to consider comments gathered since the previous CAC meeting and at the open house to finalize its recommendations to the Board.

The Planning Committee of the MPRB will then hold a public hearing June 20 to review the CAC-recommended plan and funding priorities at 6:30 p.m., in the board room of the MPRB Administrative Offices.

For further information visit the Wirth Park project page: on the MPRB website.

20 Wading Pools to Open Memorial Day Weekend

The following item has been distribuited by the MPRB:


The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is opening 20 of its 65 popular wading pools almost two weeks ahead of schedule, and in time to enjoy over the holiday weekend.

See below for a list of wading pools scheduled to open Saturday, May 26. Historically, wading pools in the Minneapolis Park System opened the day Minneapolis Public Schools released for summer. Recent high temperatures prompted park crews to target opening as many pools as possible. Those not open this weekend will open June 6, the last day of public school in the city, or earlier. The wading pool at Farview Park is under renovation and is expected to open in August once completed.

Wading pool styles range from classic circular pools to others with spray features and waterfalls.

Wading pools are open daily through Labor Day and are free to use. There are no lifeguards on duty, so parents and children are advised to have fun while keeping safety in mind. For a complete listing of wading pools and locations, visit

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board offers more than 75 locations to cool off during the summer, including wading pools, beaches and water parks. For more information about wading pools, beaches and waterparks, or water recreation activities such as swimming, sailing or logrolling lessons, visit


Audubon – 1320 29th Ave. NE

Beltrami – 1111 Summer St. NE

Bossen Field – 5601 28th Ave. S

Brackett – 2728 39th Ave. S

Bryant Square – 3101 Bryant Ave. S

Bryn Mawr – 601 Morgan Ave. S

Corcoran – 3334 20th Ave. S

Dickman – 636 2nd St. NE

Elliot – 1000 14th St. E

Hi-View – 3474 2nd St. NE

Logan – 690 13th Ave. NE

Loring – 1382 Willow St.

Marshall Terrace – 2740 Marshall St. NE

McRae – 906 47th St. E

Mueller – 2509 Colfax Ave. S

North Commons – 1801 James Ave. N

North Mississippi – 5114 North Mississippi Dr.

Pearl – 414 Diamond Lake Rd. E

Wabun (Minnehaha) – 4655 46th Avenue S.

Webber – 4400 Dupont Ave. N

Free Music and Movies in Minneapolis Parks

The Following Information has been distributed by the MPRB:


Beginning the end of May, more than 250 free outdoor concerts and movies will be hosted in Minneapolis parks this summer as part of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s (MPRB) Music and Movies in the Parks series:

Music in the Parks

Featuring more than 200 free outdoor concerts, the 2012 MPRB summer concert season fills the air with music at five outstanding concert venues:

–Lake Harriet Bandshell – 4135 West Lake Harriet Parkway:!music/vstc8=lake-harriet-bandshell

–Minnehaha Park – 4801 South Minnehaha Park Drive:!music/vstc8=minnehaha-falls-bandshell

–Father Hennepin Bluffs Park – 420 Main Street Southeast:!music/vstc8=father-hennepin-bluffs-park

–Bryant Square Park – 3101 Bryant Avenue South:!music/vstc8=bryant-square-park

–Nicollet Island Park – 40 Power Street:!music/vstc8=nicollet-island-amphitheater

The concert schedule features something for every musical taste including Jazz, Latin, Swing, Folk, Rock, Bluegrass, World, Classical and much more. Performers range from solo artists to full orchestras and everything in between. See and enjoy great local talent in beautiful park settings. This season features the fourth installment of the August music and movie series at the Lake Harriet Bandshell. Sponsored by, the series will feature four consecutive Friday night events with nationally recognized artists followed immediately by a movie.

Concerts will continue at the Nicollet Island Park Amphitheater: on Mondays beginning May 28. Every concert begins at 7 p.m., and there will be a special Minneapolis Red, White and BOOM concert and movie event on July 3: following the Hot Dam 5k Fun Run:!__hot-dam-5k . Romantica headlines the concert and will be followed by the movie “Captain America” for this celebration.

Concerts at MPRB’s flagship venue, Lake Harriet Bandshell, are held daily beginning Monday, May 28, through Labor Day, Sept. 3. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Monday–Saturday, and 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Sundays. The Minneapolis Pops Orchestra returns for its 63rd season with five consecutive weeks of Saturday and Sunday performances beginning June 30. All Friday night concerts will be followed by a Movies in the Park presentation, beginning June 15 with “Top Gun.”

