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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.


Mr. Pettingill’s Wonderful Water

Article by Michael Rainville, Jr.

1875 - Chalybeate Springs near Pillsbury A MillIn 1875, the Minneapolis Riverfront welcomed its first, and last, resort. Mr. Mannesseh P. Pettingill reached an agreement with the St. Anthony Falls Company to lease a portion of their land, where he would start a spring-fed resort and tourist attraction. This was not the first time people would visit the springs, as they have been a popular spot to unwind since pioneers settled in the area. However, during the Civil War, the springs fell out of popularity.

The visitors of Mr. Pettinghill’s resort descended a steep flight of stairs, which were located in present day Father Hennepin Bluff Park. At the base of the bluff, they were able to enjoy ice cream, cigars, great views of St. Anthony Falls, and relaxing natural springs, which he marketed it as his Wonderful Water. One of the main attractions of the resort was a cavern, advertised as “Chute’s Cave.” An August 1876 issue of the Minneapolis Tribune says that visitors were able to take a tour of the cavern. “For the moderate sum of ten cents you can take a seat in a boat, with a flaming torch at the bow, and with a trusty pilot sail up under Main Street a distance of 2,000 feet.” If you were not the adventurous type, they also provided live music along the banks of the Mississippi every Saturday, such as the East Minneapolis Cornet Band on the evening of August 26th. Mr. Pettingill eventually constructed a covered dancefloor as a “rendezvous for lovers of dancing, where they can trip the light fantastic whenever occasion admits.”

1875 - Chalybeate Springs near Pillsbury A Mill

The growth of the city eventually made it hard for Mr. Pettingill to continue to run his resort, and in Autumn of 1880, it closed for good. Everything that could have went wrong happened all at once. Milling continued to grow at a rapid pace, which chased away many visitors of the resort because of the noise pollution, it was discovered that the source of Mr. Pettingill’s Wonderful Water was a swamp, and to top it all off, the city connected its sewers to the tailraces of the mills that emptied into the river right next to the resort.

Lower Father Hennepin Bluff Park

Fortunately for us, that area has cleaned up quite nicely. If you want to check out the springs, wait until the snow melts and the river thaws, and wander down the trails of the lower section of Father Hennepin Bluff Park and rediscover the beauty that attracted many residences of the Twin Cities and beyond to Mr. Pettengill’s resort.

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About Michael Rainville, Jr.

A 6th generation Minneapolitan, Michael Rainville Jr. received his B.A. in History from the University of St. Thomas, and is currently enrolled in their M.A. in Art History and Certificate in Museum Studies programs. Michael is also a lead guide at Mobile Entertainment LLC, giving Segway tours of the Minneapolis riverfront for 5+ years. He can be reached at


Spring 2018 Westminster Town Hall Forums Announced


Since 1980, the Westminster Town Hall Forum (free and open to all) has provided unique opportunities to explore the key issues of our day from an ethical perspective. In just an hour, guest speakers will expand your mind and maybe even change your perspective. Forums are always aired at noon on MPR News Presents, 91.1 FM in the Twin Cities. Noon forums are broadcast live, and evening forums are recorded for later broadcast, usually within a day or two of the event.

The Spring 2018 dates are:


Topic: An American Abroad in a Post-American World 

Suzy Hansen is an American journalist and editor. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she has lived in Istanbul since 2007 after receiving a journalism fellowship from the Institute of Current World Affairs to write on Turkish politics and foreign affairs. Since then, she has traveled for her work to Libya, Greece, Egypt, Afghanistan, Kuwait, India, Kenya, and beyond. She is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, London Review of Books, Vogue, GQ, Bloomberg, and Businessweek. Her first book, Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World, is a geopolitical memoir, challenging her assumptions about American beneficence abroad, America's role in the Middle East, and our country’s place in the world.


