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Celebrating Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Due to the COVID variant that continues to impact our community, this event will be a pre-registered, limited-capacity event with social distancing in place and masks required. If you would like to reserve a seat, please click here to register free of charge. If you are unable to attend, the event will be available to view live online through YouTube at
Visit the event page for more information.

Fat Tire Fun Track

Look what you can do at Morris Park this winter! We've brought the Fat Tire Fun Track to Morris Park (it was at Pearl Park last winter) and added a bunch of new features. The track is available to ride 7 days a week and will be under the field lights from 4 PM until 6 PM Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 7 PM on Tuesday and Thursday evenings until around the beginning of March (or until the spring thaw begins). Take a close look at the first picture for rules and bike set-up guidance. Come out and have some fat tire fun!

Winter in the Parks
Bike trails in high use areas have been signed for shared use by cyclists and pedestrians. Please yield to pedestrians when using these trails.
Ice is never 100% safe. Before venturing onto frozen city lakes, please familiarize yourself with these ice safety tips from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Vehicles are not allowed on Minneapolis lakes without a permit.

 This season there are 47 skating, hockey, pond hockey, and broomball rinks in 23 parks. Warming rooms will be open with free loaner skates; masks are required inside all MPRB buildings. See below for hours and locations.

So far staff have been watering in the mornings until the temperature rises above freezing. The goal is to  have rinks fully open by early January.

You can find ice rink status here.

Due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, we are temporarily discontinuing public drop-in hours at recreation centers. These buildings will open only for pre-registered and Active Pass programs until February 14th ( Masks are required for all park building visitors, including instructors and spectators.

In adition, staffing shortages are causing reduced hours for warming rooms at ice rinks. New hous are 4-7pm M-F and 1-5pm Saturday and Sunday, through the end of the skating season. Staff are adding rink-side benches and picnic tables; and rinks will continue to be lit until 9pm. 

More information on coronavirus related changes can be found here.

Rink Light Hours

All locations: 4:30-9 pm*
*Lights are left on until 10:15 pm for broomball rinks at Bryn Mawr, Logan, McRae, Van Cleve and Windom NE.

XC Skiing
Information about XC Ski Trails can be found on our partner The Loppet's website here. As I write this newsletter Hiawatha is closed - think snow! If you're walking on the course, please stay off greens and when there is snow, avoid walking on the groomed XC ski trails. 

Pets Required to be Leashed
Although park use typically declines in winter months, park ordinance PB 2-18, requiring pets to be leashed while visiting the parks still applies. Please respect all park visitors by keeping your pet on a leash.  If you'd like to play with your dog off-leash, please visit one of the system's seven dog parks

Naming Workshop at Sibley Park
Everyone is invited to a January 15 workshop on renaming Sibley Park, as part of a current improvements project at the park.
The workshop will be held indoors at Sibley Recreation Center; face coverings may still be required at that time and will be available to all who request them.
Join staff from Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) to get updates on the improvements project and to: 
  • Learn about the process for renaming the park
  • Review community input to date on renaming 
  • Get updates on the rest of the park improvements project and upcoming community engagement opportunities

Workshop Details 

Saturday, January 15,1-3 pm - stop by anytime
Sibley Recreation Center, 1900 E 40th St.

Musicians Sought for 2022 Music in the Parks

Applications are now open! Apply today by visiting Applications will be open until February 28!

Not a musician, but appreciate being able to see music and movies in the parks? Give Minneapolis Music and Movies in the Parks a follow!

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 Plan Amendments for Pickleball

The Latest: Staff are reviewing the comments gathered during the comment period.

