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David Tinjum

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Claudia Kittock
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Doug Verdier

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Minneapolis Riverfront News

Covering life, work, and play in the Historic Mill District and Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront neighborhoods. Have an opinion, local news or events to share?  Contact us.


Reminder - 2017 Music & Movies in the Parks Series Kicks off May 29!

Music in the Parks May 29 - September 4

Featuring over 200 free outdoor concerts, the 2017 schedule has something for every musical taste including Jazz, Latin, Swing, Folk, Rock, Bluegrass, Classical and much more.  See and enjoy great local talent at one of these six venues:
Lake Harriet Band Shell (Monday-Saturday 7:30pm, except Wednesdays; Sundays 2:00pm & 5:30pm)
Nicollet Island Park (Mondays 7:00pm)
Father Hennepin Bluff Park (Tuesdays 7:00pm)
Minnehaha Park (Wednesday-Friday 7:00pm)
Bryant Square Park (Tuesdays & Thursdays 6:30pm)
Loring Park (Wednesdays 11:30am-1:30pm)
Movies in the Parks June 5 - August 26

The mobile program takes place Monday through Saturday evenings and will travel to more than 50 parks throughout the summer, which includes a partnership with the Twin Cities Black Film Festival.  Music-movie combo sites include Tuesdays at Father Hennepin Bluff Park, select Fridays at Lake Harriet Bandshell, and the Live on the Drive series in north Minneapolis.  Movies start 15 minutes after sunset.
Concerts and movies are free, and everyone is welcome to attend. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, bug spray and pack a picnic. For the most up-to-date schedules and weather related information, follow Twitter and Facebook. For a complete schedule, visit

Thank You to the Minneapolis Park and Rec Board for bringing us Music & Movies in the Parks!


The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul Announces NT Live Summer Schedule

Starting Monday, May 29, the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul kicks-off the Summer 2017 season of National Theatre Live screenings at the St. Anthony Main Theatre. The Film Society’s Summer Season of NTL will feature new afternoon encores at 1:00pm on the Wednesday following each production's first screening. These matinees will be available at a 30% discounted admission.

Full NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE Summer Season Schedule:
ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD - May 29, May 31, June 3 - Directed by David Leveaux and Tim Van Someren. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Joshua McGuire, David Haig, Luke Mullins, Helena Wilson.
PETER PAN - June 10, June 12, June 14 - All ages production. Directed by Sally Cookson. Adapted from J.M. Barrie’s classic tale.
WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? - June 19, June 21, June 24 - Directed by James MacDonald. Starring Imelda Staunton, Conleth Hill, Imogen Poots, Luke Treadaway.
OBSESSION - July 3, July 5, July 8 - Directed by Ivo van Hove. Starring Jude Law.
TWELFTH NIGHT - July 17, July, July 22 - Directed by Simon Godwin. Starring Tamsin Greig, Tamara Lawrence, Daniel Ezra, Daniel Rigby.

SALOMÉ - July 31, August 2, August 5 - Directed by Yael Farber. Starring Isabella Nefar, Raad Rawi, Olwen Fouere, Theo TJ Lowe

ANGELS IN AMERICA PART 1, MILLENNIUM APPROACHES - August 14, August 19 - Directed by Marianne Elliott. Written by Tony Kushner. Starring Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, Susan Brown, Denise Gough, Amanda Lawrence, James McArdle, Nathan Steward-Jarrett, Russell Tovey
ANGELS IN AMERICA PART 2, PERESTROIKA - August 21, August 26 - Directed by Marianne Elliott. Written by Tony Kushner. Starring Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, Susan Brown, Denise Gough, Amanda Lawrence, James McArdle, Nathan Steward-Jarrett, Russell Tovey

Here's the Schedule of Free Outdoor Movies at Target Field Station

Schedule of free outdoor movies at Target Field Station announced

Hennepin County is hosting free movie nights this summer at Target Field Station in partnership with the mpls downtown council and the Minnesota Twins. 

Residents can bring a lawn chair or blanket, find a spot on the grass outside the ballpark and watch movies on the video board. The digital screen at Target Field Station allows for movies to be shown in crisp quality and before dusk, making the events ideal for all ages.