Topic: Healing the Effects of Childhood Adversity and Trauma

Nadine Burke Harris is a pediatrician and advocate for children’s health. She is the founder of the Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco, which researches the impact of adverse childhood experiences, affecting children at all socio-economic levels and putting them at higher risk for health, behavioral, and learning problems. She has shared her research and insights at the Mayo Clinic, American Academy of Pediatrics, Google Zeitgeist, and Dreamforce. She is the recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s Humanism in Medicine award and the Heinz Award for the Human Condition. She is an advisor to the Too Small to Fail initiative, which promotes the importance of early brain and language development in children, and the author of the new book The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity.


Topic: A Candid Look at Today's Headlines

Steve Schmidt is a political strategist, public relations executive, and an on-air political analyst at MSNBC. He was an advisor in the George W. Bush administration and served as the top strategist for the president’s 2004 re-election campaign. In 2008, he was the senior advisor to John McCain’s presidential campaign. He is a vice president at Edelman, a global communications marketing firm, where he advises politicians and business executives on a wide range of issues, including technology and telecommunications, financial services, energy, health care, and more. He serves on the board of the nonprofit research organization JUST Capital, which ranks companies on their commitment to fair pay, equal treatment of all workers, community-building, and sustainability. With David Plouffe, he founded the Center for Political Communication at the University of Delaware. 


Topic: Mandela's Way: Lessons for an Uncertain Age

Richard Stengel is a journalist, author, and a former managing editor of Time. He has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, The New Republic, Spy and The New York Times, and he appears regularly on television as a commentator. In 2013, he accepted the position of Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the Obama administration. He has served as the president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, established by Congress to increase awareness and understanding of the Constitution. He collaborated with Nelson Mandela on his autobiography, The Long Walk to Freedom, and he was a producer on the documentary film Mandela. He is the author of Mandela’s Way: Lessons for an Uncertain Age. A graduate of Princeton University, he was awarded a Rhodes scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford, where he studied English and history.

Westminster Presbyterian Church is located at 1200 Marquette Avenue. 

Town Hall Forum Website


2018 Italian Film Festival scheduled for February 22 - 25

Celebrating its 10th year, the Italian Film Festival returns to the St. Anthony Main Theatre, hosted by the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul. Organized by the Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis-St. Paul (ICC), a nonprofit committed to sharing Italian art, culture, and language in the Twin Cities, the festival screens the best contemporary Italian movies, from quirky “Italian-style” comedies to socially-relevant documentaries.

Alongside Minnesota premieres, the festival showcases Italy’s cinematic history with a newly-restored Italian classic each year–this year, we celebrate the work of Vittorio De Sica with a digitally restored screening of his timely comedy Il Boom (1963) starring Alberto Sordi.

To commemorate the IFF’s 10 years in Minnesota, the Film Society has created something new this year, the “Building Bridges: Emerging Filmmaker Awards.” Their talented jurors have selected two short films by new filmmakers living in Italy and Minnesota and you’ll have a chance to see the winners at the closing night film.

Join the Film Society Thursday, February 22 through Sunday, February 25 for an amazing mix of documentaries, dramas, and comedies that will take viewers on a spectacular journey through the landscapes and stories of Italy and its people.


Izzy’s Ice Cream 5th Annual 13 Days of Giving, February 15 - 27

Izzy’s Ice Cream, 1100 Second Street S, is again hosting Izzy’s 13 Days of Giving, February 15 - 27.

As a local, family-owned business in the Twin Cities, Izzy’s Ice Cream appreciates the great fortune of being in a supportive community that allows them to be successful year after year. Each February they attempt to give a little back (something other than just ice cream!), and this year they are hosting their 5th Annual 13 Days of Giving. For 13 days in February, they show their love for different non-profits by featuring a different organization each of the 13 days of February around Valentine’s Day. Izzy’s will donate $2 from every cone sold to a different non-profit each day. Customers also are welcomed to make additional donations beyond the ice cream purchase as well.

