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Spring Fun!

The parks have 11 springtime family events this weekend at parks across Minneapolis! Egg hunts, bunny brunches, spring celebrations and more! 
Just go to and enter the listed activity number to sign up.

Community Gathering for Protecting Lake Hiawatha

The Friends of Lake Hiawatha are hosting a gathering near the Hiawatha Community Center to discuss how community can help improve the health of the lake. Visit their facebook event for more information. 

Earth Day Clean Ups

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) along with the City of Minneapolis are hosting the annual Minneapolis Earth Day Clean-Up event on Saturday, April 23 from 9:30 am to noon. Many thanks to the friends groups and Neighborhood Associations that help coordinate sites in their parks! We couldn't do this event without you! 

All Minneapolitians are encouraged to participate by volunteering to help pick up trash in parks, neighborhoods, and watersheds. Bags and gloves will be provided and available on a first come, first serve basis. No registration needed, just show up at one of the participating locations:

Don't feel up to cleaning up in a park? Nearly all Minneapolis streets are tributaries to our lakes, streams, creeks and river, so feel free to pull on some gloves and clean up your block instead.

Nokomis Area Groundwater Study
Beginning in 2017 an interagency team began work to understand groundwater levels and what interplay, if any, was occurring with surface waters in the Nokomis sub-watershed. The results of this work has been documented in a white paper that is to be shared with the city council and park board in the month of April. The study is being presented to a city council committee on April 21st and will be available on the city website April 19th.  Subscribers will be notified when the report is available.

Spring Transition

As the weather warms and the threat of snow passes, the parks begin their annual transition period to summer operations.

Until all seasonal signage has been updated, pedestrians will be on the bicycle trails.

Seasonal trash and recycling receptacles are being distributed, and when the thawing ground allows, drinking fountains and outdoor restrooms will be made available for use.

Great Horned Owlets are poking their heads out of their nests, and the park naturalists ask that you please give them space to explore.  Visit the International Owl Center to learn more about how to respectfully observe owls, and please use binoculars instead of clustering under the trees the birds are in.

Thank you for your patience during this transition time.  

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza 

The following is from The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota and pertains to one of the Great Horned Owl families that have been the joy of birders for several springs in the Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park. It was heartbreaking for me to read of their deaths from this virus and I felt it was important to share this information with the community, because there is action we can take to help prevent the spread of this viral disease in our wild bird population.  Its a longer read than I'd typical include here, but worthwhile. 

On April 12th and 13th, The Raptor Center responded to reports of three great horned owl nest mates in distress from a nest in Lake Nokomis Park in Minneapolis. On admission to our triage hospital building, all three were suffering from extreme neurological signs and one suddenly died. Due to a high level of suffering, the remaining two youngsters were humanely euthanized and all three tested for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Today, not only did we receive notice that the young owl samples tested positive, but we also responded to calls about two deceased adult great horned owls in the same area, presumed to be the parents. We highly suspect that their samples will be positive too. 

We are heartbroken at The Raptor Center to see the presumed loss of an entire great horned owl family due to HPAI and unfortunately this is not the first one we have responded to during this outbreak. Nearly every day we are admitting patients that come in suffering from the severe symptoms of HPAI.

Minnesota is experiencing an unprecedented outbreak of HPAI in wild bird populations and unfortunately 90-100% of raptors who are infected will die from the disease. The Raptor Center is doing everything possible to continue to safely receive, triage, and treat birds in need during this difficult time and our team deeply appreciates all the help and the support from the community while we do so. 
If you find a raptor in need please call us at 612-624-4745 or visit our website at

Thoughts about bird feeders and highly pathogenic avian influenza, from The Raptor Center’s Executive Director and Veterinary Epidemiologist, Dr. Victoria Hall, DVM, MS, DACVPM
The United States is unfortunately experiencing an unprecedented outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in our wild birds. It is important to remember that all bird species are potentially susceptible to HPAI- but how they show or do not show signs of illness and the role they play in carrying and spreading the disease will vary. This virus is shed in the feces and respiratory secretions of infected birds and is very hardy, with virus particles able to survive in the environment for weeks in cool, damp environments.

