Minneapolis Parks Foundation announces new park fellow role

Credit: Minneapolis Park Foundation

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation announced to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Wednesday that Bruce Chamberlain will become the inaugural Minneapolis Parks Fellow. The new position will work to implement long-term visions for the city’s growing park system. 

“As Minneapolis evolves, it is paramount that we continue to reimagine how our parks are woven into the city’s fabric and the lives of the people who live, work and visit Minneapolis,” said Tom Evers, the Parks Foundation’s executive director, in a statement. “Bruce brings to the Parks Foundation the perfect blend of skills that will allow us to bridge vision to implementation required by bold private/public initiatives. We’re thrilled to have him help shape a new generation of parks in Minneapolis.”

The role is a contract position that specializes in park design, planning and implementation. “It will be a position within the Park Foundation that will really take a look at connecting vision to implementation… and help us look at the big picture and help us look at connecting research to our parks,” Evers said. 

Fellows will work on projects with public and private partners, especially the Park Board and the city. Evers told the board Wednesday that Chamberlain will focus on the RiverFirst initiative, including major projects like Water Works and Hall’s Island/Scherer site. 

The Park Foundation is funding the fellow program through institutional grants and donations. Chamberlain will serve a two-year term beginning this month. 

“Cities around the world are leveraging park investments to accomplish transformative urban redevelopment efforts,” Chamberlain said. “As the Minneapolis Parks Fellow, I am pleased to focus significant expertise in furthering RiverFirst and Water Works, key Minneapolis riverfront park initiatives that hold the power to transform, forever, the city’s embrace of its river corridor.”

Chamberlain previously worked as the Park Board’s assistant superintendent for planning, previously steering the RiverFirst initiative. In his few years with the board, he was responsible for constructing more than $45 million in capital improvements. He was also the president of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects

“Minneapolis is a city is on the move, and an overwhelming reason for that is this tremendous park system,” Chamberlain told the Park Board. “And to continue to be involved in that trajectory that this city is undertaking is a real honor for me.”