For neighborhood parks and the people who love them, NPP20 is a win-win

The 20-Year Neighborhood Park Plan (NPP20) is a long-term initiative that will transform the neighborhood park system in Minneapolis.

In 2016, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) commissioners adopted an ordinance for  NPP20 that:

  • Protects current levels of MPRB funding
  • Dedicates an annual minimum of $11 million in additional funding for neighborhood parks, through 2036, for operations, maintenance and repairs; rehabilitation; and capital investments
  • Allocates NPP20 funds using a data-driven, criteria-based system to help address racial and economic equity

Scroll down for recent and current highlights on NPP20-funded work at parks throughout the city.

NPP20 funds operations, maintenance and repairs

Thanks to annual NPP20 funding, the Park Board can:

  • Sustain increased service levels and adopt industry-standard best-practices – such as a 10-day mowing cycle – for a range of maintenance and operations work
  • Implement programs for more frequent inspections and preventive maintenance of playgrounds, lighting, building roofs, HVAC systems and other park features
  • Reduce the maintenance and repair backlog

NPP20 funds rehabilitation projects

These projects repair, restore or replace a wide range of park facilities and amenities. Recent and current rehabilitation projects include:

  • North Commons Water Park
    New pumps and filters are part of a major repair project intended to prevent downtime at the water park, which is scheduled to open in mid-July.
  • Painter Recreation Center
    After six months of construction work, the center welcomed people back in April to enjoy a reconfigured lobby with a new meeting room and and reception desk; new LED lighting, ceilings, floors, paint and air conditioning; new furnaces; remodeled restrooms and other accessibility improvements.
  • Play-area repairs and replacements
    Fixes took place at more than 50 neighborhood parks, including Armatage, Audubon, Beltrami, Bethune, Bryant Square, Cavell, Columbia, Cottage, East Phillips, Elliot Park, Harrison, Jackson Square, Jordan, Kenny, Kenwood, Linden Hills, Logan, Loring, Lovell Square, McRae, North Commons, Painter, Park Siding, Powderhorn, Todd, Waite, Whittier and Willard.
  • Smoother, safer sidewalks
    Work continues for a third year to replace deteriorated concrete sidewalks segments in and around neighborhood parks. Locations are prioritized based on “fair” or “poor” sidewalk conditions assessed in 2017 and include Bethune and Willard parks, Humboldt and Newton triangles in North Minneapolis; Hi-View, Marshall Terrace, Waite and Xcel Field parks in Northeast/Southeast Minneapolis; Bossen Field, Central Gym and McRae parks in South Minneapolis; and Bryant Square, Mueller and Washburn Fair Oaks parks and Waveland triangle in Southwest Minneapolis.
  • Gateway Fountain
    The centerpiece of Gateway Park in Downtown West (pictured below) is fully operational for the 2019 season, thanks to major repairs completed last fall.
  • Accessibility improvements for recreation center main entries
    New exterior doors and automatic door-openers were installed at Armatage, Brackett, Bryant Square, Luxton, Lynnhurst, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Pershing, Matthews, McRae, Morris and Webber recreation centers; new automatic door-openers were installed at Audubon, Corcoran, Creekview, Farview, Hiawatha School, Keewaydin, Lake Nokomis, Linden Hills, Longfellow and Phelps recreation centers.
  • Accessibility improvements for parking lots and paths to recreation centers
    Improvements included new paint, signage and ramps as well as ADA-compliant upgrades along paths, and took place at Audubon, Brackett, Folwell (pictured below), Longfellow, Lynnhurst, North Commons, Pearl, Pershing, Powderhorn, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Van Cleve parks.

NPP20 funds capital investments

These projects replace outdated major features in parks. Funding is targeted first in the parks and neighborhoods where it’s needed the most, using quantifiable criteria based on racial and economic equity.

  • The Peavey Park community celebrated the completion of a two-year, two-phase construction process that brought a new basketball complex, play areas, site grading, lighting and central promenade – as well as a new multi-use athletic field available this fall, once its turf is established.
  • Construction is planned to begin this fall on a host of improvements at Currie Park in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood and Phelps Park in the Bryant Park neighborhood. At both parks, community members helped prioritize features from each park’s master plan, including a new splash pad and restroom building and playground improvements at Currie and new splash pad / water play feature, play areas, picnic shelter, paths and path lighting at Phelps.
  • In North Minneapolis, new play areas and other improvements are coming to Cleveland, Farview, Lovell SquareFolwell and Perkins Hill parks, with construction planned to begin this fall at the first four parks and next year at Perkins Hill Park.
  • By 2023, a total of 32 neighborhood parks will have received NPP20 funding for capital investments!  

NPP20, past and future

The 2018 annual report for NPP20, available online at, provides an overview of this long-term initiative, with key financial details on accomplishments in 2017 and 2018 and  information on 2019 funding allocations.

Every neighborhood deserves a great park.

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