All movies begin Thursdays at 7:00pm

  • June 1: “The Sandlot”  
  • June 8: “Footloose” (1984)  
  • June 29: “The Parent Trap” (1961)  
  • July 13: “Inside Out”  
  • August 10: “Finding Dory”  
  • August 24: “Free Willy”  

Getting to Target Field Station

Go Outside with Hennepin County

The movie nights are part of Go Outside with Hennepin County, a series of free, family-friendly events. Events will take place this summer at Target Field Station and the Hennepin County Government Center. 

Share your experiences at Go Outside events. Interact on social media using the hashtag #GoOutside. 

See this year's full schedule of Go Outside with Hennepin County events.


My North Series - 52 Minnesota Stories Leading up to the 2018 Super Bowl (Episodes 11-15)

Count down to Super Bowl 52 with this weekly video series of 52 love letters to Minnesota from notable Minnesotans. My North is an editorial video series created by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and presented by Explore Minnesota. Hear from tastemakers and stylemakers. Artists and athletes. Authors and entertainers. These are their odes to the state they love. Below are episodes 11-15 - click here to see more



June 21: Book It to the Parks!

Book It to the Parks!

On Wednesday, June 21, Minneapolis parks will open more than 50 new Little Free Libraries - a gift from The Minneapolis Foundation to local families in honor of Minnesota Public Radio’s 50th anniversary. MPR hosts, local authors, and other guest readers will celebrate by reading children’s books at story times in parks all over the city, from sunrise to sunset on summer’s longest day.

Book donations are welcome – help stock your neighborhood’s newest Little Free Library.

Bring your kids and Book It to the Parks!


Get to Know The Commons!

The Commons is more than just a huge expanse of luxurious grass to run your toes through.  Check out all the programming scheduled for this summer and fall. FUN! :D

Daily Amenities – Free and open to the public:   
Umbrellas – Colorful umbrellas provide shade at amenity areas and within program rooms. 
Games Cart – A variety of favorite lawn and board games, including Corn Hole, ladder ball, bocce, chess, checkers, Connect Four, etc. Available free of charge, to borrow from our games cart. Opens June 1.
Reading Cart – Explore best sellers and titles from local publishers as well as daily newspapers, available for use in the park. Make The Commons your stop over lunch to read up on news. Opens June 1. With support from Bond & Devick Wealth Partners.
Ping Pong – Challenge your friends, family and colleagues to a game. Free paddles and balls available for use in the park. Opens June 1.
Public Art Installation - Orbacles by MINN_LAB is presented as part of the City of Minneapolis Creative City Challenge. The winning submission by MINN_LAB addresses how climate change affects birdlife in Minnesota, and launches in conjunction with the Northern Spark Festival June 10.
- - - - -
Series – Free and open to the public
• Kubb Lessons • Hip Hop Dance • Fly Feet HIIT & Run • Silent Disco • Summer Extravaplaza • Spoken Word Workshops • Sing Play Learn – Early Childhood • Film Festival • Mill City Farmers Market • Bike with a Ranger
- - - - -   
Single Events – Free and open to the public
Storytime with Nancy Carlson • Northern Spark • German Student Orchestra Performance • Lit Community Picnic • Storytime with John Coy & Wing Young Huie • Make Music Day Twin Cities • Aquatennial Yoga with CorePower Yoga • Storytime & Sing-A-Long with Trisha Speed Shaskan and Stephen Shaskan
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External Events
Badass Dash - X Games Concerts - Vikings Activations

Minneapolis Edges Out Saint Paul to Retain Title of Nation's Best Park System

Minneapolis has the best park system in the United States, according to The Trust for Public Land's 6th annual ParkScore® index, which was released today by the non-profit organization.

Minneapolis narrowly edged out cross-town rival Saint Paul to earn top honors for the second consecutive year. San Francisco climbed into third, pulling ahead of Washington, DC, and Arlington, VA, mostly because of improved access to basketball courts at schoolyards now open after hours and on weekends. PortlandIrvineNew YorkMadison, and Cincinnati rounded out the top 10.

Fresno shook up the bottom of the ParkScore rankings, vaulting from last year's 97th to a tie for 90th place (with Hialeah and Jacksonville, FL). Fresno's climb stemmed mostly from the creation of "joint use" agreements that open school playgrounds and athletic fields for public use after school hours and on weekends. Fresno had been the lowest ranking ParkScore city from 2012-2015.

