Category Archives: Yacht Club Facility

Yacht Club Facility



5:00 P.M. REGULAR BOARD MEETING. Committee meetings to follow. The meetings 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 need to sign up before 3:00 p.m. the day of the meeting.

This meeting is the last meeting that David Fisher will be attending as Superintendent. His four month stint as interim superintendent ends on October 31. We are grateful that he accepted the invitation to come to Minneapolis to fill this position.

This meeting is a meeting with many significant agenda items. The most important item on the agenda is the vote to approve the employment agreement with Jayne Miller, who–at the last meeting–was selected by a unanimous vote to be the new MPRB Superintendent.

Some highlights of the meetings that will be voted on :

The I-35 Bridge Memorial.
The concession agreement with Bread & Pickle at Lake Harriet.
The reconvening of the CAC for the Wirth Beach Project III.
The non-appointed CACs for two playgrounds at Lake Harriet.

There will be a presentation of the Superintendent’s 2011 Recommended Budget. This is a report item and will not be voted on at this time.

The following is the link to the complete agenda, with staff reports, for the MPRB Board of Commissioners’ meeting of Wednesday, October 20:

MPRB meetings are broadcast 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 rebroadcast 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

Arlene Fried, Co-founder of Park Watch


As a result of citizen pressure, the Board voted at the March 4, 2009, meeting on an expanded CAC charge:


They also voted for a one-year food concessions contract with Wheel Fun/Fun Time. General Manager Don Siggelkow presented this one-year contract to the Board without a competitive bid and he failed to follow Park Board procedures which require that contracts get approvals in committee BEFORE coming to the full Board.

Commissioner Mary Merrill Anderson asked Don Siggelkow if the Wheel Fun agreement had been approved in committee and he said that it had been “discussed” in committee. When she pressed him again, he indicated that it had, which was misleading because the one-year contract with Wheel Fun/Fun time was NEVER voted on in committee as it should have been. So the board can chalk up another procedural violation.

Arlene Fried
Co-founder of Park Watch

Letter of the day: Will Park Board take Calhoun paradise, rebuild a parking lot?

The following item appeared March 10 on the Star Tribune’s editorial pages as the letter-of-the-day:

Regarding the March 5 article “Windsurfers fear losing easy access to Lake Calhoun”: I have watched the windsurfers on Calhoun for the past 25 years. Their beauty and excitement entertain from April through November. It would be sad to push out this little bit of Hawaii from the lake with an ill-conceived reconstruction project.

– Jan Lane, Minneapolis

StarTribune: Windsurfers fear losing access to Lake Calhoun

The StarTribune is reporting that Twin Cities windsurfers may find their access to Lake Calhoun in jeopardy due to development plans the Park Board wants to pursue. The area used by windsurfers to prepare and launch might become too small for such use if planned parking lot modifcations are made. Wind surfers were forced off Lake Harriet more than a decade ago. Windsurfers are not happy with the plan.

Read the entire story on the StarTribune website.

A Heads-Up for the June 6, 2007 Minneapolis park board meeting

There will be a 20 minute Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board study session on the CALHOUN MASTER PLAN UPDATE beginning at 4:00 p.m. in the Minnehaha Room on the second floor of the MPRB Headquarters Building at 2117 W. River Road prior to the regular Board meeting this Wednesday. This meeting is open to the public.

Also on the study session agenda will be the Grand Rounds Missing Link
and Net Debt Bonding from State.

The Superintendent’s Review Committee will meet at 7:15 p.m. for a review of RECOMMENDED TERMS FOR THE SUPERINTENDENT’S NEW CONTRACT. This meeting will be in the Board room and also is open to the public. The regular MPRB meeting will be at 5:00 p.m.

If you have any questions, you can call the Park Board at 230-6400.

Potential Lake Calhoun Development, Linden Hills Neighborhood Council presentation

From the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHiNC) web site:

Potential Lake Calhoun Development

LHiNC’s goal regarding neighborhood issues is to act as a liaison between all entities and give residents accurate information.

If you have additional information you would like posted to this site, and/or changes please contact our Coordinator.

Calendar of Events:

Sailing Club Presentation: Linden Hills

Thursday, January 26

7:00 p.m.

Linden Hills Park (43rd/Xerxes)

Representatives from the Calhoun Sailing Club will be presenting their thoughts on moving the Sailing School to the South Shore of Lake Calhoun. They will discuss their concerns about the current location and share the information that they presented to the park board’s planning committee.


Current Status:

January 12, 2006: LHiNC has arranged a meeting with the Sailing Club on January 26. We are working on getting Park Board representatives to attend.

Lake Calhoun South Shore Development Meeting

For anyone who cares about the green space & privatization of our park system, on Tuesday, Dec. 6th, 7 P.M. at 43rd and Xerxes (Park Bldg), the Linden Hills neighborhood will have Park Commissioners – Bob Fine, Annie Young, M. Anderson, Tom Nordyke presenting a Lake Calhoun Development proposal for the south shore. Both Linden Hills and ECCO read a resolution to the Park Board on June 15, 2005 opposing any building on this pristine shore.

Carl Holmquist

Star Tribune Commentary: Charles Birnbaum: Park Board isn't staying true to Wirth's vision

In an October 28 Star Tribune Commentary, Charles A. Birnbaum, founder and president of the Cultural Landscape Foundation in Washington, D.C., writes about how the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is considering privatizing, selling off and even giving away precious Minneapolis public park property:

» From Atlanta to Seattle, our nation’s legacy of urban parks are under siege from a variety of threats — expansions by neighboring institutions, new parking lots and new “destination features.” Minneapolis is no exception.

In the age of video games and attention deficit disorder, “open space” has become a dirty word. Parks are seen as a void that must be filled, “programmed” to amuse all comers.

Who decided that strolling under a canopy of trees is not a sufficient experience in its own right? Have we stopped valuing the humanizing scale and tactile marvels of nature? Do we still appreciate our history and public gardens?

This national trend to clutter park grounds with activity-oriented “focal points” is lamentable and perplexing because park users themselves are not demanding change. According to surveys conducted over the past two decades, the majority of Americans visit parks specifically for passive, reflective experiences.

Within an emotional and politically charged atmosphere, small but vocal groups are taking control of the public debate to advance their own narrow agendas — resulting in ill-conceived park redesigns. Democratic spaces are being privatized with partial closing of parks for special events, construction of additions, long-term leases to special interests and private concessions — changing the character of the landscape irrevocably.

These formulaic alterations to our parks have their own needs for long-term maintenance with more parking and more pavement. Strip away the historic. Make way for special interests (this is often the real objective). Today “green” too seldom means a generous sweep of trees and lawn with the songs of birds, and too often means dollars and the ching-ching-ching of cash registers.

Minneapolis is a city blessed with one of the nation’s premier systems of parks and boulevards, yet based on current proposals that I saw on my trip to the Twin Cities last week, it appears that elected park commissioners and their appointed superintendents are today considering privatizing, selling off and even giving away precious public park property. «

Read the rest of the commentary on the Star Tribune web site.

Spokesman-Recorder: Who's guarding the city's jewels?

«What do you think of when you think about parks? Children at play? Summer League teams locked in a little friendly competition? A stroll around the lakes? A family picnic?

Playfully scrawled beneath the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s (MPRB) website header are the words “Playing for Life,” with each letter a different color. This suggests that the stewardship of the city’s nearly 6,400 acres of parks and open greens paces is a light and fun affair in which cordial and selfless commissioners staunchly defend our urban parklands against threats from developers.

But the reality is different. A culture of backdoor wheeling and dealing now dominates the park board, increasingly at the expense of the parkland, waters, and open green space the board is entrusted to protect.

Private developers have recently set their sights on several properties owned by the public. Developers for Crown Hydro have been relentless in trying to turn St. Anthony Falls on the Mississippi River into a power generator; several board members with ties to DeLaSalle High School have been accused of subverting the pubic input process to help the Catholic school build an athletic facility on Nicollet Island, which is both a city and a regional park; there is a move to sell off the lot at 58th and Washburn; and there is a developer’s plan to expand the yacht club on south Lake Calhoun, a high traffic area used by walkers, skaters, bikers and others.

Private developers are present en masse at every park board meeting, lobbying to secure the six votes necessary to sell land owned by the city and maintained and cared for by the park board. … »

Read full article by Rashard Zanders at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.

In Defense of Open Spaces

The Sept./Oct. issue of Preservation magazine from the National Trust for Historic Preservation has an essay called “In Defense of Open Spaces.” Some excerpts:

« In the age of video games and attention deficit disorder, “open space” has become a dirty term. Open space in America’s parks is being wiped out, revised, or populated by new structures and parking lots. Municipal officials tend to see such space as a void that must be filled, “programmed” to amuse all corners.

This national trend — the cluttering of reposeful park grounds with activity-oriented “focal points” — is lamentable and perplexing, not least because park users themselves aren’t demanding change. According to surveys conducted over the past two decades, between 70 and 80 percent of American park users visit them specifically for passive, reflective experiences, not for entertainment. …

In Seattle, Occidental [Square] is an open, European-style square with a Jones & Jones-designed glass pavilion — now used mainly by transients — and cobblestone paving. The Project for Public Spaces would like to overhaul the space completely, removing its trees and the glass structure and painting the facades of surrounding historic buildings. The group has even proposed replacing the uneven cobblestones with Astroturf! …

Other public spaces are in effect being privatized. This can be seen in the partial closing of Manhattan’s Bryant Park for two months a year due to special events — for example, the Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week and a car show — and in construction of new additions elsewhere … When such additions appear in previously open parkland, the character of the whole landscape is changed irrevocably.

All are associated with more parking and more pavement, all adorned and embellished with off-the-shelf outdoor furniture and lights. Strip away the historic. Make way for special interests (this is often the real objective).

In many urban settings today, fractured communities abut public landscapes where old and young, rich and poor must coexist. These spaces can work. … People who live near and play in these cities’ parks have become their greatest defenders.

Those of us who value continuity are increasingly cast as “standing in the way of progress” or “out of touch.” Imagine that we didn’t use such labels. Imagine that we built a common foundation of knowledge to guide the planning process before new designs were given form. »

The essay is by Charles A. Birnbaum, a landscape architect, who is the coordinator of the national Park Service Historic landscape Initiative and the founder of the Cultural Landscape Foundation.

Link to full article at National Trust web site.