Minneapolis parks encompass the city’s defining lakes and the river banks at the core of the city’s development. Acquired by purchase and donation, the parks include features of astonishing beauty, historical significance and ecological wonder, all within a thriving urban setting. More than this, the parks are imbued with personal meaning—the playgrounds that live in the memories of generations of people, are the soul of our communities.

Today, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is an independently elected, semi-autonomous body responsible for governing, maintaining and developing the Minneapolis Park System. The 6,800-acre system consists of local and regional parks, playgrounds, golf courses, gardens, biking and walking paths, nature sanctuaries, lakes and a 55-mile parkway system.

Take a step back in time to discover how our world-renowned park system got its start.

Historical Timeline

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1855-82


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1883


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1884-1905


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1906-29


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1930-41


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1942-50


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1950s


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1960s


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1970s


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1980s


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1990s


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2000s


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2010s


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Annual Reports


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Proceedings


Historic Images 

Hundreds of historic Minneapolis Parks images were scanned and uploaded to the Minnesota Digital Library in 2017. A small collection of these photos are posted below. Visit the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Collection on the MDL to browse through all these fascinating photos, drawings and glass lantern slides.

Funding for this project was provided to the Minnesota Digital Library through the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, a component of the Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy constitutional amendment, ratified by Minnesota voters in 2008.