Parks update

Bringing back swim docks

During open time at the March 5 Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) meeting, Fulton Neighborhood Association member Steve Young asked commissioners to consider bringing back docks to the city’s lakes.

All of the rules imposed at the lakes have essentially turned them into wading pools, Young said, adding that his family goes instead to Shady Oak Beach in Minnetonka, which charges a fee for beach usage but has more amenities.

Linden Hills resident Brad Bart agreed, saying that when his family visited Lake Calhoun, they weren’t allowed to play with inflatable toys, splash, throw anything or play tag, so they ended up leaving. Bringing back docks would be a reasonable thing, he said.

According to Lakes District Manager Paul Hokeness, the docks were removed in the early ’80s due to the high cost of installing them each year, paying extra lifeguards and safety concerns.

Ninety-five percent of the rescues back then were around the docks, said Hokeness who was once a lifeguard for the MPRB, adding that floating docks proved to be even more hazardous because kids could slip under them.

New sign at Linden Hills Park

Visitors to Linden Hills Park may notice a new sign at the park’s entrance. The Park Board approved the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council’s request to use Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) funds to install the $7,000 sign, which will have a bulletin board design to communicate announcements to the neighborhood.

Golf rates to go up at Minneapolis courses

The Park Board’s Administration and Finance Committee has approved new rates for the 2008 golf season at Minneapolis courses.

The cost of playing 18 holes at Meadowbrook Golf Course off Excelsior Boulevard went up $1 (to $32) and weekday rates will stay the same at $28. An 18-hole game at Wirth Golf Course at 1301 Theodore Wirth Pkwy. also went up $1 for weekend play, making the fee $30, and remained $26 on weekdays. Additionally, the cost of an 18-hole weekend patron card, which gives golfers advance-registration privileges, went up $1, making it $25.

The Park Board also decided to move up the date that fall rates will apply from Columbus Day to the first Monday in October, meaning golfers will have lower rates for two more weeks each season. The rates went up $1, however, bringing the cost to $19 on weekdays and $23 on weekends and holidays.

The price of season passes to Minneapolis golf courses has also increased. A seven-day/full-season pass to any course now costs $1,365 for adults, $1,225 for kids or seniors, and $930 for kids or seniors playing Monday–Friday. Passes for seven-day/full-season usage of a specific course cost $1,025 for adults, $920 for kids and seniors, and $700 for kids and seniors golfing Monday–Friday.

Cart rental fees have also increased. An 18-hold cart now costs $28 and 9-hole carts cost $16. Seniors are eligible for a $2 decrease and during the fall, carts cost $22. At Wirth Par 3 course, carts now cost $12 for nine holes.

Men’s and Women’s league registration has increased to $65 for residents and $70 for nonresidents, which will allow for greater money awards in competitions.

According to a memo from Tim Kuebelbeck, the Park Board’s director of golf, the rate increases will generate $172,250 in additional revenue for the organization. He noted that fees were determined based on rates at comparable facilities in the Twin Cities, ensuring that Minneapolis’ courses will stay competitive. Visit minneapolisparks.org for more information.

Keep signs off the parkways

The Minneapolis Park Police has issued a statement asking residents to refrain from putting signs on park property, including advertisements for garage sales, open houses and community events. Under the city’s ordinance, unapproved signs are considered a public nuisance and will be removed.

Foundation for Minneapolis Parks’ board of trustees

The Foundation for Minneapolis Parks, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public parks in the city, elected three new members to its board of trustees:

Steve Dowling currently works as the director of marketing operations for Tradition Golf and holds leadership positions in several golf associations.

Wendy Holmes is the vice president of consulting and resource development for Artspace Projects, a local nonprofit real estate developer for the arts, and has worked in the development departments for Minnesota Public Radio, Walker Art Center and
Macalester College.

Patrick Klinger has been the vice president of marketing for the Minnesota Twins since 1999, overseeing advertising and broadcasting projects.

The new members will serve three-year terms alongside five other members, including MPRB President Tom Nordyke and General Manager Don Siggelkow.

