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McRae & Sibley Public Hearings

The final concept plan for improvements at Sibley Park is the result of community feedback and recommendations received during the community engagement process in 2021 and early 2022.
Proposed improvements include an upgraded and expanded playground, a zero-depth wading pool, and gathering spaces with picnic tables and benches.
Individuals are welcome to review the concept plan and share their comments at a public hearing on Wednesday, June 15 at 6:30 pm.
Following the hearing, Commissioners for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) will consider approving the plan.
Public Hearing Details
When: Wednesday, June 15 at 6:30pm
Where: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Headquarters Building, 2117 West River Road, Minneapolis

Everyone's invited to participate in a public hearing for McRae Park's final concept plan for playground improvements and amending part of the park's master plan.
The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, June 15 at 7pm. Individuals are welcome to speak in person or send comments via email - see details below.
The concept plan is the result of community feedback and recommendations received during the community engagement process in 2021 and 2022. It would replace all play equipment during this improvement project.
This concept plan also requires changing (amending) part of the McRae Park master plan. See the chart below for a summary of the differences between the current master plan and changing/amending the master plan.
Following the public hearing, Commissioners on the planning committee will consider approving the concept plan and the changed/amended master plan.
The chart below shows how A) the current master plan for McRae Park and B) proposed changes to the master plan would each affect the park during the current phase 1 project and a possible later project.

Public Hearing Details
When: Wednesday, June 15 at 7pm
Where: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Headquarters Building, 2117 West River Road, Minneapolis

How to share your comments:
To speak in person
Call 612-230-6400 before 3 pm on the day of the hearing (June 15)
Arrive at the second-floor board room at Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Headquarters before the hearing begins; add your name to the sign-up sheet at the Board Room entrance
To send written comments
Email by 12 noon on June 15.

Open Parkways Pilot

I have received many inquires about parkway closures and would like to connect you to the information shared with commissioners as part of our board packet for this Wednesday when staff will be providing the board with an update on this pilot project funded by the 2022 budget set by the outgoing board of commissioners last December in response to resident feedback on the pandemic driven parkway closures during the 2020 season. Staff had been unable to dedicate time to gathering data during the pandemic closures due to competing urgent priorities, and this pilot was intended to explore different closure barricades effectiveness and user appeal (yes, the park board is aware that barricades are unsightly, especially when they're piled up on unkempt lawns for weeks at a time during growing season) as well as to determine community support for periodic closures not specifically associated with a permitted event. The proposed location of this pilot is in downtown between 4th and 13th Avenues. 

A project page has been created for this pilot, and you can subscribe for updates here:

Turtles On the Move

Share your turtle sightings and help MPRB gather information at!
With help from the public, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is identifying where and when turtles are seen on land in Minneapolis. This valuable information will guide efforts to protect them at critical locations.
Last year, MPRB received almost 200 reports of turtle sightings (including dead turtles), greatly increasing what is known about this animal in Minneapolis parks. The reports also indicate how much is not yet known.

Why report?
Turtles are vulnerable on land, especially when crossing roads and bike paths.
They may be on the move throughout the season, but In April, May and June, adults leave the water to find suitable nesting spots on land.
Snapping and painted turtles, the most common species in Minneapolis, cross roads and paths as they migrate some distance to nest; softshell turtles nest close to water.
Later in the summer and into fall, turtles hatch and leave their nests to head to water.

How you can help
When driving or biking near lakes, creeks and rivers, please slow down and keep an eye out for turtles. Most adult turtles are killed by cars!
You can also:
• Spread the word by sharing this email with Minneapolis residents.
• Report turtle sightings (including dead turtles) at
• If you see an injured turtle, report details at and take the turtle directly to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota.
• Leave healthy turtles where you see them - unless they need help crossing a road.

Hot Weather Resources

As the temps rise, be familiar with the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. 

Hennepin County has an online resource to connect residents to cooling centers. That information can be found here:

Pools without plumbing issues and that are not co-located with schools are open and their status can be found here:

Beach status and water quality information can be found here, unfortunately blue green algae may be present at Lake Hiawatha (samples are being tested):

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: Nothing new to report at this time.


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.


