The following letter to editor was published in the Star Tribune on May 21, 2016.
MINNEAPOLIS PARKS: Historic Funding Agreement Ensures Vitality for Generations
Wednesday was a historic day for Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board unanimously approved a 20-year neighborhood parks funding agreement negotiated with the city. Together, these concurrent ordinances will ensure that we remain a “city of parks” for future generations.
The agreement secures an additional $11 million for parks annually for the next 20 years to be invested in long-term maintenance needs in our neighborhood parks. The agreement includes $3 million annually dedicated to operations so that our parks remain well-kept and maintained.
This agreement met the priorities of a broad coalition of Minneapolis citizens and groups, including the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, to secure long-term sustainable funding for neighborhood parks.
In a time when acrimony captures the headlines and gridlock has become the status quo, true governmental collaboration goes unheralded. Yet, as in our day-to-day lives, parks have the power to bring people together. The Minneapolis City Council and Minneapolis Park Board showed us how good government works. We commend the leaders and staff of both. Thanks to this landmark cooperative process, Minneapolis will continue to invest in the nation’s best park system and ensure that no matter where you live in this city, you will have a vital and vibrant neighborhood park nearby.
Tom Evers and Sarah Harris
The writers, respectively, are executive director and chair of the board of directors for the Minneapolis Parks Foundation.