Concerts at the scenic Father Hennepin Bluffs Park are held at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, May 28–Aug. 28, in the bandstand on the northeast bank of the Mississippi River near the Stone Arch Bridge. The park is also one of the riverfront sites for the Minneapolis Red, White and BOOM Fourth of July celebration, which features family friendly entertainment and a spectacular fireworks display. Additionally, all Tuesday night concerts from June 12–Aug. 21 will be followed by a Movies in the Park showing.

Concerts at Minnehaha Park are presented Wednesday–Friday at 7 p.m. beginning May 30, through Aug. 31. The Bandstand is east of Sea Salt Eatery and will feature special events such as the Freedom Jazz Festival and the Laughing Waters Labor Day Bluegrass Festival in addition to the great lineup of summer concerts.

Now in its fifth season, Bryant Square Park offers concerts on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. at its Public Outdoor Performance Space (POPS). The POPS amphitheater is located on the hillside south of the park’s recreation center. Performances begin June 5 and run through Aug. 23. Don’t miss a beat – attend a show at this wonderful park near Uptown.

Movies in the Parks presented by Xfinity

If you love movies just as much as you love the outdoors, the MPRB’s Movies in the Parks series:!movies is your ticket to cinematic entertainment this summer!

The 2012 Movies in the Parks series, presented by Xfinity, runs Monday–Saturday nights June 9–Aug. 25. The mobile program will travel to more than 30 parks throughout the summer including Tuesday nights at Father Hennepin Bluffs Park, Fridays at Lake Harriet Bandshell and Thursdays rotating between Powderhorn Park and Victory Memorial Drive in north Minneapolis. Seven new and exciting themes offer films for all movie lovers including New Releases, Totally 80s, Family Fun Night, Kung Fu Theater, Baseball Classics, Fright Night and All-Time Classics. Plus, there will be four Viewer’s Choice nights where fans can vote for the movies they want to see. All movies begin 15 minutes after sunset.

All concerts and movies are free, and everyone is welcome to attend. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, pack a picnic, and don’t forget the bug spray! For the most up-to-date schedules and weather related information, visit You can also follow Music and Movies in the Parks on Twitter:!/mplsmusicmovies and like the series on Facebook: . Join us in the parks and enjoy a summer filled with entertaining sounds and scenes.

Public Open House and Public Hearing Scheduled for Wirth Park Concept Plan

The following notice was published by the Bryn Mawr Neighborhood Association in the Bryn Mawr Bugle:


The Open House offers the public an opportunity to learn about and comment on the proposed Concept Plan for the park. A brief presentation of the plan will be provided at 11:00. The CAC will meet immediately following the open house to consider comments from the open house and staff and to finalize their recommendations to the Board.


The Public Hearing will take place during the Planning Committee of a regular Park Board meeting. The CAC recommendations on the Concept Plan and Funding Prioritization will be presented to the Planning Committee.

Public comments to the Planning Committee will be taken during the public hearing. The Planning Committee will have the opportunity to take action on the CAC’s recommendations. If approved, the full Board will have the opportunity to approve them at a following meeting in July (meeting date t.b.a.).


Theodore Wirth Regional Park

Public Open House

Saturday, June 2, 2012

10:00a.m.-12:00 Open House (presentation at 11:00)

12:00 -1:00 p.m. CAC discussion

MPRB Headquarters, Board Room

2117 West River Road

Minneapolis, MN 55411


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

(5:00 Board Meeting Begins, Sign in for public hearing)
6:30 Public Hearing

MPRB Headquarters, Board Room

2117 West River Road

Minneapolis, MN 55411

*** Check the MPRB website for information on the Wirth Beach Grand Opening scheduled for June 9th!

Minneapolis Beaches Currently Open; Lifeguards on Duty Beginning June 9: Water Parks and Wading Pools Open Early June

The following notice has been issued by the Park Board:



As temperatures continue to rise into the heat of summer, the desire to cool off may be satisfied right in your neighborhood. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) offers many ways to beat the heat, including 12 beaches, 65 wading pools and two water parks.