Parks update

2008 legislative agenda

On Feb. 20, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board’s Legislative and Intergovernmental Committee approved its 2008 legislative agenda with several amendments. The agenda will direct the efforts of the board’s lobbying team, Rice, Michels & Walther, LLP, in 2008.

Projects listed as requiring state bonding money, in order of priority, include:

$10 million for the Grand Rounds
Scenic Byway, which includes relighting paths and parking lots and completing the missing link;

$5.3 million to rehabilitate the
Minnehaha Falls Lower Glen;

$1 million for the Father Hennepin
Regional Park; and

$3.1 million to build a new community center in East Phillips Park.

The board had originally planned to include rehabilitating playground equipment at up to eight locations, including Calhoun, Harriet and Theodore Wirth parks; building additions to three community centers; continuing winter recreation redevelopment at Theodore Wirth Park; and developing J.D. Rivers Gardens for youth usage, but Park Board Attorney Brian Rice noted the projects would likely not get funded.

The legislative agenda also includes using Metropolitan Council bonding money to rehabilitate Theodore Wirth Beach; protecting local government aid (LGA); developing dedicated funding sources for environmental programs; finalizing a park-dedication ordinance; combating invasive tree species; opposing the elimination of the city’s Board of Estimate and Taxation; and collecting the proceeds from the sale of parkland at the site of the I-35W bridge collapse.

Format of board meetings to change

Beginning March 19, the format of Park Board meetings will change. Committee of the Whole meetings, in which commissioners receive in-depth information about topics determined by President Tom
Nordyke and staff, will take place on the third Wednesdays of each month after the regular board meetings that start at 5 p.m. Until now, the Committee of the Whole had been meeting at 4 p.m. — a time that was difficult for some commissioners and many members of the public to make.

On the first Wednesday of the month, regular board meetings will begin at 5 p.m. and committee meetings will follow. Normally, all commissioners are allowed to participate in discussions about items on a committee’s agendas, but under the new meeting format, commissioners have been asked to refrain from speaking during meetings of committees to which they don’t belong. Staff hopes that board members can accomplish the majority of their discussion during the monthly Committee of the Whole meetings, leaving fewer questions from nonmembers during committee meetings.

Southside Commissioner Carol Kummer said that if nonmembers want clarification on issues during committee meetings, they could always write their questions down and pass the paper to a member of the committee.

The board will try the new format for three months and then decide whether to adopt the method. All of the meetings will remain public. Additionally, staff will attach placards to each commissioner’s spot at the meeting table to let the public know which committee each member is on.

Egg hunts and bunny parties

To celebrate the coming of spring, the following parks in Southwest are hosting egg hunts and bunny parties for kids:

• Armatage Park, 2500 W. 57th St., will     hold an egg hunt and dinner on March 20 from 6–8 p.m. The event costs $5 and parents should bring flashlights.

• On March 22, from 10–11:30 a.m., Fuller Park, 4800 Grand Ave. S., will host a bunny party, featuring a petting zoo and egg hunt for $2 per participant.

• There will be a free egg hunt March 29 at Kenny Park, 1328 W. 58th St., from 10–11:30 a.m.

• Kenwood Park, 2101 W. Franklin Ave., is holding a free egg hunt with face painting and a visit from Peter Rabbit on March 22 from 10–11:30 a.m.

• Kids can enjoy an egg hunt and petting zoo at Lyndale Farmstead Park, 3900 Bryant Ave. S., on March 22 from 10 a.m.–12 p.m. for $2 per child.

• The Bunny Brunch at Lynnhurst Park, 1345 W. Minnehaha Pkwy., will run from 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m. on March 15 for $2 each.

• Martin Luther King Park at 4055 Nicollet Ave. S. is throwing a free King Park Spring Fling with dinner, cookie decorating and egg coloring on March 20 from 6–7:30 p.m.

• On March 15, Pershing Park, 3523 W. 48th St., will host free spring breakfast and egg hunt 8:30–10:30 a.m.

Some of the events require preregistration. Call 230-6400 for more information.

Contact Mary O’Regan at moregan@mnpubs.com or 436-5088.