North Minneapolis Master Planning entering last portion of public input

Brad Aldrich with Confluence Consulting shared timeline details for the MPRB's Northside Service Area Master planning efforts and Shingle Creek participants shared their vision for the MPRB Shingle Creek Corridor at the December 13 Visioning session.

Brad Aldrich with Confluence Consulting shared timeline details for the MPRB's Northside Service Area Master planning efforts and Shingle Creek participants shared their vision for the MPRB Shingle Creek Corridor at the December 13 Visioning session.

Recently, the Shingle Creek Neighborhood Association (SCNA) completed their Robust Community Engagement efforts. Feedback from over 600 comments led to several priorities, including the top priority of creating a neighborhood community center. They earmarked $100,000 as a starting point. And after partnering with Herobotics on their national grant to start five robotics teams at the middle school level, their growth has SCNA looking at how a community center might help achieve their growth goals. SCNA volunteers and a City Council appointee also have been participating for the past year and a half on two separate efforts: the MPRB RecQuest and Northside Service Area Master Planning efforts.

The Minneapolis Park and Rec Board (MPRB) acknowledges that our city demographics are changing rapidly, and it is more important than ever to ensure that they are meeting the needs of our diverse community.

The MPRB RecQuest portion has engaged MPRB staff and community; assessed community recreation needs; provided a vision; compiled and analyzed the city-wide recreation center facility use and program data; outlined guiding principles for management and operations of recreation center facilities, programs; and articulated a 25-30 year investment strategy for recreation centers and programs.

The North Service Area Master Planning (NSAMP) efforts include all Northside neighborhood parks north of I-394 and west of the Mississippi River. It does not include regional parks (Theodore Wirth, Victory Parkway, North Mississippi and Above the Falls/RiverFirst) because these parks are required by the Metropolitan Council to have their own master plans. The project will include the Shingle Creek Regional Trail corridor and the Wirth Parkway corridor between Golden Valley Road and Lowry Avenue. These regional facilities do not have current master plans, so MPRB will be planning them along with the Northside neighborhood parks.

The NSAMP Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) was charged to take a complete look at all outdoor park assets including fields, playgrounds, paths, etc. Recreation center buildings were not included in this Master Plan; they are part of the MPRB portion and a separate effort under the MPRB RecQuest.

Laid on top of these two efforts is the MPRB equity system. There are eight criteria being used to filter through the massive amount of parks, numerous resident demographics and comments as the MPRB looks to prioritize, then select, fund and implement projects outlined in the Master Plan they are developing. The eight criteria are: Racially concentrated areas of poverty; low income areas; neighborhood safety; youth population; population density; park asset conditions; park assets lifespan; and amount of capital reinvestment.

The MPRB identified Shingle Creek Park Corridor includes Shingle Creek Parkway (regional), Shingle Creek and Creekview Park, Bohanon Park, Humboldt Greenway Park, 49th Ave, and Webber Park. North Mississippi Regional Park and Carl Kroening Interpretive Center were not identified in the MPRB corridor area but are within the northern boundary and are the Camden Community’s direct and only recreational connection to the river, so they were included in the initial dialogue.

This first workgroup session for the Shingle Creek Park Corridor met in late December. It began with 12 residents sharing their questions and great conversations with our new MPRB Commissioner-elect Kale Severson. The conversation transitioned from positives, negatives and challenges for each of the identified parks and eventually led to five overall themes.

Along with identifying the positives of individual parks within the Shingle Creek Park Corridor, the challenges that rose to the top (along with creating a community center) after this first meeting were: lack of adult activities; lack of maintenance; address or add shelters; lighting to river/parks; and wanting Pickle Ball!

When asked why residents came to the visioning event, they said because there is a lack of amenities here, therefore, there is a great need for a community center, concession area, etc. People have the desire for community and want to create it.

The residents acknowledged they were mostly older adults. They wanted to be sure to provide options to MPRB and to the community, and MPRB definitely heard there was a need for more programming options for adults.

The group didn’t get answers as to when these improvements will happen exactly. Confluence Consultant, Brad Aldrich, said that the Shingle Creek Corridor is definitely on their radar due to the historical lack of investment in this park corridor.

The last review and input sessions will be in February. To find out when, get more info or review the full reports go to minneapolisparks.org/_asset/6c3lkl/nsamp_work_group_summaries.pdf,

or contact MPRB Adam Arvidson at 612-230-6470 or aarvidson@minneapolisparks.org.