< About MPRB
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The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board 2007-2020 Comprehensive Plan articulates the vision, goals and strategies for the park system through 2020.
The Comprehensive Plan helps the Park Board keep pace with an evolving city, manage its resources and provide quality park and recreation services for the benefit of individuals, communities and the environment. Park Board Commissioners unanimously approved the 2007-2020 Comprehensive Plan on October 17, 2007. It has since been incorporated into the City of Minneapolis comprehensive plan, The Minneapolis Plan for Sustainable Growth, which was approved by the Metropolitan Council on July 22, 2009.
View the 2007-2020 Comprehensive Plan
How is the Plan Used and Monitored?
The short-term priorities for implementing the Comprehensive Plan are articulated in the following organization documents:
Implementation progress of the 2007-2020 Comprehensive Plan is reported in the following documents:
Work group and individual performance is also directed by the plan through department and work group work plans, and individual performance review and development plans.
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Why Was the Plan Developed?
Since 1965, when Charles J. Brightbill completed his study of and recommendations for the park system, several key changes have occurred in the City of Minneapolis.
- Demographics show more ethnic and racial diversity, fewer households with children and more individuals living alone.
- Recreation trends show adults and young adults are staying active longer, and non-traditional and self-directed activities are on the rise.
- Health research shows obesity and related health concerns are rising, along with health care costs.
- Technology is providing a less active form of recreation for children and youth.
- Invasive species and new regulatory requirements are leading to more sophisticated land management needs.
In 2005, a two-year commitment was made to complete a comprehensive plan for the Minneapolis park and recreation system that would address these changes.
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Who was Involved in Developing the Plan?
Throughout 2006, commissioners, staff, residents and local leaders had the opportunity to share their impressions of the park system, including its strengths and areas needing improvement. Nearly 4,000 individuals provided input through focus groups, town meetings, questionnaires, workshops and a phone survey. In 2008 the Comprehensive Plan received an Award of Excellence from the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association for the inclusive process used to develop it.
Fundamental goals of the outreach and research were to invite all residents to participate and to provide a wide array of opportunities for individuals to get involved. Many of the methods that debuted for the development of this plan continue to evolve and are being integrated into projects across the organization. Below is a summary of the outreach conducted for the plan.
- Town Meetings: The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board invited city residents and park visitors of all ages to attend one of seven town meetings held throughout the city in September and October. The meetings were promoted through a mailing to 172,300 households, news releases to Minneapolis newspapers, neighborhood association newsletters, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board website. More than 229 residents attended the meetings. Children and teens also participated in the town meetings. Park staff, with assistance from Minneapolis Institute of Art staff, provided fun, engaging, age-appropriate activities designed to capture kids’ thoughts and ideas about parks. Language interpreters were provided at three town meetings and available at the other meetings upon request.
Prior to the town meetings held in the community, two pilot town meetings for Park Board staff were held at the end of August and the beginning of September at Park Board Headquarters. All full-time Park Board staff members were invited and 72 attended.
- Questionnaire: Community members and park visitors were also encouraged to complete a brief questionnaire. The questionnaire was available online, at golf courses and at all 49 recreation centers from September 15 to October 15. In early September, all Minneapolis households were mailed an informational map about the park system that featured the questionnaire and town meeting dates. The questionnaire was interpreted into other languages upon request. In total, 2,728 questionnaires were received.
- Focus Groups: In order to gather input from the broadest spectrum of community perspectives, focus groups were conducted with individuals from communities who were not heavily represented through the questionnaires and town meetings. When forming the focus groups, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board staff took into consideration communities that experience language, cultural or physical barriers to traditional community participation formats. In total, 20 focus groups were conducted. Pre-existing Park Board databases were used to mail questionnaires to seven additional groups. Focus groups were aimed at individuals or individuals representing groups that included the following: teens, single parents, elected officials, racial and ethnic communities*, foreign-born communities*, people with disabilities, vulnerable teens and adults, university students, environmental groups, local history and arts communities, active older adults, local business owners and downtown workers and residents. Questionnaires were mailed to the following: Rec Plus parents, coaches, faith-based community groups, park facility reservation groups, sports councils, volunteers and neighborhood organizations.
* As defined by the 2000 U.S. Census
- Community Leader Workshops: The Park Board sought the input of people who are recognized leaders in their communities to discuss not only community needs but to provide input on some of the broad themes articulated in questionnaires and town meetings. Each Park Board Commissioner nominated three community leaders to participate in three workshops.
- Phone Survey: A phone survey was undertaken in order to gather statistically valid information. Questions for the phone survey were developed from responses to questionnaires, town meetings and focus groups. The survey was conducted during December 2006 by an external market research firm. Efforts were made to ensure the survey takers closely reflected citywide demographics as detailed in the 2000 U.S. Census. The survey was administered in other languages as needed to reach foreign-born residents.
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How Does It Get Updated?
The plan is intended to be a living document that adapts to the changing park and recreation needs of Minneapolis residents. While a complete review of the plan is recommended to begin in 2018, ongoing prioritization of the plan will occur through work plan, budget, capital plan and 5-year implementation plan development. Key factors in determining the relevance of the plan to community needs are:
- Does it meet the needs of current demographics reported by the US Census Bureau?
- Are there changes in park visitor and resident preferences and satisfaction as shown in statistically valid surveys?
The phone survey was conducted by Decision Resources for the Minneapolis Parks Foundation reinforced the majority of resident responses in a phone survey completed in 2006 for the comprehensive plan.
The MPRB’s Demographic Report (below) will be updated as the 2010 US Census data becomes available.
- Part 1 - Introduction, Overview, Population Density, Age
- Part 2 - Race and Ethnicity, Place of Birth
- Part 3 - Language and Linguistic Proficiency, Education, Households
- Park 4 - Homeownership, Household Income, Poverty Status, Property Value, Glossary
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