Rehabs set to begin at 33 neighborhood parks

Repairing cracks at a Harrison Park court would be considered a "low need" under the Park Board's rehabilitation program. Photo courtesy of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will kickoff more than 30 rehabilitation projects across the city’s neighborhood parks next month as part of its effort to better maintain the aging park system.

While not flashy projects like new recreation centers or wading pools, the rehabilitations target small, but critical repairs to the board’s existing parks assets citywide, including lighting and roof repairs.

Various parks around Minneapolis will see improvements to pavement, heating and cooling systems and infrastructure. Bryant Square Park will see repairs to sidewalks. The Lynnhurst Park warming house will get new furnaces. A dilapidated roof at Whittier Recreation Center will get a new roof over the center and its gym. These are a few of the few dozen projects beginning this May.

The repair and rehabilitation work is part of the larger 20-Year Neighborhood Park Plan, the board’s 20-year plan that, beginning this year, will reverse years of funding gaps in maintaining the city’s nearly 160 neighborhoods parks. The plan, a joint agreement with the City Council that will also fund street repairs, provides $11 million in additional funds for the neighborhood park system each year. The board’s budget directs $25 million for critical repairs in the next six years.

The board estimates that work on this round of projects may carry through to 2018, but many projects will be completed by the end of the year. Park staff will post information at parks and recreation centers two weeks prior to a project regarding disruptions to programs and events.