Beaches are currently open, with lifeguards on duty beginning Saturday, June 9. Water parks and wading pools open early June. For more information about beaches, water parks, wading pools and other water recreation activities, visit


Beaches are open daily 6 a.m.–10 p.m., with lifeguards scheduled June 9–Aug. 19 at the busiest beaches during peak use. Beach preparations, including buoy placement and sand raking, are typically completed prior to Memorial Day Weekend.

MPRB beaches are located at Calhoun, Cedar, Harriet, Hiawatha, Nokomis and Theodore Wirth lakes.

Lifeguards are on duty beginning June 9 from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. daily at East Cedar and Lake Calhoun Thomas beaches and 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Thursday–Sunday at Cedar Point, Lake Calhoun 32nd, Lake Harriet North, Lake Nokomis 50th, Lake Nokomis Main and Theodore Wirth Lake beaches. Lifeguards are not provided at Cedar South, Lake Calhoun North, Lake Harriet Southeast and Lake Hiawatha beaches.

Swimming docks are located at Cedar Point, Lake Calhoun Thomas, Lake Harriet North, Lake Nokomis 50th and Theodore Wirth Lake beaches.

The MPRB proactively monitors water quality at its beaches and takes action to close beaches if needed. Water quality data and beach closings are posted at and the MPRB Beach Hotline at 612-313-7713 during the swimming season, June–August. The water quality of MPRB beaches is typically very good and rarely results in beach closings.


Before opening for the season June 9, Jim Lupient Water Park will host a special Preview Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, June 2–3. During the Preview Weekend, the water park, located at Northeast Park, 1520 Johnson Street Northeast, will be open 11 a.m.–8 p.m. (weather permitting). Admission is $6 over 42”; $5 under 42”; children two and under are admitted free. Adjacent to the water park, admission to the 18-hole Grand Rounds Miniature Golf Course is free during the Preview Weekend with a paid water park admission or the purchase of a water park season pass. Available only during the Preview Weekend, those who buy a season pass will receive a punch card that allows for five free guest admissions to the water park during the summer. Season pass holders also benefit by having access to reduced miniature golf course admission rates of only $1 per day during the regular season. Jim Lupient Water Park features three large water slides, a tube slide, a log water walk, interactive sprayers, lap swimming lanes, and zero depth entry. Younger children can enjoy a separate spray pool. Other amenities include colorful shade structures, concessions, a grassy sun-bathing area and outside shower towers and lockers. The regular season at the water park is June 9–Aug. 26. Hours are Monday-Friday 1–8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m.–8 p.m. For more information on fees, season passes, swim lessons and facility rentals, visit or call 612-370-3989.

The North Commons Water Park, managed and operated by YMCA Greater Twin Cities, is open June 7–Aug. 26. Hours are Monday–Friday Noon–8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Located in North Commons Park, the water park features speed and loop slides, a shallow water pool, water playground, geysers and funbrellas. For more information about fees, season passes and facility rentals, contact the YMCA at 612-588-9484, or visit

The Webber Pool, which was built in 1979, is scheduled for demolition and construction of a new, natural edge aquatic facility is slated to begin later this summer. The new pool facility will use a natural wetland filtration system, eliminating the need for chlorine, and have a natural pool edge with spaces for lap swimming, wading and open swimming. Construction on the pool project is expected to be completed for the 2013 swim season. For further information about the Webber master planning process and the new pool, visit the park’s project page: or sign up to receive email updates:


Many of the MPRB’s 65 wading pools are located near playgrounds, picnic areas, sports fields, walking paths and restrooms. Wading pools at North Mississippi Park and Wabun Picnic Area open June 2 while all other wading pools, excluding the pool at Farview Park, are scheduled to open June 6. The Farview Park wading pool is currently under renovation and is expected to open in August. Most pools remain open through Labor Day. Lifeguards are not on duty at any of the MPRB’s wading pools. To find a wading pool near you, visit or call 612-230-6400.


Swimming lessons for various ages and skill levels are available at Jim Lupient Water Park, Lake Calhoun Thomas Beach and Lake Nokomis Main Beach. Two-week sessions are held June–August with eight lessons per session. Lesson fees are $45 for Minneapolis residents and $55 for non-residents. Register for swim lessons online at


Swimmers ages 18 or older can train on courses outside of buoyed swim areas during designated times under lifeguard supervision at Lake Calhoun and Lake Nokomis.

Open-water swimming technique coaching and training is available at Lake Calhoun North Beach, courtesy of OptumHealth Performance. Events and clinics are scheduled Thursdays from 5–8 p.m., June 14–Labor Day for $5 per session. Register online at or the day of an event.

