PARKS UPDATE // Input sought for Lake Harriet playground remodel

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is looking for community input on a planned remodel of William Berry Park and Beard’s Plaisance.

The Park Board on Nov. 3 approved the formation of a Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) to provide input on the designs. Because the CAC is not appointed, the Park Board will take feedback from whoever attends four public meetings scheduled to discuss the projects. If a vote is needed, CAC members who have attended the majority of meetings will be able to do so.  

Meetings will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 9, Jan. 11, Jan. 25 and possibly Feb. 8 at Linden Hills Recreation Center, 3100 43rd St. W. 

Minneapolis-based Close Landscape Architecture was chosen as a consultant on the project. Construction is tentatively scheduled to start in the summer of 2011 and wrap up in the spring of 2012. A grant of more than $1 million from the Parks and Trails fund, part of the Legacy Amendment, will pay for the projects.  


William Berry Park is located in Linden Hills between Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun, Beard’s Plaisance is at 45th Street and Upton Avenue on the west side of Lake Harriet. 

For more information on the playground remodels, go to the project page at 

Students paint panels for turtle fountain

The iconic turtle fountain at Lyndale Gardens was enclosed for the winter in style this year, thanks to students from Clara Barton Open School and Lyndale Community School.

With help from their art teachers and a local artist, the students painted a floral motif on the plywood panels that protect the fountain from the elements.  

East Harriet resident Bruce Wadman, who also serves on the East Harriet Farmstead Neighborhood Association (EHFNA) board, pitched the project earlier this year to Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board horticulturist Sherry Brooks, according to a Park Board press release. 

“The panels needed sprucing up and EHFNA was interested in bringing the schools together and getting the kids involved in a public art project,” Wadman said in a prepared statement. “The principals and art teachers were really supportive and excited to make it happen.” 

Brooks said the project, paid for by EHFNA and local business Guse Hardware, was a reflection of the community’s support for parks and gardens. 

University of Minnesota studying trail traffic

The University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs is counting trail traffic around Lake Calhoun, Lake Nokomis and Theodore Wirth Park to enhance models of pedestrian traffic in Minneapolis. 

The institute is using battery-powered infrared counters that look like small utility boxes to count runners, cyclists and other path users, according to a Park Board press release. The counters will not interfere with trail use and maintenance. 

The Park Board plans to use the data to help guide its development of trail management plans. 

Park Board begins annual food drive

The Park Board is encouraging residents to drop off non-perishable food items at Minneapolis recreation centers as part of its second annual Feeding the Dream community food drive, which started Nov. 22. 

The effort was launched last year to honor Hy Rosen, executive director of Greater Lake Country Food Bank, for his “devotion to improving the lives of Minneapolis residents and the Minneapolis Park System,” according to a Park Board press release. Rosen also received the Park Board’s 2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream award. 

This year’s food drive will end Jan. 17 at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at Martin Luther King Park, 4055 Nicollet Ave. 

For more information on the food drive and celebration, call 230-6484.