- The Three Angels Fund
- Walking Shadow Theater Company
- United Way
- Minnesota Youth Symphonies
- Ruff Start Rescue
- Minnesota Communities Caring for Children
- Autism Society of Minnesota
- Walk-In Counseling Center
- Partnership Resources Inc.
- Adopt a Classroom
- Ramsey County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative
- Land Stewardship Project
- Minneapolis Youth Baseball Association
- The Morton Cure Paralysis Fund
- Central High School
- The St. Luke Foundation for Haiti
- Science Museum of Minnesota 

Jessica Prudden Took a Chance and Created Her Own Real Estate Marketing Company

Article and photos by Merle Minda

Jessica Prudden, partner and owner of Prudden & Company.Jessica Prudden was working away happily as a realtor and leasing representative for condo marketing behemoth FirstService Residential (FSR), a nationwide realty services company which handles a large swath of Twin Cities condos. She had already found her niche in real estate which allowed her to use her design interests as well. She then helped FSR to create their leasing division for condo and apartment renters, developing the branding, web site and marketing materials for that specific business.

Suddenly came the day, just over one year ago, when FSR no longer wanted to be in the leasing business. Enter Jessica with a plan to buy the leasing portion of FSRs business and create her own. Now Prudden & Company, just one year in business, is thriving in downtown real estate and condo rental services. Again putting her design smarts to work, this time for her own company, the branding, website and marketing approach came together quickly. All of FSRs rental/leasing customers became her clients. As a renter myself who went through this change, I can tell you that it was absolutely seamless. And for Jessica, being in her own business is a dream come true.

With a glam office on the main floor of 909 Washington Avenue North, Jessica and her team are busily working with clients and whatever turns up. This past week, for example, she took time out from a flood of Super Bowl rental requests to talk with me.

As a true business bonus, the housing demands of the Super Bowl have lent sudden urgency to her business. A recent article in the Star Tribune by Jim Buchta stated that Prudden & Company booked more than 30 house and condo rentals for the week, including two house rentals of over $200,000 each.

Jessica is a partner in the new company, and has now welcomed Peter Prudden, her husband and operations manager, into the business as another partner. The office and realty staff has swelled too, with Didi Aron, realtor; Catie Braun as Realtor/agent and Rachel Ellingson as office manager. During my visit, Jessica’s web developer Drew Mintz of Edition Studios, hovered as well.

Left to right, Didi Aron, realtor; Peter Prudden, partner and operations manager, and Jessica Prudden, partner at Prudden & Company.

Prudden & Company has a futuristic office, all huge glass street front windows, one long, large table studded with high-end computers where everyone sits at their own station. I did not see a piece of paper anywhere – no file cabinets either. Printers for those all-important leasing contracts were discreetly hidden behind smoked glass doors. Impressive!

 “With so many people downsizing and wanting to move into the Mill District, and so many new buildings going up, we are uniquely positioned to help clients with their specific needs and adaptation to their condo and life in the city,” says Jessica. “My contacts and relationships were already in place so I was able to hit the ground running,” she continued. “And I love every minute!”

Reach Prudden & Company at or call 612-875-4675.

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About Merle Minda

Journalist and free-lance writer Merle Minda writes about travel, business, people profiles and other subjects for a number of national and regional publications, including Delta SKY, Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Business, Star Tribune, Twin Cities Statement, Minnesota Monthly, and now Mill City Times. She can be reached at or on the web.


February 15 Art Opening at the Bridgewater

The Legacy and Bridgewater Neighbors and Friends of the Arts invite you to the next art opening at the Bridgewater:

Surface | Tension
Thursday, February 15, 2018
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Bridgewater Lobby
This free event is sponsored by The Legacy, a luxury 374-unit condominium development, bordering Gold Medal Park and brimming with views and amenities including roof terraces, community and exercise spaces, a dog run and grooming area, golf simulator, children’s playground and rain garden.

Laura Caviani, a jazz pianist, will be performing at the event. Laura is a veteran of over two decades of performing, recording and composing and is also on the faculty of Carlton College as Director of the Jazz Area in the Music Department.

The Bridgewater is located at 215 10th Avenue S, across from Gold Medal Park.