In wildlife, we know the most about how this virus works and presents in waterfowl, shorebirds, seabirds- as these are the groups of birds who are most likely to carry and shed the virus without showing signs of illness.

We know some about how this virus impacts groups of birds like raptors, as these birds often get severely sick and rapidly die from the virus.

Unfortunately, we have a lot of gaps in knowledge about the role of songbirds in HPAI outbreaks. We have some data from previous outbreaks around the world, but this outbreak is very different. The 2022 outbreak is unique because of the very high levels of transmission of the currently circulating H5N1 virus strain in wildlife. With minimal viral surveillance being done with songbirds, it is hard to measure the risk of transmission from songbirds to other birds.

Every day at The Raptor Center, we are seeing the impact of HPAI- as we triage and test birds like bald eagles and great horned owls that are intensely suffering from fatal neurological illness due to HPAI. With these infected birds, humane euthanasia is the only tool we have left to help them. We also know that this strain and outbreak is causing severe illness in other species like geese, ducks, blue jays, and crows.
During these unprecedented times, we recommend doing anything that we can to try and help our wild bird populations. Because the science is unclear on the role of songbirds in this current H5N1 outbreak, one consideration is to not encourage birds to gather together at places such as bird feeders or bird baths. These are places where things like viruses could easily be exchanged between individuals.

In areas with HPAI transmission in any avian species, consider pausing the use of bird feeders and baths for the next couple of months until the rate of virus transmission in wild birds dramatically decreases. Not only will this action help to protect those beautiful feathered creatures that visit your yard, but will also help all wild bird species that are already having it hard this spring because of HPAI. We have it in our power to take a short term action so we are not accidentally assisting in the virus’ spread. This outbreak won’t last forever and I, for one, am greatly looking forward to when I can safely hang my bird feeders back up!

-Dr. Victoria Hall

Work in the Parks!

Work for the parks! We have a lot of fun, interesting and meaningful job opportunities open right now. We're hiring! Whether you want to gain experience at your first job, or grow your skill set for a future career, Minneapolis parks has something for you. Full-time, part-time and temporary jobs are available across a huge range of interests:

🦋 Environmental education
🚴‍♀️ Canoe and bike instruction
🤸‍♀️ Recreation programs and inclusion
🎉 Events
🔧 Trades
➕ And much more!

Go to to view all openings and apply.

Friends of Diamond Lake Frog Identification Project

The Friends of Diamond Lake Annual Frog survey is underway!

Why the survey? The presence of toads and frogs in and around the lake helps us to evaluate the health of the Diamond Lake eco-system.

This is a unique local opportunity to become a citizen scientist. We want to extend a special invitation to  families who are looking for a fun and educational STEM learning activity. 

All you need to participate is familiarity with our online training tools, good hearing and a willingness to record your findings in our user friendly database.

We have provided a short video that gives all the direction you will need to participate in our 2022 survey. CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO.

As you will see, the video encourages you to use your smart phone to enter survey information. You will find the survey HERE.  The app provides audio recordings of the most common frog calls and a database that allows you to enter your findings.

In recent years our surveys have revealed a couple of unusual events. For the first time, we heard Green Frogs. We are curious to see if they appear again this year and answer the question: Are they new residents or just lost lonesome stragglers? 

The second unusual thing was the detection of toad activity in August. We have never heard toads calling that late in the year before, so we are wondering if this will be an on-going trend or if it was just an outlier occurrence.

It’s easy and rewarding to become a citizen scientist – and it helps to keep Diamond Lake, our valued neighborhood resource, vital and healthy. So as you are strolling around the lake this spring, listen for amphibians – and let FoDL know what you do (or don't) hear. 
For additional information or questions be sure to check out 
The Friends of Diamond Lake website.
Help direct grant funding through the People for Parks Fund at the Minneapolis Parks Foundation! Learn more about applying to join the People for Parks Fund Advisory Committee here.