Free, authorized, independent open-water swim opportunities are available Tuesdays, 5:30–7:30 p.m. June 12–Aug. 14 at Lake Nokomis Main Beach.


For more information about water recreation activities, including boat rentals, river cruises, fishing and sailing and logrolling lessons, visit sign up to receive email updates:

Sixth District Dog Park Update

The following item has been issued by the Park Board:


We hope you are enjoying your spring and know that many of you are interested in an update on the dog park construction.

We are anticipating that the construction documents will be complete by June 1. We will then go out to bid to determine the contractor and secure any necessary permits. We are aiming to begin construction in July with an early fall completion. The exact timing for opening the park will depend on how quickly the contractor can advance the project, and this is typically dependent on weather conditions.
Expect to hear more from me as the project moves into construction.

More to come!

Best, jbr

Park Board Set to Buy Land Along N E Riverfront for $1.37 Million

The following article by Nick Halter was published in the May 14, 2012 edition of the Southwest Journal:


The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board plans to purchase a 1.75-acre parcel of land along the upper riverfront in Northeast Minneapolis that would help with the expansion of bicycle and pedestrian trails along the river.

The land is a couple parcels north of the Scherer Bros. lumber site, which is just north of the Broadway Bridge. Some may know the space as the valet parking lot for Psycho Suzi’s.

The Park Board on May 2 approved a purchase agreement for the land — at 1720 Marshall St. NE — for $1.37 million.

The land is currently owned by Marshall Street Properties. It includes 354 feet of riverfront.

The land has a market value of $1.3 million, according to a Park Board memo. It was purchased in 1988 for $700,000.

Funding for the project is expected to come from the Park Board’s Riverfront Development fund, which has a $1.25 million balance, and from the Metropolitan Council. Additional funding could also come from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization.

There is currently a 37,780-square-foot building on the property, which is used for storage. Previously, it was a manufacturing facility. Park Board Superintendent of Planning Bruce Chamberlain said the Park Board would use the facility for storage and operations for the short-term, but the land would be primarily open when parks are developed.

The Park Board in March passed a design plan and framework for the upper riverfront called RiverFirst. This property, according to the resolution, would be a “critical acquisition” for that plan.

The thinking at the Park Board has been that trails along the east side of the river would be the first step in implementing the RiverFirst plan, which also includes developing a park at the Scherer Bros. site, connecting North Minneapolis to the river via a greenway, and adding bike bridges to existing bridges.

The Park Board is in line for a federal transportation grant that is administered by the Met Council. Staff, as of last month, still hadn’t found out if funding was made available. That grant would fund trails along the east side of the river.

Heads-Up for the May 16, 2012 Park Board Meeting


5:00 P.M. REGULAR BOARD MEETING. The meeting will be held in the boardroom at Park Board headquarters, 2117 West River Road, just north of Broadway Pizza.


5:30 P.M. OPEN TIME. Speakers can call 612-230-6400 before 3:00 p.m. the day of the meeting to sign up or they can sign up at the Board Meeting prior to the start of “Open Time.”

6:30 P.M. PUBLIC HEARING for Powderhorn Park Path and Lighting Improvement. The public is invited to comment.

The complete agenda, with staff reports, for the MPRB Board of Commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 is at

Also of interest and now available to the commissioners and the public are the monthly reports that Superintendent Miller has initiated for construction permits and for Planning Department projects. The availability of these reports is one of the important changes instituted by Superintendent Miller. Look for the links to these reports under Petitions and Communications in the agenda for the first Regular Meeting of the month.

MPRB meetings are telecast live from 5-9 p.m. on the City of Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel 79 on Comcast cable and online at

The regular meetings are retelecast on Channel 79 at 1 p.m. Saturdays and 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. Webcasts for the recent two months are posted two to five business days after the meeting and are available for viewing under “Webcast Archives” at

The Park Board’s website is The phone number is 612-230-6400.

Arlene Fried

Co-founder of Park Watch

Park Board Adding Polish to ' Hidden Gem ' of Brownie Lake

The following article by Kaitlyn Walsh was published in the May 7, 2012 issue of the Star Tribune:

Park Board Adding Polish to ‘Hidden Gem’ of Brownie Lake


The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is planning a rejuvenation of Brownie Lake that just might raise its profile.

