Parks update // Coming to a park near you: Food trucks?

As the mobile food-vending scene in the Twin Cities continues to gain steam, the Minneapolis Park Board is preparing to offer an invitation for the trucks to roll into several city parks this summer. 

On Mach 21, Park Board staff presented a pilot program to commissioners that would allow food trucks to operate in 16 city parks. 

Shane Stenzel of the Park Board said food truck operators are looking for a place to go on nights and weekends, when Downtown Minneapolis isn’t bustling with office workers.  

The pilot program has another goal: Trying to attract several food trucks to the same park on Fridays, perhaps making the weekly events open to music, movies and, in some cases, beer. 

Stenzel said the Chain of Lakes area was purposely left out of the pilot program as the Park Board continues to try to spread events to other parts of the system. 

The 10 parks that would be open to daily use include: Mill Ruins, Father Hennepin Bluff, Lake Nokomis, Bryn Mawr, Wabun, North Mississippi, Webber Park, Northeast Park, Theodore Wirth Beach and Bossen. 

Nine parks would be available for the Friday event idea: Parade Park, Calhoun Executive Center, East River Flats, Bohemian Flats, Boom Island, Mill Ruins, Lake Nokomis, Webber Park and Theodore Wirth Beach. 

The event idea would also allow East River Flats to become a tailgating destination before Gopher football games. 

Stenzel said other cities, most notably San Francisco, are already doing food truck events. 

The Park Board would set limits on the number of trucks allowed in each park, depending on size and parking availability. For instance, Northeast Park would only be allowed two trucks, but Theodore Wirth would be allowed eight. 

In the case of Bryn Mawr, Lake Nokomis and Bossen, those parks might make good nighttime spots because of recreation leagues, Stenzel said. 

Trucks would have to pay a daily fee of $35 or a weekend and holiday fee of $100. They would also have to be licensed by the city of Minneapolis. 

Stenzel said that since the idea is a pilot program, he expects to use feedback from the community and from food vendors about changes for the future. 

Park Board 

holding job fair for seasonal workers

As summer quickly approaches, the Park Board has scores of seasonal job openings, including park maintenance workers, equipment operators, life guards and recreation center instructors, among others. 

Those interesting in applying can visit minneapolisparks.org for position descriptions and applications. 

The Park Board is also holding two job fairs. The first took place March 29 and the next one will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 12 at the Minneapolis Urban League, 2000 Plymouth Ave. N. Info sessions will be held at noon and 5 p.m. Candidates meeting the position qualifications will be invited for interviews. 

Golf courses 

open early

A year ago, on March 14, the city of Minneapolis was still covered in snow and residents’ golf clubs were stashed securely in garages. 

As of March 14 this year, all seven city golf courses were open as record-breaking temperatures had melted away what little snow fell in Minneapolis over the winter. 

Tee times can be booked online at minneapolisparks.org. 

Reach Nick Halter at 

nhalter@mnpubs.com.