"Joint use of school facilities is a major national trend, and a very positive development. Keeping playgrounds and athletic fields open to the public when schools are closed helps cities significantly increase park access at relatively low cost. The Trust for Public Land enthusiastically supports joint use, but it does not replace the need for new park acquisition and open space preservation," said Will Rogers, President of The Trust for Public Land.

"Everyone in America deserves to live within a 10-minute walk of a park. Parks are proven to improve physical and mental health, increase property values, and bring neighbors together to nurture the personal bonds that make our communities special," said Charlie McCabe, Director of The Trust for Public Land's Center for City Parks Excellence.

ParkScore rankings are based on three factors: Park Access, which measures the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park (approximately ½-mile); Park Size, which is based on a city's median park size and the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks; and Facilities and Investment, which combines park spending per resident with the availability of four popular park amenities: basketball hoops, off-leash dog parks, playgrounds, and recreation and senior centers.

In addition to ranking park systems in the 100 most populous U.S. cities, ParkScore also provides a one-to-five park bench rating summary that provides a snapshot of local park quality. In 2017, three cities received the highest possible 5-bench rating: MinneapolisSaint Paul, and San Francisco.

ParkScore champion Minneapolis scored strongly on all ParkScore rating factors. In Minneapolis, 97 percent of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park, and 15 percent of city area is reserved for parks. Second-place finisher Saint Paul nearly matched Minneapolis for park access, amenities, and investment but ceded the top spot due to its smaller median park size (3.7 acres vs. 6.6 acres).  Third place San Francisco outperformed both Minnesota cities for investment and access, but was third overall, mostly because of its comparatively small median park size, 1.6 acres. Boise, ID, led the nation with 7.2 dog parks per 100,000 residents and tied for 35thposition overall (with Raleigh).

"You can't have a great city without a great park system," said Adrian Benepe, Senior Vice President and Director of City Park Development for The Trust for Public Land. "Our top-ranked park systems are terrific, but all cities have room to improve. ParkScore is a tool that city leaders can use to guide park improvement, helping planners identify where they should focus their efforts, so more residents can live within a 10-minute walk of a well-planned and well-maintained park."

According to The Trust for Public Land, the 10 highest-ranking park systems in the United States are:




Park Bench Summary

Raw Score (Max 100)   



5.0 park benches



Saint Paul

5.0 park benches



San Francisco

5.0 park benches



Washington, DC

4.5 park benches



Portland, OR

4.5 park benches



Arlington, VA

4.5 park benches



Irvine (tie)

4.5 park benches



New York (tie)

4.5 park benches



Madison, WI

4.5 park benches




4.0 park benches



The lowest-ranking park systems are:



Fresno (tie)

1.5 park benches



Hialeah, FL (tie)

1.5 park benches



Jacksonville, FL (tie)

1.5 park benches



Laredo, TX (tie)

1.5 park benches



Winston-Salem (tie)

1.5 park benches



Mesa, AZ

1.5 park benches




1.5 park benches




1.0 park benches



Fort Wayne (tie)

1.0 park benches



Indianapolis (tie)

1.0 park benches



Gilbert, AZ was not ranked because the city did not provide parks data to The Trust for Public Land.

ParkScore uses advanced GIS (geographic information system) computer mapping technology to create digital maps evaluating park accessibility, making it the most realistic assessment system available. Instead of simply measuring distance to a local park, ParkScore's GIS technology takes into account the location of park entrances and physical obstacles to access. For example, if residents are separated from a nearby park by a major highway, ParkScore does not count the park as accessible to those residents (unless there is a bridge, underpass, or easy access point across the highway). Esri and The Trust for Public Land collaborated on GIS design and implementation, helping to make ParkScore the most comprehensive park evaluation tool ever created.

ParkScore is free and open to the public to use as a roadmap to guide park improvement efforts. Users can browse interactive maps and zoom in and study park access on a block-by-block basis, pinpointing the neighborhoods where parks are most needed.

For more information about ParkScore, visit and join the discussion on Twitter @TPL_org, #ParkScore.

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit

SOURCE The Trust For Public Land


2017 Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Award Recipients Announced

On Thursday, May 18, Preservation Award partners Preserve Minneapolis, AIA Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission announced the recipients of 2017 annual Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Awards during a luncheon at International Market Square. 

The following honors were presented at the 27th Annual Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Awards:

 Historic Restoration, Rehabilitation, or Adaptive Reuse Project

700 Central

Hewing Hotel


New Addition to an Historic Building

Residence on Emerson

Charles Frederick Keyes House


Grassroots: Advocacy & Education

4Word Homes and Design, LLC/Robin O’Brien’s Home Restoration   


The Steve Murray Award

Robert M. Frame, III


The Minneapolis Preservation Awards annually recognize projects, individuals, and organizations that celebrate the heritage and historic character of Minneapolis. Nominations are selected based on their careful attention to the quality of design, architecture, workmanship, and materials as well as the positive impact on the surrounding neighborhood and community.

A jury comprised of two Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commissioners, two members of the American Institute of Architects Minneapolis Chapter, and two board members from Preserve Minneapolis reviewed the nominations.

For more information about the award program and details of the 2017 recipients, visit the AIA Minneapolis website.


Northern Spark Launch Party, June 10 at Thresher Square

Northern Spark’s 7th year kicks off with the Launch Party from 7 – 9 pm on Saturday, June 10 at Thresher Square.

Start your adventure with artful food created by 8 amazing local restaurants, beer from Fulton Brewing, a Northern Spark specialty cocktail crafted by Crooked Water Spirits, and musical guests ZULUZULUU! The historic Thresher Square building is just steps from The Commons, Northern Spark’s downtown Minneapolis neighborhood, so as the sun sets at 8:59 pm, you’ll already be in the prime spot for the festival’s opening celebrations.

Featured restaurants: Mercy, Cafe Alma, Eastside, Red Stag Supperclub, French Meadow, Handsome Hog, Silhouette Bakery & Bistro, Cafe Latté
Beverages: Fulton Brewing, Crooked Water Spirits, Barefoot Bubbly, Sociable Cider Werks, Peace Coffee

Tickets are available on Eventbrite
$50 Adapt Ticket - Entrance to the Launch Party from 7-9pm along with two hours of hosted libations, the specialty Northern Spark Launch Party cocktail, and a concert by stellar artists ZULUZULUU
$100 Sustain Ticket - Entrance to the Launch Party from 7-9pm along with two hours of hosted libations, the specialty Northern Spark Launch Party cocktail, and a concert by stellar artists ZULUZULUU, plus artistic hors d'oeuvres from 8 local restaurants
The Launch Party is presented by the Northern Spark Host Committee and is the annual fundraiser for Northern, the producers of the Northern Spark festival. The launch party funds a large portion of Northern Spark activities. 

Exploring the Upper River – Edgewater Park

Article by Kathleen Boe, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership

Exploring the Upper River

A look at hidden gems along the Minneapolis Riverfront

Through the course of this series on placemaking, we’re visiting parks, areas of green space and locations of interest along the upper river and the Minneapolis Riverfront.

But as you’re driving along Marshall St. NE, you might miss this spot. It’s at a busy intersection of Marshall and Lowry, where we’ve already written about Stormwater Park and there’s even more to discover than can be covered in this piece. So you might be forgiven if Edgewater Park has receded into the background for you so far.

I’m here to change that.

Edgewater Park sits on the southwest corner of Marshall and Lowry. The park is, of course, at the edge of the water, but the name also comes from the Edgewater Inn, which was a popular music spot on the site. The city acquired the land in 1993 and Edgewater Park was built as part of the Above the Falls Master Plan in 2006 thanks in part to funding from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. The park was dedicated in the spring of 2007.

This space was envisioned as parkland as far back as 1883, among Horace Cleveland’s initial suggestions to the city of Minneapolis, but it was not originally developed as such.

The park itself features a small picnic area and a walking path, but you might easily miss its key feature if you’re not aware of it coming in. The layout of Edgewater Park mimics the flow of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers through the area, with the Mississippi (pictured) heading out of the park toward Lowry and the Minnesota headed out toward Marshall. An aerial viewwill give you the best perspective.

While you’re there, also take note of how the park is divided into two distinct pieces, with planting and grasses distinguishing the metro area from the prairie.

