Two new playgrounds to open in Southwest Minneapolis

Credit: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park concept, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will begin work on a new playground next month just as it opens a new one.

Work on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park playground will begin with a Wednesday, May 6 groundbreaking celebration at noon. The playground at 4055 Nicollet Ave. S. in Kingfield will be the first in the state to honor the civil rights figure. Park staff will completely remove the old playground as part of the project.

The playground, conceived in collaboration with four local African-American artists and design consultants, will include interpretive panels with historical information and QR codes linking to an African-American Registry website. It will have a climbing structure replicating the Edmund Pettus Bridge, a national historic landmark in Selma, Ala., and a flag from the Red Hand Division WWI African-American regiment. The park will also highlight African-American inventors and authors with themed children’s play and an educational staircase. 

The board’s five-year capital improvement program included $225,000 for the playground, which is projected to open this fall. 

The Park Board will also open a new playground at Fuller Park on Monday, May 18 with a grand opening at 5:30 p.m.

The new playground at the approximately 2-acre park at 4800 Grand Ave. S. in Southwest Minneapolis’s Tangletown neighborhood will include an open field, a wading pool, a half basketball court, a recreation building and a picnic area. New equipment also includes swings, a sand counter, spinner, seesaw and spring rocker. A fence will be added shortly between the playground and Grand Avenue.

The project is funded with $158,000 from the board’s Neighborhood Park Capital Improvement Program and 2014 Capital Reserves.