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Happening in A Park Near You

This year’s Minneapolis Monarch Festival celebrates the monarch butterfly amazing 2,300 mile migration from Minnesota to Mexico with music, food, dance, hands-on art, native plant sales and plenty of opportunities to get up close with monarch butterflies, learn about their habitats, and what you can do to make a difference. More info:

10th Annual Southside Back in the Day at Phelps

This event is being hosted by Southside Back in the Day in collaboration with Bryant Neighborhood Organization commemorating 400 Years of Black Excellence and Struggle. 

Program will feature the following- 
Spoken Word Poetry by: Sol Rebel,
Hip-hop performances by: DeAndre Dent and Dug Mackabee
Dance performance by: Dance City

Featuring community conversations:
History of Redlining by: Ms. Verlina Matey Keke & Daniel Bergin (Jim Crow of the North, TPT)

Reparations for African Americans (Thomas Berry of Black Civic Network) Community Organizing and Building Black Power (BNO, CANDO, CURA)

*Bryant Neighborhood Organization received a grant from ReCAST Minneapolis for the 400 year commemoration of Africans in America.

Where: 701 E 38th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407
When: August 31 10AM-6PM

I have received a number of questions since the closure of the beaches at Lake Nokomis precipitated by lab-confirmed cases of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) being reported to the Minnesota Department of Health. Answers to those questions are provided below: 

How were STEC illnesses tied to swimming in Lake Nokomis?  
The MN Dept of Health (MDH) normal surveillance system found that 3 people who had the exact same strain of E. Coli had visited Nokomis beaches.  Once that information had been put together, the MDH informed MPRB that the beach must close and that an investigation must begin.  This is a similar method to how outbreaks at restaurants are found.
After the beach was closed, MDH put together a survey for all lake and beach users in order to find out how many people became sick, when they became sick, and when they swam at Nokomis.  

Why isn't the MPRB following its typical retesting process and reopening the beaches for Labor Day Weekend? 
Because the closure was due to a request from MDH based on ill swimmers, the beaches can only open after MDH criteria are met.  The MDH criteria is that there must be 2-3 full incubation periods (incubation period = 8 days) with no additional sick people before the beach will be declared open.
MDH determines the period of time that people became sick.  This is the period of time when either the illness-causing strain was in the lake or was being passed from person to person as sick or recently sick people swam at the beach.   At this time, around 70 people have been identified that MDH believes became sick after swimming at Lake Nokomis beaches in a certain time period.
How can future closures from STEC be prevented?
Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of STEC infection – diarrhea (often bloody), stomach cramps, no or low-grade fever – should see a health care provider and not engage in aquatic activity for the duration of their illness. 

How can beach closures from high bacteria levels be prevented in Minneapolis in general? 
Bacterial loading of waterways has been shown to originate from several common sources: 
Uncollected pet waste that is washed into the storm water system during rainfall events and spring melts and from the excrement of waterfowl. Residents can help lessen the impacts of these sources by picking up after their pets and by not feeding ducks and geese.  

Hiawatha beach remains closed due to elevated bacteria levels. 

Bacteria test results for Minneapolis beaches are available at:

The MPRB will re-sample the beach on a regular basis. When the bacteria levels are within state guidelines, the beach will reopen.

Minnehaha Parkway Closure

East Minnehaha Parkway will close between Bloomington Avenue and Chicago Avenue for 3-5 days beginning Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. Motorized vehicle traffic will be detoured north to E 46th Street.

Pedestrian and bicycle trails will be combined in this stretch. Bicycles must yield to pedestrians on the temporary shared trail.

The closure is necessary for the CenterPoint Energy Belt Line project. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board appreciates the public's patience while work is performed.

Watershed District Survey

Most of the Fifth Park District is within the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. The MCWD is surveying people who live, work and play in the Minnehaha Creek Watershed.

Their survey will be open for comments until September 8th, take a few minutes to share your thoughts with them. Thank you!

Planning Projects

Master Planning for Hiawatha Golf Course Property

The Latest:  The design team is meeting the first week in September to discuss the prioritizations provided by the CAC, how they will be incorporated into the preferred design work and to lay out the remaining steps for the project. A formal update on next steps will be sent out to project page subscribers after the design team meeting. 

All CAC meetings are public and anyone interested in the creation a long-term plan for the Hiawatha Golf Course Property is welcome to attend. Snacks, refreshments, and passive children's activities are provided. Please contact Cindy Anderson at 612-230-6472 or to request language, access or interpretation accommodations. 

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.

Lake Nokomis Shoreline Enhancements

The Latest: 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.

Initial work involves tree removal along the edge of the shore. Many trees in the area were not planted intentionally and are either invasive species or diseased. MPRB Forestry professionals assisted in the tree removal selection process. Balancing the shoreline canopy through selective tree removal and pruning will allow sunlight to reach new plants so they can develop and help protect the shoreline, as well as promote better growth of the remaining dominant trees.  

Following tree removal, the area will be treated with an herbicide to prepare the seedbed area along the shoreline for the new upland buffer vegetation. Herbicide application will follow safe industry guidelines and follow Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board policy by using non-glyphosate based products.

