Closing the Gap: Insider Insights for Park Funding

Minneapolis’ neighborhood parks are at a critical juncture. Funding reductions have left a multi-million dollar gap in the resources needed to program, operate, repair and improve these highly used and aging neighborhood parks. Park systems across the country are facing similar issues. But older park systems with aging structures and features, like Minneapolis, may have the most difficult challenge of all.

On Tuesday, September 29 from 6-8:30 p.m., join the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board at a public forum to hear how cities with valued park systems have tackled this funding challenge. Panel members include: Thatcher Bailey, Executive Director, Seattle Parks Foundation; Joe Wynns, Former Director, Indianapolis Parks and Recreation; Warren Jimenez, Assistant Director of Portland Parks and Recreation; and Liam Kavanaugh, First Deputy Commissioner at New York City Parks and Recreation. Architecture critic Linda Mack will serve as moderator.

Closing the Gap: Insider Insights for Park Funding will be held at the Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave. The event is co-sponsored by City Parks Alliance and The McKnight Foundation.

The forum is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required as space is limited. Attendees should register by noon, September 28 by emailing name and number attending to or calling 612-313-7789.

Over this summer, the Minneapolis Park Board has led dozens of meetings throughout Minneapolis to inform citizens of the state of neighborhood parks. Staff and leadership has also been gathering feedback on what Minneapolis residents want in parks over the next 25 to 30 years through the RecQuest and Service Area Master planning process. Minneapolis citizens are encouraged to share their thoughts and opinions by completing an online survey located at The survey is open through September 30.

For info visit To sign up to receive email updates about Closing the Gap, RecQuest or Service Area Master Plans, visit