At the midpoint of the park, near the confluence, as it were, of the two paths, is a lookout, mimicking the view Fort Snelling has on the actual rivers themselves.

This lookout is a great spot, too, to observe what is going on across the river. In two years we’ll have Northern Metals shutting down and starting to head out, removing some of the heavy industrial work. So when you visit, take a few minutes to envision what a mixture of parkland, trails and housing or light industrial use might look like on the river’s west bank.

So, the next time you’re taking a Nice Ride bike along the East Bank trail, continue up Marshall for a few more blocks and check out Edgewater Park. Drop off your bike and head into Tony Jaros Rivergarden for a greenie, or check in at Betty Danger’s. It’s a good time of year to hit the Ferris Wheel.

Kathleen Boe is Executive Director of the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership. She can be reached at via email, or on the web.


Scenes from the May 20 Mill City Farmers Market

Sure it was soggy at the May 20 MCFM, but the shoppers who braved the weather did not go home disappointed!

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers MarketMelanie Ebertz of ArtAndes with Peruvian photographer Humberto Valdivia, who was in town in conjunction with Art-A-Whirl.

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the goat!

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market


In the News - Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods


Minneapolis population boom echoes Roaring Twenties
The latest Met Council estimates show strong growth in the central cities, though the region as a whole has kept pace, too.

Timeline: A look at history of Star Tribune
An overview of key events in the life of the newspaper.

See how a famed downtown Minneapolis street corner has changed since 1960
A brief history of 8th and Hennepin told through old-school photographs.

Downtown is growing, but are public bathrooms lost in the mix?
It’s a predicament many in downtown Minneapolis have found themselves in.

Click to read more ...


The Week Ahead in Mill City


Yoga in the Park is Back!

Yoga in Gold Medal Park returns Saturday, May 27!

We will meet on Saturdays, beginning on May 27 and ending on September 2nd. Each session will begin at 9:00am and end before 10:00am. Grab your mat (or a towel) and a neighbor, and meet us by the orange sculpture. The sessions are free of charge and sponsored by the Friends of the Mill District. Come salute the sun and enjoy the beauty of our neighborhood with your friends and neighbors. 

Questions and comments can be sent to


Nonprofit Spotlight: The Lift Garage - Changing the World One Car at a Time

Article and photos by Claudia Kittock

I’m sure all of you have been inconvenienced by a car repair. That moment always happens when you realize how much of life depends on a reliable car. How do you get groceries? How do you make appointments? How do you get to work?

I first met Cathy Heying on a Saturday in May when she agreed to come in an hour early to share the story of The Lift Garage with me. Her enthusiasm and passion for the work she does is amazing. Cathy is funny, kind, smart, and has a laser focus.

Cathy had spent most of her career working at St. Stephens. She held multiple positions during her 15 years working with people experiencing homelessness. Her clients told her over and over again about the obstacle of not having a dependable car. How do you get to work if your car isn’t working? How do you afford car repairs if you can’t get to work?

Cathy said she was plagued with the recurring thought that ‘somebody should do something about it’. While she struggled to ignore that voice, she took a tour of Dunwoody College of Technology in 2008 and was told that applications were due by the end of the week. After coming to terms with the idea of a 2 year program and more student loans, she sent in her application, was accepted and began in the fall of 2008.

Armed with a master’s degree in pastoral ministry, Heying assumed the training would be a ‘piece of cake’.  That’s not how it turned out. The training was rigorous and difficult, and Cathy persisted, working full time at St. Stephens while attending classes full time at Dunwoody. She graduated 2 years later with an AAS degree in auto technology.

Cathy said she was plagued with the
recurring thought that
‘somebody should do something about it’.

Still not sure what was coming next, she spent a year having conversations. The ‘language’ of nonprofits was a language she knew well, so in August of 2012 The Lift Garage received 501©3 status, with a projected opening in late 2013. Shortly after the decision had been made to open in 2013, Cathy got a call about renting a repair bay at Dan’s Car Wash, and in March of 2013 The Lift Garage opened at 5925 Nicollet Avenue S.