Shoreline grading is scheduled to begin by mid-September. Two City of Minneapolis storm water outfalls will also be repaired as part of this work. That project should be complete by mid-September. New native vegetation is expected to be planted by late September, with final restoration complete in the fall.

About this Project:
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.

Currently the project is out for public bid and construction is expected to begin this summer.

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.

Minnehaha Creek Parkway Regional Trail Master Plan

The Latest: No updates at this time. 

The Minnehaha Parkway Regional Trail Master Plan Community Advisory Committee (CAC) held its eighth meeting on Tuesday, July 9, 2019. Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) staff and the CAC recommended several next steps for the project based on extensive community feedback on the preferred concepts.

Most notably, the project conversation about the parkway road will pause while more traffic data is collected. Here are the five next steps endorsed by the CAC:

  1. Eliminate the proposal to add medians at the parkway intersections with Lyndale Avenue and Nicollet Avenue, which will allow for largely continuous vehicular travel along Minnehaha Creek
  2. Continue to evaluate designs for the Parkway + Portland and Lynnhurst Focus Areas in terms of pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle safety and comfort
  3. Work to implement immediate improvements at the Parkway + Portland Focus Area to the extent possible
  4. Initiate additional traffic data collection and explore piloting solutions at the Parkway + Portland and Lynnhurst Focus Areas
  5. Pause the master plan process to allow time for additional exploration, then reconvene the CAC in September/October
This means there will be no additional CAC meetings scheduled in the immediate future. The MPRB will work with its consulting staff and agency partners to prepare further study this summer. In any case, however, the proposed Nicollet and Lyndale medians are considered off the table. All other project ideas will continue to be discussed.

Discussion of Segments 1, 2 and 3 of the Minnehaha Parkway Regional Trail Master Plan, including several revised concepts based on community and CAC feedback, was on the agenda for CAC Meeting #8 on July 9. Those discussions did not take place. MPRB staff will consider reconvening the CAC during the summer to discuss those areas. (The CAC previously reached consensus for Segment 4). The revised concepts (including those for the parkway road) will be uploaded to the project website soon.
The online survey will remain open for the public to provide ongoing feedback on the preferred concepts and new revisions. Please especially let us know what you think of the modifications to Segments 1 and 2 and the Nicollet Hollow Focus Area. If you have already taken the online survey, you may do so again, even from the same computer.
Once more detail is known, MPRB staff will communicate with the community about the ongoing project studies this summer, immediate improvements and possible pilot projects.

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.

Over the winter, the project design team reviewed all feedback received from public meetings, events, and online comments, and created draft concept drawings showing potential improvements along the trail. A published version of the Community Engagement Summary can be found on the project page under "Key Documents."

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) has published initial proposed long-term plans for improving and managing Minnehaha Creek and the parkway, parkland and trails adjacent to it between Minnehaha Regional Park and the western Minneapolis border. These initial park design concepts were created after considering thoughts, ideas and opinions compiled throughout last summer and fall from public events, online surveys that garnered hundreds of comments, and discussions with partner organizations, MPRB staff and stakeholders.

Park Design Concepts

The Minnehaha Parkway Regional Trail Master Plan is sorted into four Segments and eight Focus Areas within the segments. One or two preliminary site concepts have been developed for each Focus Area. Each concept contains ideas relating to:

  • Trail and parkway realignment
  • Stormwater infrastructure and potential creek re-meanders
  • Natural resource management areas
  • Creek access points
  • Recreational amenities
  • Precedent (example) images to demonstrate ideas
Subscribe to the project page to receive updates.

Parks for All: Comprehensive Planning

The Latest: Apply to be a community collaborator! The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and the Minneapolis Parks Foundation seek community collaborator services from businesses, institutions, nonprofits, and cultural organizations to envision and execute engagement projects of their own planning, designed to broaden the way community engages with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Comprehensive Plan. The Community Collaborator initiative is a paid opportunity for groups across Minneapolis to convene their own conversations about parks and recreation to inform the next 10-years of priorities for the park and recreation system. Proposals will be competitive, and those that are selected will receive funding to implement their idea. Funding will vary from $500-$3000 according to the project idea and proposed budget. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis with three rounds of submission and review in December 2019.

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

At their October 25, 2018 meeting, the MCWD Board of Managers awarded a construction contract of $163,844 to Sunram Construction, Inc. of Corcoran, MN to complete flood repairs along Minnehaha Creek at 9 sites in Minneapolis. The repair work continues through summer 2019.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

The Metropolitan Council shared information with residents and businesses near Minnehaha Park at a public hearing on May 22 about a proposed sewer improvement project. Construction work, scheduled to begin in 2019, would rehabilitate an aging regional sanitary sewer tunnel under Minnehaha Creek, Hiawatha Avenue and the METRO Blue Line LRT along the north side of East Minnehaha Parkway. The information shared at that meeting included these handouts.

Project Page:



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 : Kelly Wilcox,

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.


Commissioner Musich has a BA in English Literature from the University of Minnesota, and has worked in the banking industry for the past 17 years, six of them as a Corporate Accountant and for the past eight 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 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: Sand, by Hugh Howey. I first encountered Hugh Howey when a friend recommended the Wool series and his writing has kept me enthralled with each new adventure ever since. Sand explores a world of desert where cities of Colorado once stood and is a real page turner.   


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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