Southwest parks plan open for public comment

Painter Recreation Center
Park Board Commissioner Londel French cuts the ribbon at the reopening of Painter Recreation Center in Lyndale on April 29. Public comment on the Southwest Parks Master Plan, which will shape the future of Painter and other neighborhood parks, is open through April 5. Photo by Andrew Hazzard

A draft plan to shape the future of more than 40 neighborhood parks in Southwest Minneapolis is now available for public comment. 

The Southwest Service Area Master Plan is nearing the finish line after nearly two years of soliciting resident feedback and many hours of Community Advisory Committee (CAC) meetings. 

The draft plan is based on resident and CAC recommendations. The plans are still subject to changes based on public feedback and commissioner recommendations. 

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board President Jono Cowgill, who represents many Southwest neighborhoods, said he trusts that the CAC did good work, but will be closely reviewing the plans and making sure to include voices of residents who aren’t CAC members. 

Once adopted, park improvements will be made over the next 20 years. The total estimate for all park improvements in Southwest is $137 million, according to the draft. Improvements will be paid for largely with the MPRB’s capital improvement program using funding from the 20-year neighborhood parks plan, which is investing an additional $11 million annually for park improvements through 2037. Other funds may come from public entities or grants. 

Residents can view the plans and complete an online survey at The comment period will be open through April 5, followed by a public hearing and commissioner vote. The plan can also be viewed at recreation centers across Southwest.