Please RSVP to


Become a Guest Reader at Cedar Riverside Community School

Article by Claudia Kittock

Remember that wonderful time in life when you would tuck your children into bed and then climb in beside them and read stories? I remember the wonder in my children’s eyes as they discovered new worlds. The giggles, the interest, and the glory of showing them how wonderful reading is.

Our neighborhood school, Cedar Riverside Community School is looking for Guest Readers. A Guest Reader is someone that wants to share their love of literacy with the 1st or 2nd grade students. You can share one of your grade appropriate favorites or well-liked children's book with the class as a read aloud.

The role of the Guest Reader is to remain anonymous until s/he enters the classroom on the designated reading day. The program is designed to be a surprise, so only the staff members in the classroom will know ahead of time who will be reading to the class.

Since time is limited, it is imperative that Guest Readers arrive on their scheduled day in the Main Office to sign in by 9:30 am. Guest Readers will have from 9:40-10:00 am to share their book or books with the class and answer any questions or comments that may come up. On the days marked as Augsburg on the schedule, Augsburg University staff and students will be Guest Readers in the campus bookstore.

I encourage you to join this exciting program and share your love of books with our neighborhood children! Thanks for your enthusiasm!!! You can be a guest on two different days this spring -  just pick 1st grade for one time and 2nd grade for the other.

Cedar Riverside Community School is excited to share this program with you, and their staff looks forward to welcoming you into their school community. You can sign up by going to

Cedar Riverside Community School is at 1610 S 6th Street. If you have any questions please call Coach Weber at 763-464-2790 or e-mail

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About Claudia Kittock

Claudia is a resident of the Mill District. In addition to writing for Mill City Times, she is a founding Board Member of Friends of the Mill District. Claudia is the author of Health Through Chaos, mentors young adults at YouthLink, and has served on the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA).



Out of the Box Opera to Present Fusion Evening of Opera, Jazz and Soul Saturday, February 10, Live at The Weisman Art Museum

Article by Merle Minda

Innovative opera company Out of the Box Opera presents Live at the Weisman, another performance evening of operatic adventure, Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm. The Fusion Series includes several iconic musical styles fused into one fantastic evening of music, - a mashup of opera, jazz, soul and everything in between.

“The program includes Puccini to Gershwin to Mozart to Stevie Wonder: a musical journey exploring the best of each genre and celebrating music,” says Out of the Box artistic director David Lefkowich.

David Lefkowich

Lara BoltonPerformers include singers/special guests: Chris Colmenero, tenor; Clara Osowski, mezzo soprano; Brittany Ann Robinson, soprano; bass Ben Sieverding and opera/musical theater performer Dom Wooten. Musicians include Lara Bolton, piano/arrangements; Doug Little, saxophone, and Nate Babbs, drums.

Already known for creating uniquely delightful musical experiences, Out of the Box Opera last performed Diva Cage Match, a soprano sing-off, in October 2017 at the Uppercut Boxing Gym in NE Minneapolis. With “Opera for New Audiences” as its mantra, Out of the Box Opera is led by artistic director David Lefkowitz, well-known to Twin Cities’ opera audiences for his six years leading Mill City Summer Opera to high achievement. This new program has been co-conceived by David Lefkowich and Lara Bolton.

Tickets are available at and

Co-creators of Out of the Box are Noah Eisenberg and James Berman.

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About Merle Minda

Journalist and free-lance writer Merle Minda writes about travel, business, people profiles and other subjects for a number of national and regional publications, including Delta SKY, Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Business, Star Tribune, Twin Cities Statement, Minnesota Monthly, and now Mill City Times. She can be reached at or on the web.


Spoonriver Announces Wednesday Night Trivia Mafia

America’s best trivia is coming to one of Minnesota’s most acclaimed farm-to table restaurants. Starting February 7th, play trivia every Wednesday night at Spoonriver in Downtown Minneapolis’ Mill District.

The trivia events are designed for teams of 1-6 people - so get together a crew of your brainiest friends and win some great prizes: 1st Place Team wins a $30 Spoonriver Gift Card, 2nd Place Team wins a $20 Spoonriver Gift Card, along with other prizes and discounts every week.