Planning Projects

Master Planning for Hiawatha Golf Course Property

The Latest: there will not be a public hearing on the master plan on April 20th. The resolution failed to pass with a 4-4 vote. As soon as I have more information about any future board actions on this item I will share them via my newsletter and Facebook.  


The master plan was not adopted on July 21st, 2021. There is no approved master plan for this site, and park staff is working with the Minnesota DNR to understand the permitting process to continue dewatering to enable current use of the site. 

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


Sibley Park Capital Improvements

Latest:  Nothing new to report at this time. Staff are reviewing survey comments. 

This project will replace the wading pool and playground equipment in the park and based on community feedback a renaming of the park. Park improvements and the renaming process are not tied to the same timeline, and improvements will not be delayed to align with the naming process.

Learn more about this project and subscribe to updates here:

Project Contact: Siciid Ali, 612-230-6576, or Bianca Paz, 612.230.6486,

Keewaydin Park Capital Improvements

The Latest: Nothing new to report at this time.

During our meeting on December 15, commissioners approved the Phase 1 concept plan for new play areas at Keewaydin Park. 
Based on feedback from community members, commissioners also approved retaining the park's wading pool until its structure or supporting infrastructure fails. The pool and its infrastructure will be assessed on an annual basis in consultation with MPS facilities management staff. 

The Phase 1 concept plan (pictured above and available on the Keeywaydin Park project website) includes several new play areas and other improvements, including:
  • Climbable stacked boulder hills and walls
  • Free-standing bouldering monoliths
  • Zip line
  • Separate age 2-5 and 5-12 play zones with adventure towers
  • Creative nature play area with art and performance spaces
  • Sand play area, slides, basket swing, and spinner
  • Native plantings and naturalized stormwater area
  • Picnic areas and seating

Next steps

Winter/spring 2022: Final design, construction bids
Project staff will develop a final design for the project, solicit construction bids and award a construction contract.
Summer/fall 2022: Construction 
With a successful contract, project construction is planned to begin in summer 2022, with completion in fall 2022.

Learn more about this project and subscribe to project updates on the project page. Starting with my next newsletter this project will move to the construction section.

Project contact is Colleen O'Dell, 612-230-6469,

McRae Park Capital Improvements


The Latest: Nothing new to report at this time.

The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) is pleased to announce a project to update the playground at McRae Park (in south Minneapolis) to meet current safety and accessibility standards.

Subscribe to gov delivery notices for this project on the project page

Project Manager: Francisca Pass at 612.499.9074 or via email at


Trail Realignment along Minnehaha Creek

Soil stability and erosion potential analysis along the creek where the trail has collapsed west of Cedar Avenue is complete and work to stabilize the embankment and move the trail to protect it from further erosion impacts is scheduled for this Spring as soon as the weather allows. Thank you for your patience while a long term solution to the trail failure in this location was identified that does not impact the mature and healthy trees in the area. 

Project Manager: Chris DesRoches, (612) 313-7717,

Building Repairs at Minnehaha Falls Refectory

The concrete walkway on the north side of the Minnehaha Refectory building will be removed and replaced in the spring of 2022.  Catch basins will be installed during the concrete replacement project to help with drainage in the area.

Project Manager: Allison Dahlin, 612-230-6480,

Changes to Cedar/Edgewater/Lake Nokomis Parkway

Staff and elected officials at the park board, City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County have heard and continue to listen to the community’s concerns regarding Cedar Avenue and the Cedar/Edgewater/Nokomis intersection area. Using input from past community engagement and conversations, as well as data and analysis by engineering staff, we are continuing safety improvements along this corridor.