I've received quite a few questions about if this change will displace the bike skills course to the north of the parkway. It does not. The pilot skills course will remain in place until a purpose built skills course is implemented.  The Nokomis-Hiawatha master plan calls for those courts to be rebuilt as tennis courts. The Minnehaha Creek Master plan calls for the bike skills course to have a purpose built home where dilapidated tennis courts are present at 34th street along the creek. 
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB)  launched a project that will explore building new pickleball courts at Loring Park and next to Lake Nokomis Community Center in response to significant community desire for more opportunities to play pickleball in Minneapolis parks.
The first dedicated pickleball courts in the Minneapolis park system are scheduled to open at Dickman Park in northeast Minneapolis next spring. This project will consider amending three park master plans to add more opportunities for pickleball.
Loring Park
The long-term plan for Loring Park is in the Downtown Service Area Master Plan, which includes long-term plans all downtown Minneapolis park properties. It was approved in 2017.
This project proposes an amendment to the Downtown Service Area Master Plan that would add two pickleball-specific courts near the tennis courts in Loring Park.
Lake Nokomis Community Center
This project proposes to convert two tennis courts next to Lake Nokomis Community Center to 3-4 dedicated pickleball courts and add pickleball striping to the tennis courts near the intersection of Minnehaha Parkway and Bloomington Avenue.
The Minnehaha Parkway Regional Trail Master Plan is a long-term plan for all parkland and trails along Minnehaha Creek through Minneapolis, except for areas by Lake Nokomis and Lake Hiawatha, which are covered by the Nokomis-Hiawatha Master Plan.
The Minnehaha Parkway Master Plan includes dedicated pickleball courts near the intersection of Minnehaha Parkway and Bloomington Avenue. Community feedback received over the past year identified Lake Nokomis Community Center as better location for pickleball courts. 
This project would amend the Minnehaha Parkway Master Plan to retain the tennis courts at the intersection of the parkway and Bloomington Avenue with new pickleball striping, and amend the Nokomis-Hiawatha Master Plan to convert the two tennis courts immediately adjacent to the Nokomis Community Center to 3-4 dedicated pickleball courts. 
Sign up for Email Updates
Visit the Pickleball Plan Amendments project page and enter your email into the "Subscribe to Email Updates" box to sign up for email updates on this project. Additional opportunities to provide input will happen throughout the fall and winter, and the best way to stay up-to-date is to sign up for email updates. 
Community feedback about these possible changes will determine whether MPRB staff will bring amendments to the Board of Commissioners for consideration. If approved, all the courts considered in this project could be constructed or renovated in 2022.


Master Planning for Hiawatha Golf Course Property

The Latest: Nothing new to report at this time.

The master plan was not adopted on July 21st. 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.


The Latest:
Nothing new to report at this time.

The 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

Sibley Park Capital Improvements

Latest:  See beginning of newsletter for naming workshop information.

This project will replace the wading pool and playground equipment in the park. 

Learn more about this project and subscribe to updates here:

Project Contact: 

Siciid Ali
Phone: 612-230-6576

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
Phone: 612-230-6469

McRae Park Capital Improvements


The Latest: Staff is reviewing community survey results.

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


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: Nothing new to repot at this time.

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.

Lake Nokomis Shoreline Enhancements

The Latest:  Nothing new to report at this time.

Project goals included:
Repairing damaged and eroded shoreline areas.
Removing overstory growth.
Replacing large areas of mowed turf with a wide array of native seed to control erosion and promote water quality.

This work is part of a long-term effort to increase the amount of natural landscape within the park. 

Work originally began in the fall of 2019 and was largely complete by the end of 2019, with development of new native seed species during the 2020 growing season. 
Due to the pre-existing turf and invasive weed bed that previously existed, additional over-seeding with the native seed mix was required in 2020. Proper establishment of native seed generally takes several years before a strong presence of the native plants can establish and thrive, with little to no competition from invasive plants. 
In 2021, additional maintenance and establishment efforts will be done to help promote the establishment of these new native areas. The temporary fencing will stay up through at least the 2021 growing season to help protect these areas. 

Please stay out of the native seed areas and only use intended lake access locations to access the lake. 

More information about this project is available here:

Want to help stabilize one of the lake access locations experiencing serious erosion? Click here for info on the Friends of Lake Nokomis fundraising effort:

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 users 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.

Phelps Park Improvements

The latest: Nothing new to report at this time.

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. 

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 Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield.   


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

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