Latest:  See above for public hearing, more to come soon on the renaming effort.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is working on the renovation and expansion of the playground and wading pool at Sibley Park.  Aune Fernandez Landscape Architects is the consulting firm hired to design the project. The project is currently in the design phase, and the consultant team and MPRB staff are revising the preferred concept selected by the community.
Community Engagement: Two conceptual designs were presented at two Open House events in March 2022. These designs were displayed at the rec center for comments and feedback for two weeks.  An online survey was also available for a month. The community responses received are guiding the preliminary design of the project.  The revised proposal will be shared with the community for comments in the second week of May.
Proposal: The playground will have play structures for kids of different age groups and abilities. It will feature two ziplines, which were identified by the neighborhood children as their most desired play element. The new wading pool with a zero-depth entrance will be installed adjacent to a gathering/picnic space. The overall circulation and access to the pool and playground will be improved with new walking paths and landscaping. Other site features such as benches, picnic tables and drinking fountain will be integrated with the new site amenities.
Project Constraints: The assigned budget for this project was estimated for the completion of the playground and related site improvements. Due to the high construction costs of the zero-depth wading pool and its new mechanical system, its design and construction was originally scheduled for completion in a later phase of improvements. However, spatial constraints on the construction of the playground were identified during the site analysis and the demolition and construction of the pool became necessary to plan for the first phase of improvements. We are currently revising the design and evaluating the project budget to perform the construction of both facilities in this phase.    
Timeline: Park staff anticipate having a final design by the end of May and submitting the proposal for Park Board approval in June.  Construction is planned for Spring/Summer 2023. Partial demolition and removals are likely to happen in the late Fall of 2022. Staff are coordinating the construction schedule with Sibley Rec Center and MPRB staff to minimize construction disturbances for park users.

. 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,

McRae Park Capital Improvements


The Latest: A public hearing is scheduled for June 15th at 7pm. Public hearings are held at MPRB Headquarters, 2117 W River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55412. Public hearing will cover the playground design and recommended plan amendments to preserve the mature tree canopy in this area of the park. 

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


Court Repairs and Rehabilitation

This year we're repairing basketball, tennis or other hard surface courts at 18 parks!
Curous which courts are having work done this season? This new map shows plans for repairs at 18 courts for the 2022 season:
 Updated regularly, the map shows locations where contractors for MPRB are working, as well as completed and planned work. Court repairs can vary depending on conditions, but are generally one of three types:  
  • Full-depth renovation - remove and replace the asphalt court surface, net/posts and fencing
  • Asphalt overlay - new asphalt surface, color coating and line striping
  • Surface rehabilitation - new color coating and line striping
The court repair map is updated regularly with locations where work is planned, underway and completed. Court repairs vary depending on conditions, but generally fall into three categories:
Full-Depth Renovation removes and replaces the asphalt court surface, nets/posts and fencing.
Asphalt Overlay installs a new asphalt surface, color coating and line striping.
Surface Rehabilitation includes new color coating and line striping.

The six courts at Lake Nokomis community center are going through plan review at the city, and construction is anticipated to begin in July.

Trail Realignment along Minnehaha Creek

The trail has been moved, and work to stabilize the embankment is underway.

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

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:

Current closure:

Tue, May 31 through Tue, June 28 Cedar Ave. will be closed in both directions between Lake Nokomis Pkwy. and Hwy 62

Minnehaha Creek Parkway Regional Trail Master Plan Implementation

The latest: This project is out for bid and once a contractor is selected, a project schedule will be shared via gov delivery and this newsletter. 

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  continue to add 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

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, 


Keewaydin Park Capital Improvements

The Latest: This project is out for bid and once a contractor is selected, a project schedule will be shared via gov delivery and this newsletter. Construction is still anticipated to take place this summer.

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,



The latest: Playground equipment ordered for this project has been delayed due to supply chain issues, and until a shipping date has been identified, construction is delayed.  

The park board has approved the design for this playground. 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: Due to supply chain issues, the finishing touches for the splash pad are delayed. As soon as materials arrive the work will be completed and the splash pad opened.  
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.

Remaining work on the splash pad is being completed this spring and the splash pad will open this summer.

 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. Work is anticipated to begin in July. 

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 Christie Affair, by Nina de Gramont.   


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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