Category Archives: Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Observations Regarding “Save the Trees in the Sculpture Garden”

The following item by Minneapolis resident Evelyn Turner was posted on the Minneapolis Issues List on June 8, 2015.


Observations Regarding “Save the Trees in the Sculpture Garden

You can take a tour of the garden using google maps streetview.  The cameras went  up and down the interior paths.  It’s shabby (with out the chic).  In my opinion this is the result of deferred maintenance and impractical design.

Compaction kills plants by blocking absorption of water and nutrients.

Looking at the new plan:

The accessible route (formerly called the handicap entrance) is awful.  Going straight down into the garden starting at the street is part of experience of the garden.  It feels like making somebody use the back door.  Extend the slope to the first cross path for a universal entrance.

The garden should again be encircled with evergreen trees.  The bottleneck and I-94 do not make for a pleasant experience.

Keep flush toilets.  The fragrance used to cover the odor of portapotties is only slightly less nauseating than that  of the contents.

Restrict access to landscaped areas by barriers and thoughtful design.  It will save the trees and shrubs.

I’m underwhelmed by the landscape plan.  With bosques of every local tree it will become the sculpture garden and arboretum.

Evelyn Turner


The following letter-to-the-editor from MPRB Superintendent Jayne Miller regarding the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden was published in the June 8, 2015 issue of the Star Tribune.


Removal of trees is necessary, but affection for them is understood

The removal of trees at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is unfortunate, but necessary. The June 4 commentary requesting that trees be worked around or transplanted (“Trees ­— living sculptures — have earned their place”) reflects how much Minneapolis residents and visitors value trees. We appreciate that. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board spends $10 million annually on our forestry efforts. Our commitment to the urban canopy is locally and nationally recognized. Our dedicated arborists plant and care for approximately 200,000 trees that line city streets and countless others in our 251 park properties. Each and every tree in the Sculpture Garden has been inventoried and studied as part of the Sculpture Garden reconstruction process. However, this reconstruction is not simply a surface renovation. It is a complete rebuild addressing existing below-grade drainage and infrastructure issues.

The need to remove 25 year-old trees to effectively address needed infrastructure was discussed during the extensive public engagement process. The reconstruction of the Sculpture Garden — both at and below the surface — will ensure that the new 360 trees to be planted will be there longer than 25 years.

Jayne Miller, superintendent; Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board‏‏: Petition to Save the Mature Trees in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden‏‏:  Petition to Save the Mature Trees in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

There is a petition being circulated asking the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to Save the mature trees in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.  Here is the link to the petition.

Keep Mature Trees in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

The following commentary by Don C. Willeke, a Minneapolis lawyer, founding chair of the Minnesota Shade Tree Advisory Committee, past chair of the National Urban Forest Council and secretary of the Minneapolis Tree Advisory Commission, was published in the June 3, 2015 issue of the Star Tribune.

Keep Mature Trees in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

The good news is that the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center is in exciting times, with a new $10 million design funded in part by city and state money.

But the terrible news is that most of the large thriving trees in the Sculpture Garden are going to be clear-cut and replaced with new, small, expensive trees.

The handsome existing trees and the land beneath them are owned by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and thus by the citizens of Minneapolis.

To continue reading, click on the link to the StarTribune

Sculpture Garden could get a Meadow Makeover

Sculpture Garden could get a Meadow Makeover

The following article by Eric Best was posted on the Southwest Journal website on January 29, 2015.

Oslund and Associates
The iconic Minneapolis Sculpture Garden could see a renewal of its historic wetlands as part of its $10 million makeover.The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, in partnership with the Walker Art Center, is looking to reconstruct the sculpture garden adjacent to the museum to better its accessibility and reduce costly maintenance, among other goals. The Park Board expects the approximately 12-month construction to begin in August.The garden, known for the “Spoonbridge and Cherry” sculpture, has failing infrastructure, including deteriorated and inadequate stormwater systems, walkways and retaining walls. The project will also improve the landmark’s accessibility and energy efficiency.
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