Thousands of historic documents available to the public thanks to partnership between Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Hennepin County Library
Now that the rain has slowed down, remember that trees – especially young trees – need watering any time it doesn’t rain an inch in a week.
During last week’s Board meeting, Superintendent Jayne Miller provided the following statement regarding racial equity efforts by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Acting Board President John Erwin also responded to concerns.
June 7 Statement by Superintendent Miller:
Tonight my remarks will focus on our response to the announcement made the day of our last Board meeting, May 17, by the Minneapolis NAACP, and to comments made during Open Time that evening.
In their May 17 press release the Minneapolis Chapter of the NAACP announced that they intend to “boycott” the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and they will be “shutting down” the upcoming City Parks Alliance International Urban Conference: Greater & Greener.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board shared the following statement with media and Park Board employees in response to the Minneapolis NAACP announcement, and I think it is important to share this tonight and with the broader community.
The statement reads:
Our record will show we have made incredible strides in addressing racial equity efforts, and we have no intention of slowing down. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s Racial Equity Action Plan outlines our focus areas for 2017-2018. This plan, as well as initiatives implemented over the last several years, is available at www.minneapolisparks.org/racial_equity.
It is unfortunate that a group of individuals is confusing personnel issues with issues of racial equity.
The demands referred to in [the May 17] NAACP announcement center around four employee’s disagreements with disciplinary measures taken by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Three of these employees are no longer employed by the Park Board, and in one case it’s been almost 10 years. These disciplinary measures have been reviewed multiple times internally and externally through the civil service process, court system and/or other investigative agencies. After exploring these matters, some for now almost six years, we consider the matters closed.
For approximately one year we have been responding to allegations raised during Open Time at Board meetings. We have held meetings with the Minneapolis NAACP in an effort to share the outcomes of the racial equity work underway. We have responded to the discipline matters quietly, despite being unfairly publicly attacked, and have expressed our hope that we can work together again with the NAACP in the future.
For years, many employees in our organization have been working on addressing racial equity within the workplace and the park system, and much of our work has been done in collaboration with community members and organizations focused on equity and inclusion. Workforce concerns are being addressed through communications, expanded trainings and initiatives to increase the diversity of our full-time workforce. Throughout the park system we are expanding our efforts to connect with diverse communities through new recreation programs and through thoughtful outreach as we develop park plans, make park improvements and provide fun, safe experiences for park visitors of all ages. Information about much of our racial equity work is available on our website.
Our efforts focus on making this a great place to work for ALL employees and a great organization that serves ALL Minneapolis residents and visitors from across the world.
Acting President John Erwin:
Vice President John Erwin, serving as Acting President at the June 7 Board meeting, also said that assertions made during Open Time at Board Meetings, that MPRB staff or Commissioners have not been willing to meet with them or respond to their requests to hear their concerns, are false. Erwin outlined details of the several meetings that had been held and the many times he and others reached out but did not receive a response.
Erwin also stated that the Park Board supports and has full confidence in Superintendent Jayne Miller. He said, “She has done an exemplary job in all respects, including being fair and non-discriminatory. Superintendent Miller’s visionary leadership has effectively improved the organization, our processes, and how we meet park program and facility needs of Minneapolis residents. She deeply values our employees and the work they do, and has been instrumental in creating many avenues for employees to be heard. This past year she has been repeatedly accused of false allegations and has remained quiet. But our statement stands; the racial equity accusations raised during Open Time this past year center around personnel decisions of the park board – all of which have been based upon legal, legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons.”
The Minneapolis Park Board has well over 500 permanent employees. Nearly all of them have certain job protections through federal and state laws, including laws which prevent discrimination on account of race. Those fulltime employees covered by civil service also have protection under the Minneapolis Civil Service Commission and may not be disciplined or terminated without a showing of “just cause.” The Civil Service Commission has applied the “just cause” standard literally thousands of times and seek to do so in a uniform and consistent manner. Park Board employees may also have protection under collective bargaining agreements. The Park Board as a public employer is required to follow federal and state law and city ordinances. The Park Board must also adhere to the terms of collective bargaining agreements. The Park Board and its administrative employees have done so with respect to all of the Park Board employees, including those who have recently appeared before the Board at Open Time and in the cases of scores of other employees who have not appeared before the Board as they have dealt with employment issues. Ultimately the Minneapolis Civil Service Commission and other federal and state bodies and courts have oversight of the actions of the Park Board in making employment decisions.
These statements, along with other statements made this past year, and details outlining the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s racial equity efforts are available at http://www.minneapolisparks.org/racial_equity
Yard waste and small storm tree debris is collected on scheduled garbage days.
This weekend’s warm temperatures will have many people looking for a place to cool off. They need to look no further than the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB) eight guarded beaches, which will have lifeguards on duty as of Saturday, June 10. All eight beaches will be guarded through August 20.
The MPRB’s eight authorized guarded beaches are:
Guarded noon-7 pm daily
Guarded noon-7 pm, Thurs-Sun
For more information about the MPRB's eight guarded beaches, and four unguarded beaches, visit: https://www.minneapolisparks.org/activities__events/water_activities/beaches/
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Loppet Foundation joined by supporters and program participants to commemorate beginning of construction on 14,000-square-foot, $11.6 million outdoor recreation hub
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is honored to be named a finalist for the 2017 National Recreation and Park Association Gold Medal for Park and Recreation Excellence.
Watch the video below to learn more about Minneapolis' proud history of park stewardship and exciting recent park initiatives that make our park system among the best in the nation.
Jim Lupient, North Commons Water Parks, Webber Natural Swimming Pool, Wirth Beach, and the main beach at Lake Nokomis will be open this weekend.
Official re-opening will take place Saturday, June 10, 2017
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will begin opening many of their 63 popular wading pools on Saturday, May 27, in time to enjoy the holiday weekend.
Stay informed with news and updates at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.