In the last year, the county and city installed enhanced speed signs on Cedar Avenue and temporary delineators to create a center median and bumpouts at Edgewater Boulevard. Moving forward, the county is working with MnDOT and the city to replace the temporary delineators with a permanent raised center median, permanent bumpouts, and upgraded pedestrian curb ramps at Edgewater Boulevard. These improvements will be constructed this year with a MnDOT pavement preservation project (more information here:

Minnehaha Creek Parkway Regional Trail Master Plan Implementation

The latest: Staff continue to move forward with design of improvements to the parkway intersection and regional trail that will improve the safety, experience and comfort of all trail and parkway users while preserving high quality mature trees in the area. Planning staff have also collaborated internally with the maintenance team to include lifecycle maintenance improvements to the bike trail between Portland Ave and Chicago Ave as a part of this project.  This addition will be an efficient use of public funds, improve safety and usability, and provide a safe and direct connection to an existing northbound protected bike lane along Park Avenue. The project is anticipated to be constructed over an approximate 8 week time period in 2022, with more specific dates established once bids are received. Staff will be communicating updates with residents immediately adjacent to the project corridor in the coming weeks and will continue to add these updates to the project webpage.

Proposed Improvements are as follows
• Upgrading crosswalk markings, expanding curb ramps and installing a raised crossing on the south side of the intersection where the trails cross.
• Widening the bike and pedestrian trail south of E Minnehaha Parkway between E 50th Street and Portland Avenue, and along Minnehaha Creek south of the intersection.
◦ To provide more space for boulevard tree roots and improve trail quality, the trail segment between E 50th Street and Portland Avenue will be reconstructed farther south, but will remain entirely within MPRB property.
• Reworking E Minnehaha Parkway just south of E 50th Street to create an aligned 3-way stop, which will create a safer and user friendly experience for all modes.
◦ The parking bay immediately south of the intersection will need to be removed to preserve as many healthy and mature trees as possible.
• Converting E Minnehaha Parkway frontage roads to one-way streets to calm traffic and improve safety at intersections.
• Other possible improvements include installing medians on E 50th Street and Portland Avenue to help direct traffic flow on the frontage roads. Per the Master Plan, vehicle flow will remain continuous on the main Parkway road.
View Schematic Design

The MPRB plans to bid the project over Winter 2021-22 and have the work performed throughout Spring-Summer 2022.

If any remaining funding is available after implementation of changes in this location, prioritization of additional potential projects will be discussed with the community. 

To receive notifications about this project as it progresses, please subscribe to updates on the project page. Please feel free to contact the project manager with any questions you may have about this project.

Project Manager: Carol HejlStone 612-230-6454, 


The latest: Nothing new to report at this time.

The park board has approved the design for this playground and construction is anticipated to begin in Spring of 2022. This project will update the playground at Pearl Park to meet current safety and accessibility standards.

For more information and to subscribe to updates for this project, please visit the project page or reach out to the project contact: Francisca Pass at 612.499.9074 or via email at

Phelps Park Improvements


The Latest: Construction has paused for the season and will resume when weather permits in the Spring. 
Phase 2 Improvements
  • Redesign and renovation of the athletic field in the south area of the park to improve drainage, turf quality and overall play quality
  • Design and construction of a new splash pad to replace the wading pool

Construction is underway on a new splash pad at Phelps Park! The design includes a large open area with a variety of spray jets to run through and around, and a large mist sprayer at the center.

The new splash pad will be built at the location of the old wading pool, marking the latest round of improvements at Phelps Park after new play equipment debuted last year.

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) staff are currently working through the final permitting phase and expect splash pad construction to begin mid-September 2021 and continue throughout fall 2021. Any remaining work will be completed in early 2022 and the splash pad will open in summer 2022.

 The park board has entered into a fundraising agreement to upgrade the field to artificial turf with the Phelps  Activities Council which has delayed the implementation of field improvements while funding is sought to expand them. 

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. 

Pickleball Court Renovations at Nokomis Community Center

A project page is being created for this work, and when available I'll share a link and construction details here. 

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.
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.

Support good governance through transparency and collaboration.


Commissioner Musich has a BA in English Literature from the University of Minnesota, and has worked in the banking industry for the past 19 years, six of them as a Corporate Accountant and for the past ten 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 volunteers, hikers, cyclists, skiers, canoists, sailors and swimmers you can often find them volunteering, hiking or cruising the trails, swimming or boating throughout the system. While recuperating from outdoor adventures, the commissioner can be found immersed in a book.

Current reading selection: The Unbanished by T. Aaron Cisco.   


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

Learn about the parks Scholarship FUNd.

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

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