There’s no cost to play, it’s totally free!

More info


Starting Today - Streets Closing Near US Bank Stadium for Super Bowl

Several streets near U.S. Bank Stadium will close Saturday, Jan. 27 and Monday, Jan. 29 to prepare for Super Bowl LII on Sunday, Feb. 4.

On Saturday, Jan. 27, the following will close:

  • Fourth Street between Park Avenue and Interstate 35W (detour via Washington Avenue).

On Monday, Jan. 29, the following will close:

  • Sixth Street between Chicago and 11th avenues (detour via Eighth Street).
  • 11th Avenue between Third and Sixth streets
  • Hiawatha Trail between 15th Avenue in the Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood and 11th Avenue in downtown Minneapolis (detour: use Washington Avenue, or ride Metro Blue Line LRT between Cedar Riverside and U.S. Bank Stadium stations.

The closures will be in place until after the Super Bowl.

Additionally, streets, sidewalks and bikeways may see intermittent closures near U.S. Bank Stadium and the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Over the past several months, the City of Minneapolis has worked closely with stakeholders, including the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, NFL, their vendors and several other local partners to craft a traffic management plan that will enhance the Super Bowl LII experience while providing the minimum disruption to traffic and parking possible.

Stay up-to-date on the latest information related to Super Bowl LII street closures by signing up for City traffic alerts at For more City-related Super Bowl LII information, go to For additional travel tips for the 10-day Super Bowl festival, visit


The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul announces dates for the 37th Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF)

Via a January 25 e-newsletter from The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul:

The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul today announced dates for the 37th Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF). This year’s lineup will feature an exciting, bold and moving lineup of contemporary films from local, national and international filmmakers, as well as tributes for master directors with retrospectives of their work. The festival returns April 12-28, 2018 to cinemas throughout the Twin Cities.

This year, the festival—one of the longest-running in the nation—will expand to include select screenings at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The St. Anthony Main Theatre will host screenings during the entire run of the festival, and there will be select shows at The Capri and Uptown Theatres in Minneapolis, Metropolitan State University’s Film Space in St. Paul and the Marcus Wehrenberg Galaxy 16 Theater in Rochester, Minn.

The staff of the Film Society has scoured international film festivals—from Sundance and Toronto to Berlin, Palm Springs, Guadalajara and San Sebastian—and received over a thousand submissions from around the world to bring its characteristically unique slate of international films to Minnesota, cinema that would otherwise never be experienced in Twin Cities theaters. Last year’s nearly 50,000 attendees from around the Midwest explored films from 72 countries.

“For 37 years, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival has helped to cultivate this region’s appreciation of international cinema, delivering audiences to remote and renowned locations around the globe, building bridges between cultures, geographies, people, and communities,” said Susan Smoluchowski, Executive Director of the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, MSPIFF’s non-profit parent organization.

Chasms and Bridges, the Spotlight Program of the 2018 MSPIFF, is a special selection of films and conversations highlighting the divisions and the unity apparent in the world’s myriad populations. These narratives and documentaries serve not only to entertain, but to examine our differences, and in doing so highlight the many ways in which we are similar.

This year the festival will have a focus on Chinese cinema and is pleased to be partnering with the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s forthcoming "Power & Beauty" exhibition, featuring acclaimed Chinese artist and filmmaker Xu Bing's experimental first feature Dragonfly Eyes, as well as other films from China throughout the festival.

The complete festival schedule will be announced March 22. Festival Passes and 6-packs are on sale now at, with individual ticket sales opening on March 22 to Film Society Members and to the public on March 29.

MSPIFF is presented by the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, a dynamic 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to fostering a knowledgeable and vibrant appreciation of the art of film and its power to inform and transform individuals and communities.

