Park Notes

Linden Hills eyed for off-leash dog park

The leading candidate for an off-leash dog park in Southwest now appears to be a 5-acre spot between Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun, near Richfield Road and Linden Hills Boulevard.

A citizens’ committee studying off-leash sites in the 6th Park District ranked 27 green spaces in the Southwest area and the Linden Hills site got the second highest score.

The committee’s top-scoring site is unlikely to get Park Board approval. It is 1.4 acres in Lyndale Farmstead Park — a spot the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board previously considered but which met with strong opposition from some neighbors.

The Park Board staff has already indicated support for three sites — and its first choice is in a similar area near Linden Hills Boulevard and Richfield Road.

(The citizens’ committee had originally considered a smaller spot, 2.3 acres of green space near the intersection of West 39th Street and Richfield Road, north of the walking path. Under its ranking system, it scored sixth. The Park Board staff asked the group to consider the neighboring spot, 5 acres just south of a walking path, and it rose to number two in the ranking.)

The citizens’ committee finished its work Jan. 22. Its report goes to the Park Board staff, which will then make its

recommendation to the Park Board at an as yet undetermined date.

Bob Fine, the 6th District commissioner, Park Board president and Linden Hills resident, attended part of the citizens’ committee’s final meeting. He said he didn’t know how long it would take for staff to bring the matter to the board.

"It won’t be 5 months, it will be a much shorter time period than that," he said.

The Park Board had invited two representatives from each of the 6th Park District’s 12 neighborhoods to participate in the citizens’ committee process, one dog owner and one non-dog owner from each neighborhood.

In the end, 17 people participated.

Each committee member went through a painstaking and number-intensive process of ranking each of the 27 sites by several factors, like whether it respected the environment, ensured safety and built community.

Based on community surveys, the committee gave each factor different weights. For instance, adequate parking created 10.34 percent of the site’s overall score, and environmental considerations made up 15.66 percent of the overall score.

The citizens’ committee did not recommend any site. Members said their role was to create a list of possible sites and rank them, leaving the rest to the Park Board.

Conservatory to get new sculpture

New York-based artist Sarah Sze (pronounced "zee") will begin a residency at the Walker Art Center in May, and her work will include creating a new installation at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden’s Cowles Conservatory.

Sze creates site-specific installations from colorful domestic materials: clothespins, plastic flowers, packing crates, aluminum stepladders, gum, and breakfast cereal, to name a few, the Walker said. Interested in consumerism and capitalism, Sze’s work suggests potentially intimate life details revealed through the products people buy, the Walker said.

The installation will be permanently set beneath the Conservatory floor. Three viewing windows will offer a glimpse of

a vast subterranean landscape populated by fake plants, found objects, and laboratory beakers, all spiraling downward and changing scale.

Animated by artificial lighting and fans, the underground tableau will allow viewers, in Sze’s words, to "discover a site similar

to the way an archeologist uncovers layers of objects, monuments and foundations," the Walker said.

Pershing, Lynnhurst plans unveiled

Plans to upgrade two Southwest area parks will be presented at a meeting of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on Feb. 20.

The public is invited to hear recommendations to improve the athletic fields at Pershing Park and the playground area of Lyndale Farmstead Park.

Park Board staff and neighborhood committees will present the recommendations at 6:30 p.m. at the Park Board meeting room, 400 S. 4th St., second floor.

Tree class changed

The time and location for a free class on tree care offered by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has changed.

It was previously announced for Feb. 19 at Phillips Community Center. It is now Feb. 25, Lutheran Social Services, 2424 Park Ave. S., 6 p.m.