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A Comprehensive Plan for Every Neighborhood Park

Minneapolis wants more equity in its parks spending—and new plans are a key step in the process of delivering more equitable results.
August 15, 2019, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Minneapolis Park
Sam Wagner

"For the first time, the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board is writing comprehensive plans for every one of the city’s neighborhood parks, documents meant to guide development of the spaces for the next 20 to 30 years," reports Jessica Lee.

The comprehensive plans are necessitated by a change in parks budgeting established in 2016, when the city added an "Equity Matrix" to park funding decisions. The system was created "to reform a system that historically invested more money into the city’s more affluent, and whiter, neighborhoods," according to Lee.

"But with that new matrix in place, parks officials needed plans for how, exactly, to spend the money. That’s where the master plans for neighborhood parks come in," explains Lee.

The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board has been working on plans since 2016, along the way "[approving] long-range plans for neighborhood parks south of downtown and east of Interstate 35W [pdf], as well as those in the city’s urban core [pdf]. Then, in the spring of 2019, the board finalized the North Service Area Master Plan (which covers areas west of the Mississippi and north of Interstate 394) and the East of the River Park Master Plan (which pertains to northeast and southeast Minneapolis.)"

That's not even all the work that's underway at at various stages of the planning process, according to the article. Lee also updates the overall scope of the work and focuses on specific parks presenting more complex challenges as well.

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Published on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 in MinnPost
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