For all of 2013, the garage was open 1 day a week, and customers flocked to it. On the 3rd Saturday they were open, Cathy got a call from a woman in Lakeville who needed her help. She was calling because she had seen the information on a flyer...but there was no flyer!! Word of mouth was powerful and swift. Within a very short time, they were booked out 3 months, and Cathy knew she needed help. She had volunteers to help her with the office and the repairs, but more was needed.

By January of 2014, The Lift Garage was able to expand business hours to Wednesdays through Saturdays, and by the summer had hired both full time and part time staff. There are now 4 full time employees and the garage is open 50 hours a week. A mobile van has just been added with the goal of going out to assess repair issues to determine if it can be fixed or not. The Lift Garage still has a 3-month waiting list.

The service is for all Minnesotans who meet the 150% Federal Poverty Guideline. They charge only $15 per hour plus the cost of parts at no mark-up, serving all counties in Minnesota.

The goal is getting cars safe and back on the road, so they work on brakes, suspension and steering, starting and charging systems, fuel systems, exhaust systems, and heating and cooling systems (not air conditioning). They do not do work on transmissions or the body. They are also not able to do significant engine repairs such as head gaskets or engine rebuilds, and are no longer able to offer payment plans.

The Lift Garage costs approximately $30,000/month to run. Earned income for most months is $8,000-$10,000. Help is needed!

How can you help?

• Learn more at
• Donate at Please take note of the supplies needed.
Volunteer! Currently they are in need of:
  - Mechanics: Insurance requires certified or formally trained techs to work on cars.
  - Office assistants: Staffing phones, intakes, and payment.
  - Committee members to serve in areas of fundraising and finance. 
• If you are a caseworker you can fill out The Lift Garage – Income Verification Form and email it to or mail to PO Box 6992, Minneapolis, MN 55406. Once you send a referral the customer needs to call to set up an appointment.

Cathy Heying reminded me that fixing the problems we find in this world is about doing it. Don’t argue with that thought that ‘someone should do something about that’. Dig deep, ask yourself what you can do, take a deep breath, and get to work!

Claudia can be reached at

- - - -

Editor's Note - How humbling it is to be in the midst of a CNN Hero!


Statewide Parks Association Recognizes Minneapolis Parks for 20-Year Neighborhood Park Plan 

Via a May 18 e-newsletter from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board:

On May 17, 2017, Michelle Snider, executive director of the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association (MRPA), presented Jayne Miller, superintendent of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), with a 2016 Award of Excellence. 

Each year, the MRPA recognizes agencies or organizations throughout Minnesota for a range of outstanding achievements, including communications, parks and facilities, programming and events, sponsorships and partnerships, sustainability and volunteer initiatives. 

MPRB was awarded for its 2016 adoption of the 20-Year Neighborhood Park Plan (NPP20), in the Administrative and Management Strategies category. 

"We are thrilled to receive this award," said Superintendent Miller. "It affirms how essential neighborhood parks are to the livability and the vitality of Minneapolis. We hope other park systems can use NPP20 as a model to find ways to fund and carry out much-needed repairs, replacements and updates." 

NPP20 is the MPRB's response to a problem facing heavily used urban park systems across the country: a combination of chronic underfunding and overall aging of neighborhood parks.

MRPA Executive Director Michelle Snider and MPRB Superintendent Miller with the 2016 MRPA Award of ExcellenceA historic agreement between MPRB and the City of Minneapolis, NPP20 was approved as an ordinance in 2016 to accomplish the goal of revitalizing the city’s 160 neighborhood parks for current and future generations of park users. The plan protects current levels of park funding received from city and state sources and provides an additional $11 million annually for 20 years, with those funds dedicated to three areas: park maintenance, rehabilitation and capital investments. 

Just as important, NPP20 addresses disparities within a city that has grown far more racially and ethnically diverse in the past 20 years. An equity ordinance accompanying the NPP20 agreement ensures that funding for rehabilitation and capital investments is prioritized using a set of data-driven criteria that are focused on racial and economic equity. 

About the MRPA

The Minnesota Recreation and Park Association is a professional membership association serving nearly 900 members statewide. Its mission is to improve the quality of life in Minnesota by enhancing the profession of parks, open space, recreation, and leisure services.


Summer Activities at the Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza and Target Field Plaza


Go outside with Hennepin County this summer!

