Minneapolis Park Board approves agreements for oversight of The Commons park

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board approved a resolution at its April 17 Board meeting that ensures park goers will continue to enjoy The Commons, a 4.2-acre park in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, while the Park Board and City appeal of a judge’s ruling made in February that requires the Park Board to operate the park beginning on May 1.

“This interim agreement between the City, Green Minneapolis and the Park Board strengthens our relationship with partners, preserves our ability to serve our youth, and provides a seamless transition in services that visitors to the Commons have been provided since its opening in 2016,” said Brad Bourn, Park Board President.

In February a judge ruled the Park Board is the only entity to manage parks within Minneapolis. The Park Board agrees but believes it has the authority to manage its parks through agreements with other organizations, including the City.

The Park Board owns The Commons land and since December 2014 has leased it to the City of Minneapolis, which has had an agreement with Green Minneapolis for operations of the park.

The April 17 resolution passed by Park Board Commissioners includes a sub-lease of the parkland back to the MPRB beginning May 1 and an agreement with Green Minneapolis to continue operating the park, including programming, maintenance and security. The sub-lease and agreement expire when the appeal is settled.

Funding for this year’s operations are covered the City of Minneapolis and Green Minneapolis.

“We are very appreciative that the City’s contributions will result in no financial impacts to the MPRB in 2019,” said Al Bangoura, superintendent for the MPRB. “However, we will remain diligent that the operation of The Commons does not present financial impacts or effect delivery of our core services throughout the park system beyond 2019 should we remain the operators beyond this interim agreement.”