3435 Fillmore St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Nearby Recreation Center: Waite Recreation Center
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Major investments in 2018 were made possible with funding from the 20-Year Neighborhood Park Plan. This historic agreement between MPRB and the City of Minneapolis helps address racial and economic equity across 160 neighborhood parks and provides $11 million annually to maintain, repair and replace facilities.
Name: The park was named for Edith Cavell School that had previously occupied the site. Edith Cavell was an English nurse working in Belgium at the outbreak of World War I. When the German army occupied Belgium, she helped Allied soldiers escape to the Netherlands. She was executed by Germany in 1915 for her efforts and became a propaganda symbol to generate support for the war against Germany in England, the United States and other Allied countries.
Acquisition and Development
The Cavell School site was targeted for joint development by the school board and park board as early as 1948 following a joint resolution of cooperation between the two boards to provide park facilities in under-served sections of the city. However instead of developing the Cavell site, the two boards opted to work together to build a new school and park, Waite Park, four blocks east.
With the Waite Park development, the Cavell site dropped off the park board’s radar until the Northeast Lions Club requested the park board’s cooperation in developing a “cub” baseball field on the site. The park board approved an expenditure of $2,500 for the improvement and operation of that field and authorized the superintendent to work with the school board to obtain their approval.
The park board finally acquired the site from the school board in 1968, using funds from the federal government’s Open Space Act and the Minnesota Conservation Department. The site was redeveloped as a park, with ball fields, playground equipment and a recreation shelter in 1977.
New courts and paths were installed at Cavell Park in 1999. At that time additional landscaping was also done in the park.
Park history compiled and written by David C. Smith.