The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival is generously supported by The Star Tribune, Cedarwoods Foundation, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Minnesota State Arts Board Legacy Amendment Funding, National Endowment for the Arts, McKnight Foundation, US Bank, The Minneapolis Foundation, Knock, Inc., Indeed Brewing Company, Canon, Cinequipt, Fox Rothschild, Depot Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, numerous local businesses, consulates from around the world, our Master and Auteur Member Circle and the 2,000+ Members and Donors of the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul.


Great River Coalition seeks volunteers for April 21 Earth Day - 5K Fun Run/Walk/River Cleanup

The 3rd Annual Earth Day - 5K Fun Run/Walk/River Cleanup is on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The Great River Coalition needs volunteers to help with planning and marketing, setup, registration, greeters, etc., during the event.
The 5K Bee Run daws hundreds of participants to the banks of the Mississippi River, and to the Great River Coalition's mission. By joining the team of volunteers, you can help to enhance our riverfront environment while bringing awareness to the plight of pollinators.
To sign up, send an email with your name and phone number to
The Great River Coalition is a 501(c)(3) organization. Their 5K Bee Run has more than doubled each year, which they attribute to contributions made by volunteers, sponsors, partners, and participants.

MacPhail Community Youth Choir in Action!

I can sum this up in one word: WOW! Several of the actors from the Mill City Youth Players now sing with JD Steele's MacPhail Community Youth Choir. The Mill City Youth Players perform tonight and tomorrow night at the Guthrie Theater.


3rd Ward Super Bowl Update from Council Member Steve Fletcher

Exceprt from Council Member Steve Fletcher's January 23 e-newsletter:

In addition to the game itself on Sunday, February 4, there are two other large events:

- Super Bowl LIVE is a free, public 10-day festival on Nicollet Mall from January 26 – February 4

- The Super Bowl Experience is a ticketed ($35) NFL-style theme park at the Convention Center from January 27 – February 3

For all of us in Ward 3 – especially downtown – we will see and feel its impact in the next few weeks, and I want to make sure we’re all as informed as we can be about what’s happening when:

- Visit this City home page for all information related to Super Bowl LII

- Check this page for road closure, parking restrictions, and other transportation information:

- Two areas in Ward 3 downtown will have road closures: U.S. Bank Stadium for the game itself and Nicollet Avenue for Super Bowl LIVE.

- On Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 4, SOME municipal parking facilities will require total use for event purposes, i.e. no contract parking will be available. There will be no change for monthly contract parking in municipal facilities until game day.

- The Commons park will also be affected. The East Block of The Commons will be closed to the public from January 6 - February 9, 2018. The West Block of The Commons will remain open and accessible for public use from January 6 - February 9, 2018. There will be no public restrooms available at The Commons until Feb 12.

- Regular light-rail service WILL NOT operate on Sunday, February 4.
Only those holding an official Super Bowl LII ticket, along with a Gameday Fan Express Pass, will be allowed to go through security checkpoints and board trains at either Mall of America (Blue Line) or Stadium Village (Green Line) stations. Green Line service will operate normally between Stadium Village and Union Depot stations.
- For anyone without a ticket, buses will replace light-rail trains on the entirety of the Blue Line throughout the day on February 4, 2018. Free replacement buses will operate between Target Field Station and Stadium Village Station on the Green Line. Buses run on similar schedules to trains but can take longer; please plan accordingly.

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Mourns Loss of Former Commissioner Annie Young

Via a January 23 e-newsletter from Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board:

Young remembered for environmental advocacy, river stewardship and commitment to teen and youth programs

It is with great sadness that the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) learned of the passing of former Commissioner Annie Young.

Commissioner Young retired from the MPRB Board of Commissioners in December 2017, after serving as a Commissioner At Large since January 1990, making her one of the two longest-serving Commissioners in Board history.

“Annie’s passing is a huge loss to the Park Board and the City of Minneapolis,” said MPRB Superintendent Jayne Miller. “Her commitment to our park system, to the environment and to programs and services for children and young people helped us to become the number one park system in the country that we are today. She will be deeply missed.”

