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Birding with Naturalists

Coming up- a special birding event at Mississippi Gorge Regional Park hosted by a Naturalist from the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden! This is a great opportunity for birders of all ages to watch the fall migration in full swing and talk to an expert about local birds. Please refer questions to

ARA Spending Survey

The City seeks your feedback as it considers funding priorities for the second round of American Rescue Plan Act funding awarded to the City to address economic and public health impacts from the pandemic. 
The survey will be open until Midnight on September 24th, and these results will help the city council determine funding priorities for the remaining federal funding awarded to the City. Earlier this year, the City Council amended and approved the first $102 million spending plan for ARP funds. 
Mayor Frey is expected to recommend a spending proposal for the second round of funding to the City Council in the late fall or early winter coinciding with public conversations around the 2022 City Budget.
The City may use the funds on the following:
  • Invest in necessary improvements to water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.
  • Support public health expenditures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency.
  • Serve low-income communities and individuals, families and businesses hardest hit by the pandemic.
  • Replace public sector revenue lost due to the pandemic.
  • Provide premium pay for essential workers.
Take the survey and make your voice heard!

Keewaydin Park Open House

Keewaydin Park Improvements: Preliminary concepts plans to be shared next week.

After gathering feedback from the community during the summer, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) has developed three preliminary concept plans for improvements at Keewaydin Park.
Each concept is based on community feedback, as well as the park’s approved master plan. They include a climbing/bouldering area (the first of its kind in the Minneapolis park system), a nature-based play area, and removal of the wading pool, which is at the end of its life span.

Everyone is welcome to give input on the preliminary concept plans: Either at an MPRB-hosted online open house on Thursday, September 23 at 6 pm, or through an upcoming online survey.

We hope you can join us at the open house or take the upcoming survey!

More details here.

SeaSalt Season Coming to a Close

The final episode of Sea Salt’s season 17 is approaching with their finale on October 3rd. Don’t be a couch potato! Stream on over to their remote location—surely you’ll get a great reception. Sea Salt will return with season 18 in April 2022. 

Stairway Closure at Minnehaha Falls

One of the stairways and the associated retaining walls built in 1940 by the WPA on the south side of Minnehaha Falls has failed in several segments and are not safe to use. Park users must stay away from the area. Do not walk around the fence preventing access to the stairs.

The MPRB has hired a structural engineer who specializes in historic retaining wall repair to conduct a thorough investigation of the failing stairway and retaining walls, and all other walls and stairs near Minnehaha Falls.  Their report is expected later this fall. The MPRB’s top priority is maintaining a safe environment at Minnehaha Falls. When the MPRB has more information on the condition of the south stairs and associated retaining walls, it will create a plan to repair and reopen the stairs as quickly as possible while balancing a desire to retain the historic properties of the staircase.  Until then, the stairs on the south side of the falls will remain closed. 
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:

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.


Parks for All: Comprehensive Planning

The Latest: Draft comprehensive plan comment period is closed and staff is preparing to bring the plan to commissioners for approval. 

View Parks for All Project Page:

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: 


The Latest: The board has approved the design for this playground and construction is anticipated to begin in spring of 2022.

The MPRB is pleased to announce a project to 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

Engagement is underway for this project. 

Learn more about this project and subscribe to updates here:

Project Contact: 

Siciid Ali
Phone: 612-230-6576

Keewaydin Park Capital Improvements

The Latest: See above for upcoming virtual open house.
The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) is pleased to announce an improvements project at Keewaydin Park, based on the park's master plan that was adopted in 2016, as well as available funds.

Improvements will focus on construction of nature play, an adventure playground with a climbing/bouldering element - the first of its kind in the Minneapolis park system - and decommissioning the wading pool. Construction is planned for 2022.

Learn more about this project and subscribe to project updates on the project page

Project contact is Colleen O'Dell
Phone: 612-230-6469

McRae Park Capital Improvements

 To ensure you’re notified of engagement activities and feedback opportunities on this project I recommend subscribing to govdelivery notices for this project on the project page
Project Manager: Francisca Pass at 612.499.9074 or via email at


Minnehaha Creek Parkway Regional Trail Master Plan Implementation

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is pleased to announce a new project to upgrade the intersection of East Minnehaha Parkway and East 50th Street! Planned improvements include intersection re-alignment, a three-way stop, pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements, and other possible roadway modifications identified in the Master Plan. The MPRB will be in close consultation with the City of Minneapolis throughout this project.
This project was identified in the Portland and the Parkway Focus area within the Minnehaha Parkway Regional Trail Master Plan, which was adopted in November 2020 after more than two years of community engagement, discussion and design. This area raised the most points of concern during the master planning process and was rated as the highest priority item for the project's Community Advisory Committee.
If any remaining funding is available, prioritization of additional potential projects will be discussed with the community. Community engagement and design will take place this spring and summer with construction expected in 2022.
To receive notifications about this project as it progresses, please subscribe to updates on the project page.

Lake Nokomis Shoreline Enhancements

The Latest: In the next few weeks some cool-season spraying will be done to target invasive vegetation like Reed Canary Grass. All spraying will follow Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Pest Management Guidelines. In late Spring, additional spot spraying and mowing is planned to keep invasive species in check. Additional maintenance practices will be employed in 2021 to help develop these new native areas.

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

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 underwya 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: Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach.   


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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