Enjoy these outdoor activities at Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza, 300 S 6th Street (June 1 – August 31):

Tuesdays (12 pm – 1 pm)
Stop by for piano performances each Tuesday throughout the summer during your lunch hour! Through Pianos on Parade program, a partnership between mdc, mpls downtown improvement district & Keys 4/4 Kids, a piano at South Plaza will include programmed musical performances each Tuesday. Grab some food and enjoy a gift of music each week. You never know who will be tickling the ivories!

Wednesdays (11:30 am – 1:30 pm)
Every Wednesday, South Plaza will be transformed into an outdoor recreation room! The space will feature a food truck each week, yard games (bean bags, connect four, etc.), an art card (adult and youth coloring, bubbles, plado, yarn, paper, wasabi tape), a meditation area with colorful blankets and yoga mats there for you to enjoy a brief get-away, and the Pianos on Parade piano if you’d like to play a song or two yourself.

Thursdays (6 am – 6 pm)
Beginning May 5 and running through October, the Downtown Farmers Market will be on site at South Plaza again in 2017. The farmers market moved here during the Nicollet Mall Project, and it provides a great way to bring people together on the South Plaza lawn to browse fresh produce, flowers and more. The farmers market has a wide variety of friendly local vendors that have great products to share.

- - - - - - - -

Enjoy these outdoor activities at Target Field Station, 335 N 5th Street (June 1 – August 31):

Tuesday trivia nights
Trivia has always been a fun and trendy after work activity! We are bringing trivia outside at Target Field Station on select Tuesdays this summer. Gather a group of colleagues, friends or family and test your knowledge. Questions will be read aloud along with use of the big screen.

Thursday movie nights
On select Thursdays throughout the summer, you can enjoy outdoor movie nights at Target Field Station. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, find a spot on the green grass outside the Twins’ ballpark and enjoy an evening watching a movie under the stars and the downtown skyline.
Family events, outdoor fitness & more
Throughout the summer, you’ll be able to enjoy family events like our Most Epic Family Day, fitness classes outdoors on the Target Field Station grass and much more. Our Monday fitness nights in September will coincide with National Yoga Month.


Above the Falls Sports Now Offers a Downtown Historical Recumbent Trike Tour

UPDATE May 24, 2017:

Per Above the Falls Sports: "No longer doing trike tours but we do have a variety of Trident Trikes for sale! Still running kayak tours on the Mississippi! Contact us via email at or call us at 612-825-8983!"


Above the Falls Sports, 120 N 3rd Avenue, now offers a Downtown Historical Trike Tour- discover the history of Downtown Minneapolis on a recumbent trike alongside the shores of the Mississippi. From flour mills, to beautifully sculpted parkland, this trip encapsulates what Minneapolis was and what it came to be.

The tour is approximately 3 hours and the cost is $60 per person + tax/optional gratuity.


MPRB Begins the Process of Food Vendor Selection for Water Works 

The Water Works project includes a riverfront pavilion where a food vendor will operate

Via a May 17 e-newsletter from the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board:

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and philanthropic partner, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation (MPF) are excited to request expressions of interest from food vendors seeking to create a food experience for Water Works on the downtown Minneapolis riverfront.

A project of the RiverFirst Initiative, Water Works is a transformational park development project in Mill Ruins Park overlooking St. Anthony Falls. The project includes creation of a new café space built into excavated mill walls with an address on West River Parkway and indoor/outdoor dining spaces.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and Minneapolis Parks Foundation (MPF) invite interested food vendors to submit an expression of interest communicating their food concept along with team and financial details. Find more information and the formal Request for Information by visiting MPRB's Business Opportunities page.


The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul Celebrates David Lynch

Starting Friday, May 26, the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul celebrates the brilliance and creativity of the singular auteur, David Lynch, with presentations of the new documentary on Lynch’s formative years and early artistic career, DAVID LYNCH: THE ART LIFE.
This screening will be presented as a Double Feature with THE SHORT FILMS OF DAVID LYNCH, a digitally restored collection of six short films crafted by Lynch between 1967-1974, plus a one-minute film from 1995.
40th Anniversary: Eraserhead
Also screening will be the 40th Anniversary DCP restoration of ERASERHEAD, David Lynch’s debut monochrome masterpiece and cult sensation.