During her 28-year tenure, Commissioner Young was a champion of the environment. Young’s efforts to promote and develop environmentally beneficial approaches to operations and recreation activities throughout the park system included championing solar energy initiatives and the Clean Water Partnership, as well as an Integrated Pest Management Plan that led to a 95% reduction in the use of chemicals and pesticides in parks during her time as a commissioner.

She also championed stewardship of the Mississippi River, and the parkland along it, including supporting restoration of the historic Stone Arch Bridge and Mill Ruins Park, which today are among the most-visited gems within the park system.

Young was also committed to programs and services for children and young people and was one of the visionaries who helped create the Teen Teamworks youth employment program.

In 2017, Commissioner Young was honored by resolutions from both the Minneapolis Park Board and the City of Minneapolis acknowledging her contributions, commitment, hard work, initiative and creativity in service.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has lowered flags on park properties to half-mast until January 31 to honor Commissioner Young.

Young’s family has asked for privacy and time to grieve their loss. Memorial service arrangements are pending.

Full Press Release


Extended Skyway Hours During 10 Days Leading up to Super Bowl

Via a January 23 e-newsletter from mpls downtown council:

Skyways to have extended hours during 10 days leading up to Super Bowl in downtown Minneapolis

The mpls downtown council, Meet Minneapolis and BOMA Greater Minneapolis, in alignment with the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, jointly announced today a plan to offer extended hours through key skyway corridors during the 10 days leading up to Super Bowl LII in downtown Minneapolis.

The skyway system will have distinct routes extending to the outer edges of the downtown Minneapolis area open from 6 am – 12 am daily from Friday, January 26 through Sunday, February 4. These paths with extended hours of operation will extend to U.S. Bank Stadium to the East, the Minneapolis Convention Center to the South, Target Field to the West and 3rd Street to the North, giving visitors, residents and workers alike dependable skyway routes each day. The central point of these skyway corridors will intersect at the IDS Center Crystal Court on 8th Street and Nicollet.

The routes will connect U.S. Bank Stadium with Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon along Nicollet as well as the Super Bowl Experience driven by Genesis at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Skyways that will open from 6 am to midnight for Super Bowl LII activities are displayed on the PDF map linked here. Michael McLaughlin, President of Urban Works, coordinated efforts to secure needed approvals from participating buildings.

In addition to the extended skyway hours, Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee volunteers will be deployed within the skyway system until 10 pm each day helping visitors with wayfinding. Special signage will be added to highlight these key corridors. Also, the Mpls Downtown Improvement District will be adding flags at street level to help direct people into the skyway system from several outdoor locations. DID Ambassadors will be provide guests with directions, including added Ambassadors along Hennepin and Marquette avenues on each side of Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon.

“We’re excited to showcase our downtown community as we host people from across the country and the world for the Big Game, and ensuring people can easily navigate our city at street level and in the skyways is important,” said Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the mpls downtown council and Downtown Improvement District, and chair of the Super Bowl Host Committee’s wayfinding committee. “Extending the skyway hours and providing extensive signage and resources are important elements in ensuring our guests efficiently get to their destinations during their stay.”

"We know that skyways are a unique attraction and novelty for visitors to Minneapolis, especially during the winter,” said Melvin Tennant, president and CEO of Meet Minneapolis.  “The collaboration between BOMA, the mpls downtown council, Minneapolis Convention Center and Meet Minneapolis has helped to ensure that our visitors will have a positive experience navigating around the city."

“Crucial to the success of the Super Bowl is featuring one of our most valuable amenities, the skyway system,” said Kevin Lewis, Executive Director of BOMA Minneapolis. “Property owners in downtown Minneapolis have displayed civic pride and a willingness to be flexible by extending skyway hours for Super Bowl attendees.”

With more than 75 participating buildings and encompassing two-thirds of the 9 1/2-mile system, the extended skyway hours program that will be in place for the Super Bowl is the largest coordinated program in the 56-year history of the Minneapolis skyway system,” McLaughlin said.