Canoeists cruised the shallows of Brownie Lake last year.
Photo: David Joles, Star Tribune

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is expected to start construction next year at Brownie Lake, the little and lesser-known member of the Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis, to make it easier to access and enjoy by fixing disjointed paths, adding a pedestrian bridge to create a continuous loop around the lake, and rejuvenate the rundown bike trail.

The Park Board is in the design phase of the project, which was approved by the Park Board March 21 and will cost around $1 million.

The lake, a 28-acre site tucked between Theodore Wirth Park and Cedar Lake, is encircled with mostly deciduous trees and dense green shrubbery. It offers a bit of nature not far from the bustle of downtown Minneapolis: Turtles sunbathe on rotted logs on its edge, wood ducks skim its surface, and the chirp of red-winged blackbirds carries over the distant hum of Interstate 394 traffic and the occasional train passing by on the east side tracks.

But many of the dirt paths are disjointed, the bike trail is worn out, and the forest is overrun with buckthorn.

The infrastructure of the lake has been practically untouched for decades, but with a $610,000 grant from the state’s Legacy Amendment and about $500,000 in federal funding administered by the Metropolitan Council, the Park Board will construct a pedestrian bridge over the channel that connects Brownie to its neighbor, Cedar Lake, creating a continuous path, and build a one-mile mountain bike trail on the west side, said Deborah Bartels, the project manager.

In May 2013, as part of the project, the Minneapolis Department of Public Works will refurbish the sanitary sewer lift station on the east shore of the lake, which is over 50 years old, Bartels said. The construction will cause periodic closures of Cedar Lake Parkway.

The bike trail on the west side of Cedar Lake Parkway will be revamped or replaced, which is the Park Board’s priority based on feedback from the Community Advisory Council, a group of area residents chosen by the Park Board in 2010 to help determine the project’s goals, Bartels said. She said the Park Board improvements will start in summer of 2013.

“The neighborhoods around [Brownie Lake] treasure the natural beauty of it and would like to maintain that quality,” Bartels said. “There will be some damage caused to the park because of the construction, but it will recover.”

The Park Board will also repair sites of erosion and renovate storm pipes. There will be an ongoing effort to remove buckthorn that has infested much of the forest and replace it with native plant life, Bartell said.

Bartels said the Park Board may host discussions about the watershed that dumps into Brownie Lake to improve the quality of the storm water running into it and discuss treatment of water upstream of the lake.

Brownie Lake is a bit of a Twin Cities secret, according to Ron Leonhardt, the human resources director for a medical device company. He said he visits the lake about three times a week, often accompanied by his wife, two sons, or dog Laila, as it is a five-minute walk from their home in the South Tyrol Hills Neighborhood in Golden Valley.

On the weekends, he said he sees few people walking along the untamed dirt paths and maybe a couple with fishing poles. Any canoers that end up at the lake, he said, probably happened upon the tunnel that connects Brownie to Cedar Lake and just ended up there.

“It’s an adjacent little detour for most people,” Leonhardt said, not their destination. And the minimally manicured landscape and the seclusion this hidden gem provides is part of its charm, he said.

Brownie Lake and its siblings, Cedar, Harriet, Calhoun and Isles, are what draw people to the area, Leonhardt said.

“It’s the reason we stay in this neighborhood,” Leonhardt said.

Kaitlyn Walsh is a University of Minnesota journalism student on assignment for the Star Tribune.

The M P R B Guide to Summer Activities is Now Available


If you’re looking for great ideas for fun in the sun in Minneapolis, check out the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s (MPRB) 2012 Summer–Fall Guide. Now available in low-resolution and high-resolution versions online and in print mid-May, the 40-page, full-color guide highlights the park system’s attractions, including beaches, gardens, golf courses and historical sites, and a variety of activities, free concerts and movies and events. New in the guide are details about day camps, golf schools, environmental and gardening programs, and water recreation activities such as swim and sailing lessons and logrolling.

The Summer-Fall Guide also includes details about popular park eateries, great places to hold a wedding or corporate event, and fun recreation center programs and classes for youth and adults.

The guide is a convenient and online-friendly 8½” x 11” publication. It is posted online at in both low and high-resolution formats for easy viewing and printing.

The guide will be mailed to annual patron parking permit holders and will be available at MPRB recreation centers, Hennepin County Libraries in Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Convention Center mid-May. For more information about the park system or to request a copy of the guide, call 612-230-6400.