North Service Area Master Plan to transform Northside parks

Minneapolis has been named the best urban park system in the country for the last two years by the Trust for Public Lands. Continuing initiatives of the Minneapolis Park Board aim to reimagine and revamp city green spaces so that the system continues to be a national example of how parks can serve the public.

On the Northside, the North Service Area Master Plan will be a guiding document as improvements are made to area parks in the coming years. This strategic plan is currently being developed, and area residents are being asked to help ensure greenspaces meet current and future needs in Northside communities.

Through an intensive community engagement campaign, individuals are empowered to share their views on park priorities for the coming years. This process is taking place in coordination with Park Board officials taking a comprehensive look at local natural areas, playgrounds and athletic fields.

Included among the affected properties are 32 neighborhood parks and six community recreation centers north of I-394 and west of the Mississippi River. The plan that is ultimately developed will impact how Northside parks are funded, managed and operated.

Earlier this year the Park Board asked residents to serve on a Community Advisory Committee. Those on the committee are now working with Park Board staff and community members to identify priorities for area greenspaces.

Public meetings in May, June and September have been used to gather public comment on potential enhancements. Individuals who have been unable to attend community meetings are encouraged to offer their input in an online survey ( Feedback may also be offered at any neighborhood park.

Excluded from this process are Theodore Wirth, Victory Parkway and North Mississippi, all of which have their own master plans. Also excluded is the in-development Above the Falls Regional Park, which features a complete redevelopment of the 48-acre Upper Harbor Terminal site. Current plans for the new regional park include a 10,000-seat amphitheater, a riverwalk, an ice skating rink, a rock climbing wall, and playgrounds.

The Northside is not the only area of Minneapolis set to have revamped parklands. Each of the city’s five service areas are having master plans devised with the intent of identifying potential improvements and costs. For more info on potential enhancements to city greenspaces, playgrounds, and recreation center, visit the Park Board website ( Residents may also sign up for email updates on developments related to any Park Board project at