For more information on Super Bowl LII, visit the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee’s website at For more information on downtown Minneapolis, visit, and for more information on DID assistance visit


Limited Tickets Available for the January 25 and 26 Mill City Youth Players performances at the Guthrie

The Mill City Youth Players will present The M.A.S.K. Project: Meet Us, Ask Us, See Us, Know Us, January 25th and 26th in the Guthrie's Dowling Studio, 7:30pm both nights.

The M.A.S.K. Project: Meet Us, Ask Us, See Us, Know Us, is a performance created by young adults from YouthLink and youth residents of Minneapolis’ Cedar Riverside neighborhood. The group grew their writing and acting skills with Guthrie artists over the past two months, and are ready to come together and share a performance inspired by their personal stories. Building upon last summer’s Be You, Be Seen, Belong event, this one hour performance will feature scenes, music, movement, spoken word and more.

Admission is free, but a tickets are required. 

Sponsored by The Friends of the Mill District in partnership with the Guthrie Theater.


My North Series - 52 Minnesota Stories Leading up to the 2018 Super Bowl (Episodes 46 - 50)

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 46-50 - click here to see more!


Friends of the Mississippi River Seeks Input on Your Favorite River Views

Via Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) website:

Now through spring 2018, the 25 metro-area cities and towns in our local national park, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, are working to identify scenic river views worth protecting.

Once each city has determined its list, they must work to protect these views according to new state rules that protect the metro river corridor. Let's help our cities compile the best list possible!

Check out the views submitted so far, and then tell us about yours via this form. Views can be toward the river — from a public park, overlook or historic property — or toward the bluffs.


Up to $6.1 Million Available for Housing and Development Projects

Via a January 19 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

Up to $6.1 million in funding for housing and development available

Applications due Thursday, February 8

Up to $6.1 million is available to support housing and development projects through Hennepin County's annual coordinated request for proposals (RFP) for development funding.

To maximize county resources and make the application process more efficient, the county coordinates an annual RFP process for several development programs through its Community and Economic Development and Housing Development and Finance divisions and the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA)

Programs included in this year's coordinated development RFP:

Affordable Housing Incentive Fund (AHIF) - $2.7 million
Capital financing to create or preserve long-term affordable housing units throughout Hennepin County for low-income households

HOME Investment Partnerships program (HOME) - $1.2 million
Flexible federal grant program administered by the county to fund a variety of affordable housing activities for very low- and low-income families or individuals, homeless families, and people with special needs

Transit Oriented Development program (TOD) - $2.2 million
Grants and loans for development projects that enhance transit use along Hennepin County transit corridors and routes

Learn more and apply

Reminder: Starting in 2018, all RFP applications must be submitted using the Hennepin County Supplier Portal. To learn more and register, visit the Supplier Portal information page.

Other development funding opportunities

Hennepin County offers a range of development programs to help build lasting value in local communities. Funding and grant programs for development are designed to encourage private investment that delivers public benefits, like:

  • Creating or preserving affordable housing
  • Growing employment opportunities
  • Redeveloping underutilized property
  • Improving environmental sustainability
  • Growing the tax base
  • Maximizing land use potential
  • Supporting healthy lifestyles

Development programs support a variety of project types, including residential, commercial, industrial and mixed-use projects, and can be used for a range of activities from land acquisition and environmental cleanup to construction and redevelopment.

Learn more about other Hennepin County development programs:

Economic development infrastructure fund
Supports new or expanding businesses constructing or renovating facilities

Community Development Block Grant program
Supports community development activities that benefit low- and moderate-income people

Environmental response fund
Supports assessment and cleanup of contaminated lands

Business recycling program
Supports businesses and organizations start or improve recycling programs and reduce waste

Contact us

Community and economic development 

To learn more about community and economic development funding opportunities or to discuss your development plans, contact:

Patricia Fitzgerald
Hennepin County
Manager, Community and Economic Development | 612-532-4588

Affordable housing development

To learn more about the county's affordable housing development programs or to discuss your housing project, contact:

Margo Geffen
Hennepin County
Manager, Housing and Redevelopment Authority | 612-348-9260


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