CAC meetings are complete! Here’s a look back at what’s happened so far and what’s next

Thank you to everyone who dedicated their time, energy and passion for Minneapolis Parks to help shape the East of the River Park Master Plan! Special thanks goes out to the Community Advisory Committee (CAC), a group of 18 NE/SE Minneapolis residents that met 12 times over the last year and spent countless hours thoughtfully considering the future of neighborhood parks in Northeast and Southeast Minneapolis. Awesome job! 

Next up, MPRB staff and the Perkins + Will design team consultants will develop the master plan document with the CAC recommended park concepts and open up the full master plan and all concepts for a 45-day public comment period.  

The last CAC meeting was held on Oct. 2, 2018. Below is a recap of what’s happened so far and the road ahead. 

What’s Happened So Far

The East of the River Park Master Plan officially launched with the first CAC meeting on Oct. 17, 2017. