Curious to know what's happening in the fifth park district? Open this message to find out!
View this email in your browser
Share on Facebook Like 5th District Dispatch V7.4 on Facebook

Coronavirus Response

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has been working closely with the Minneapolis Health Department, Minneapolis Office of Emergency Management and the Minnesota Department of Health, which is leading the statewide response. Park buildings are closed and programs have been cancelled through at least April 10th. As our community navigates the changes to our lives wrought by this global pandemic I have been heartened by the smiles and hellos exchanged at a respectful distance across park trails and grassy expanses. Being physically distant has not diminished the kindness of strangers partaking in our natural spaces and I am grateful for that. 

As we begin a two week order tonight from Governor Walz to stay at home I want you to be aware of a few park specific impacts of that order.  Exercise for you and your leashed pets is allowed under this order. Hiawatha Golf Course is closed and being prepared for the golf season, please do not recreate on the areas within the fence. The parkways around Lake Nokomis will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning on Monday evening, with the exception of a one way lane to grant access to homes directly on the western parkway, to allow for greater opportunity for social distancing during the stay at home period.

Highlighted segment of parkway below will have one-way traffic in one lane during the closure.

As my teenager illustrated to me, knowing what six feet is between two people isn't always second nature so here are some helpful comparisons: the width of a sedan is about six feet, as are two adult golden retrievers standing nose to tail, or an adult's bicycle from wheel edge to wheel edge. Asphalt trails within the parks range from 8-10 feet in width, sidewalks are typically 5 feet wide. Walking can also be done off-trail, and with hundreds of acres of park lawns across the city that provides a lot of space for social distancing. If you do decide to go cross country, you'll want sturdy footwear, and if you have them, poles, as the moles have been busy underground as the soils thaw in some areas of the park system.  

Park spaces near water tend to be busier, now is a great time to visit a neighborhood park for your walk instead --find the neighborhood park closest to you at

The most up-to-date information about the park's response to this global pandemic, can be found here:
Short PSA on park use guidelines.

Planning Projects

Master Planning for Hiawatha Golf Course Property

The Latest:  

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) will share a draft design that will guide the future of the Hiawatha Golf Course Property on Thursday, April 9, 2020. The draft design, called the Draft Preferred Design Alternative, will be published online on the Hiawatha Golf Course Property Master Plan project page.

The plan will not be presented in person as originally planned due to COVID-19 and recent recommendations issued by the Minnesota Department of Health. Instead, the Draft Preferred Design Alternative will be presented online and feedback on the draft design will also be taken online. The survey, presentation and draft design will be available throughout the spring.

More details on how the meeting is presented and where to view it will be sent out within the next few weeks via gov delivery to those subscribed to updates. Below is the Hiawatha Golf Course Master Plan schedule and process moving forward.

Master Plan Schedule

Spring 2020

  1. Draft Preferred Design Alternative published and presented April 9
  2. Public feedback on Preferred Design Alternative accepted online
  3. Preferred Design Alternative finalized and included in Draft Master Plan

Summer 2020

  1. Draft Master Plan published for 45-day public comment period
  2. Draft Master Plan presented to Board of Commissioners (informal presentation, no vote)
  3. Public comments tabulated
  4. Master Plan finalized based on public comments
  5. Final Master Plan considered by Board of Commissioners
    1. Public Hearing and consideration in MPRB Planning Committee
    2. Master Plan passed out of Planning Committee considered by full Board of Commissioners

Fall 2020

  1. Master Plan approved by Board of Commissioners sent to the Met Council for review and approval
  2. Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park Master Plan is amended with Hiawatha Golf Course Property Master Plan

Below is a more detailed explanation of the schedule and process moving forward with the Hiawatha Golf Course Master Plan.

Master Plan Amendments

The Hiawatha Golf Course Property is part of Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park. Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park had its Master Plan approved in 2015, so this upcoming Master Plan for the golf course property will be amended into the overall Nokomis-Hiawatha Master Plan.

The Master Plan amendment process is fairly common – the Nokomis-Hiawatha Master Plan has already been amended once, in 2017, to include Urban Agriculture Areas and a plan for athletic fields at Lake Nokomis Park.

Comment Period

This summer the Draft Master Plan Amendment will be released for a minimum 45-day public comment period.

During the public comment period there will be an informational presentation of the Draft Master Plan Amendment to the Board of Commissioners, but no action will be taken by the Board. People will be able to view the draft plan and comment on it via email, postal mail or online survey.

Comment Themes

After the comment period closes, the design team will catalog all comments and place each into themes, respond to each theme, and rank each theme by its potential impact on the project.

Low impact themes have little impact on the project and are considered easily incorporated in the final plan by the design team prior to approval. Medium impact themes diverge from the intent of the project and are considered at odds with the plan. High impact themes completely diverge from the intent of the project and would require restarting the project if they were considered.

Board Approval Process

After the design team tabulates all comments and modifies the plan based on comments, the Final Master Plan Amendment will be created. All low, medium, and high impact themes will be provided to the commissioners and attached to a Board action. Medium impact themes will be summarized and brought before the Planning Committee to be considered for adoption into the final Master Plan Amendment.

A public hearing will be held before the Planning Committee of the Board of Commissioners and the Committee will consider the plan, forwarding its recommendation to the full Board of Commissioners. At the following meeting, typically two weeks later, the Full Board of Commissioners will consider the plan.

If a plurality of commissioners vote to approve, the plan is considered fully approved by the MPRB and then will be sent to the Metropolitan Council for its adoption and amendment into the Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park Master Plan.

Process Beyond the Master Plan Amendment

A good deal of time and community engagement is required between master plan approval and the start of construction on any changes to the Hiawatha Golf Course Property.

Master Plans detail the conceptual level of the design process. Schematic Design follows the Master Plan, in which major project elements, systems, and decisions are defined, and costs are reasonably estimated.

After Schematic Design comes Design Development, in which major project elements and systems are designed, the ability to construct and permit the project is fully demonstrated, and cost is further refined. Then Final Design and Construction Documents takes place. The design is complete and ready for construction, permits are obtained, issues are resolved and cost estimate is finalized.

Each step narrows focus until a final set of construction documents is created and approved by various regulatory agencies for construction. This process will take a few years to complete and the community will be engaged and informed throughout.

If you have questions or comments about the project can be submitted here:

Previous Action

At the July 25, 2018 Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) of Commisioners meeting, commissioners approved a modified Resolution 2018-230 after the Hiawatha Golf Course Property Master Plan CAC requested clarification on the parameters of the new master plan for the property.

After a lengthy public testimony period and board debate, commissioners voted 6-2 to approve the modified version of Resolution 2018-230. The modified resolution directs the CAC to only consider a reduced pumping scenario and bring forward a solution that includes, at a minimum, a flood-resilient and ecologically-driven nine-hole configuration for a golf course on the property.

The modified Resolution 2018-230 also included Board direction to the CAC to reflect in the master plan appropriate methods of recognizing the role of Hiawatha Golf Course and the history of black golfers in the Minneapolis park system.

Please visit the project page for more information and to sign up for notification of upcoming meetings.

Minnehaha Creek Parkway Regional Trail Master Plan

The Latest:
No new updates at this time.

Previous Update:

At its Feb. 10 meeting, the Minnehaha Parkway Regional Trail Community Advisory Committee (CAC) completed its work and made recommendations to the Board of Commissioners for the entire creek corridor.

The master plan recommended by the CAC is the result of around 18 months of community engagement and features several visionary design ideas. It was a collaborative effort between the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and the City of Minneapolis to chart a 30-year vision for the corridor.

🌳Ecology and Water Management💦

Ecological enhancement, flood mitigation and stormwater management are at the heart of the plan. At full implementation the plan would:

Add 1.7 miles to the creek's length within Minneapolis

Create numerous water-cleansing, habitat-enhancing wetlands and floodplain improvements

Turn the Lake Harriet tributary into an open, free flowing stream

Remove enough phosphorous to achieve City of Minneapolis and MPRB responsibility for phosphorous reduction in the Minnehaha Creek and make strides towards meeting the goals for Lake Hiawatha

🚴‍♀️ Bike/Walk Safety🚶🏾‍♂️

The plan envisions an improved environment for bicyclists and pedestrians while preserving continuous motorized vehicle traffic on the parkway road in both directions.

Improvements are focused at key intersections:

Near Lynnhurst Park

50th Street and Portland Avenue

Minnehaha Parkway and Bloomington Avenue

Minnehaha Parkway and Cedar Avenue

🛶 Recreation Improvements 🚵‍♀️

Increased recreation opportunities are found throughout the plan:

New canoe/kayak launches (including ADA accessible options)

A new adventure play area under the Nicollet Avenue bridge

Bike skills and mountain bike parks near Bloomington Avenue and near 34th Avenue

A westward extension of bike and pedestrian trails from Lynnhurst Park to Morgan Avenue

CAC-Recommended Design Concepts

The CAC-recommended design largely follows the revised preferred concepts released on January 14, 2020. Drawings will not be updated at this time, but revised drawings will be included in the draft document that is shared for public comment. The most-recent design concepts are linked below:

Segment 1

Western Minneapolis border to Lake Harriet outlet/west terminus of Minnehaha Parkway, including Penn-Newton-Morgan and Lynnhurst Focus Areas.

Modifications from drawing:

Addition of signage/wayfinding at the western city limits

Identification of needed improvements at the York Avenue outfall

Inclusion of alternate walk/bike routes between Logan Avenue and the 52nd Street pedestrian bridge, to allow flexibility during implementation in light of floodplain and flooding concerns along Morgan Avenue

Segment 2

Girard Avenue to I-35W, including Nicollet Hollow Focus Area

Modifications from drawing:

Assurance in plan graphics and text that the 51st Street sledding hill will be preserved

Removal of the picnic area shown on the south side of the creek near Emerson Avenue

Segment 3

I-35W to Cedar Avenue (Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park border), including Portland+Parkway Focus Area

Recommended as drawn.

Segment 4

Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park border to Minnehaha Falls Regional Park border.

Recommended as drawn.

Next Steps

The CAC process has concluded and the online survey is closed, but there are several community input and approval steps remaining:

MPRB staff and the design team will spend the coming weeks preparing an overall written and graphic document, called the draft Master Plan

The draft Master Plan will be released for a 45-day public comment period

Based on responses during the comment period, the Master Plan may be modified

A public hearing on the Master Plan will be held at a regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners

The Master Plan will be considered for adoption by the Board of Commissioners

About this Project:

Master Planning is underway for this regional trail. The trail encompasses parkland along both sides Minnehaha Creek between Minnehaha Regional Park and the western city limit.

Subscribe to the project page to receive updates.

Parks for All: Comprehensive Planning

The Latest: CAC Meetings are on hold during pandemic response.

About this project:
The current comprehensive plan covered the period of 2007-2020, this plan will provide priorities and policy direction for the park system for the next decade. This press release provides an overview of the value this planning effort provides. There are a number of ways to engage with this project: 


Minnehaha Creek FEMA Repairs

Crews are repairing 10 sites on Minnehaha Creek in Minneapolis where sections of streambank and trails were eroded by high water in 2014. Seven of the sites are located downstream of Minnehaha Falls. The other three sites are east and west of I-35W.

FEMA granted an extension of the work through January 2020 as the remainder of restoration work at three sites below Minnehaha Falls is on hold due to high water flows in Minnehaha Creek. The few weeks of remaining work will resume after flows decrease enough to allow work to occur.

.This project is happening in conjunction with the MPRB's Minnehaha Parkway Trail master planning process. Please visit the project page for more information. 

Minnehaha Park Area Regional Sewer Improvements Project

Construction is expected to begin in September 2019 and be completed in summer 2021. A robust temporary conveyance system will be in place during construction to direct wastewater around the work site. Some impacts to park users and residents may include: lights, noise, nuisance odor release, tree removals, construction vehicle traffic and equipment parking, lane shifts and temporary Hiawatha Avenue intersection closures, parking restrictions on Minnehaha Parkway, and a bike trail closure.

Hiawatha Bicycle Trail Closure

A section of Hiawatha Bicycle Trail between the Minnehaha Creek Trail and Minnehaha Parkway will be closed throughout construction to accommodate temporary wastewater conveyance piping. Bicycle traffic will be detoured to Minnehaha Creek Trail, 34th Avenue and Minnehaha Parkway. Protected bike lanes with temporary bollards will be created on sections of 34th Avenue crossing Minnehaha Creek and along east- and westbound Minnehaha Parkway.

Project Page:

Lake Nokomis Shoreline Enhancements

The Latest: Erosion control and shoreline grading is nearing its end. Stormwater pipe replacement being done by the City Public Works Department is underway. 

About this Project:

A Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage grant is funding restoration of almost 4,800 linear feet of shoreline along north and northeastern shore of Lake Nokomis. This area of shoreline was selected due to increased erosion that has occurred along much of this area.

This project was identified as part of the 2015 Nokomis-Hiawatha Master Plan, which calls for increasing naturalized areas to improve water quality, stabilize shorelines and increase habitat. New native vegetation will extend from the shoreline to within four feet of the walking path.

Shoreline enhancements will improve habitat for both aquatic and upland animal species. It will stabilize erosion, seek to remove invasive plants, and create a functional continuum of shoreline zones. Plantings will accommodate fluctuations in water level, allowing for resilience to changing water level conditions in the lake. Improvements will be constructed primarily along the north shoreline of the lake. 

This project has received regulatory approval. The United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) and the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) have completed review of the Lake Nokomis Shoreline Enhancements project. SHPO concluded the proposed improvements have no adverse effects to the Grand Rounds Historic District and USACE permitted the project for proposed bank stabilization measures.

Project Design

The proposed design uses three different planting zones along the shoreline. 

The Emergent Wetland Zone starts at the ordinary high-water level (OHWL) and extends into the lake. Once established, new aquatic plants will reduce wave energy to help reduce erosion. A temporary fence will be installed to help plants establish. 

The Shoreline Buffer Zone lies between the OHWL and wetland boundary. It will be planted with a seed mix that's compatible with shoreline environmental elements.

The Upland Buffer Zone starts at the wetland boundary and extends away from the lake until four feet from the paved trail. It will be planted with a seed mix that's compatible with upland environmental elements. The four-foot strip will be mowed grass. Another temporary fence will also protect new planting areas and connect to the emergent wetland fence.

A variety of access points will still remain so park user can still access the lake.

Questions about this project can be sent to the project manager, Jon Duesman

Subscribe to the project page to receive updates.

28th Avenue S Bridge Replacement

Construction began July 15, 2019, wet conditions have delayed this project. This project was originally slated to be done this year. Unfortunately, the project fell behind schedule due to record rainfall, an unexpected water main break, and issues working with private utilities. Now that freezing temperatures have arrived, the construction crews will need to hold off on pouring the concrete decking until spring when temperatures are warm enough to ensure it sets at the appropriate strength to safely support vehicle traffic. Thecrew finished up the work they could in December and installed a temporary walkway across the creek, adding lighting, keeping traffic control in place, and handling winter snow/ice maintenance. Before the spring thaw, crews will begin preparations for the concrete pouring so that it can be poured and re-opened as soon as possible. Public Works expects the bridge to be complete by mid-June. Notification on this delay was mailed out to surrounding residents.

As called for in the Nokomis-Hiawatha Master Plan, this project not only rebuilds the bridge over Minnehaha Creek, but also connects bicycle and pedestrian trails under the 28th Avenue bridge along Minnehaha Creek to allow for a safer crossing of 28th Avenue S.

Questions about the project should be directed to the city project manager:


20 Year Neighborhood Park Plan (NPP20)

In 2016, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and the City of Minneapolis approved ordinances to reverse years of underfunding in neighborhood parks. The 20-Year Neighborhood Park Plan (NPP20) is a long-term initiative that will transform the neighborhood park system with the following measures:

  • Protect current levels of MPRB funding.
  • Dedicate an additional $11 million annually, through 2036, in NPP20 funds for increased maintenance, rehabilitation and capital investments in neighborhood parks.
  • Allocate NPP20 funds using a data-driven, criteria-based system to help address racial and economic equity.

Phelps Park Improvements

Although construction on a range of improvements at Phelps Park was originally planned to begin in June, the project is currently on hold.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) had opted to postpone the construction bidding process for this project and several others until late summer. Under this schedule, construction was planned to begin in the fall, with completion of the project next summer. Bids were not favorable to begin work this fall. The project will be rebid this winter with construction beginning in spring of 2020. 

As a result, Phelps Park will remain open for the fall and winter. Watch for future announcements as the project proceeds. 

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) will be replacing the playground and wading pool at Phelps Park in 2018/2019! Thank you to all who have participated in the Community input process by sharing your thoughts and opinions on the future of Phelps Park. The schematic drawings reflect the comments and preferences shared by park users and neighbors including the Boys and Girls Club, neighboring childcare centers, neighborhood residents and community organizers.

Final Schematic Design Concept [PDF]

Questions about this project should be directed to the project manager : Jon Duesman,

Subscribe to the project page to receive updates. 

Commissioner Musich represents the fifth park district in the South East corner of Minneapolis.

Hello from the 5th District!

If you're not interested in receiving emails like this one, please scroll to the bottom and click on unsubscribe to remove yourself from the list.

Commissioner Musich sends out newsletters about what's happening in the fifth park district periodically.  Previous newsletters can be found here.

In this issue!


Communicate with residents about what's happening in the district. Suggest your neighbors subscribe to this newsletter! Subscription page:

Broaden access to youth sports and environmental education.

Utilize a systemic approach to capital improvements and planning processes to ensure that investments being made build on system wide goals and are done equitably.

Enhance natural areas management to increase their ecological function.


Commissioner Musich has a BA in English Literature from the University of Minnesota, and has worked in the banking industry for the past 18 years, six of them as a Corporate Accountant and for the past nine years in various capacities on an IT team.  Along with several other neighborhood residents, she started the Friends of Lake Nokomis, a non-profit stewardship and advocacy group that partners with local government agencies and other non-profits to protect, preserve and improve Lake Nokomis and its surrounding park.  She has also served the community as a University of Minnesota Master Gardener with Hennepin County.   

Special Interests 

The commissioner, along with her husband and son have converted the lawns of their urban lot just south of Lake Nokomis into a small urban  farm with honeybees in a second story apiary, plum trees, a cider apple tree, lingonberry and blueberry bushes, grape vines, a vegetable plot and herb gardens.  To bring more pollinators to their gardens, established perennial beds have been slowly converted to house native plants, and turf has been over seeded with yarrow, marjoram, tickweed, ground plum, creeping thyme, calico aster and clover and a green roof prairie was incorporated into the rebuilding of their garage. Learn about Bee Lawns and Green Roofs

Avid cyclists, skiers, canoists, sailors and swimmers you can often find them cruising the trails, swimming or boating throughout the system. The commissioner's son participates in the MPRB's and MPS youth sports leagues bringing the family to park courses and athletic fields throughout the city for games. While recuperating from outdoor adventures, the commissioner can be found immersed in a book.

Current reading selection: The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal. This alternate reality of the history of the space program is the April Nokomis Sci-Fi Book Club read and I'm really enjoying it.


Discover Your Next Park Adventure!

Recreation Fee Assistance

Minneapolis residents who cannot afford instructional fees because of economic need may apply for fee assistance through the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Fee Assistance Program.
Questions? Contact your local recreation center (Recreation Center List) or the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board information line at 612-230-6400 or

Each year, through generous donations from corporate sponsors and local musicians, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board puts on concerts and shows films throughout the summer season. I add all of the events occurring in or very near the 5th district to my Facebook events to make it easier for you to find something fun, and free to do that's close to home. So pack a picnic, pump up the tires on your bike and head to a park near you for some free and fun entertainment this summer!
Family Nature Club

Parks on Social Media

Lake Hiawatha Park
Minnehaha Park
Morris Park
Keewaydin Park
Hiawatha Golf Course
Elmer the Elm Tree

Help Minneapolis Parks Flourish

Translate this Newsletter into:
беларуская мова
eesti keel
македонски јазик
بهاس ملايو
Português - Portugal
Tiếng Việt

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp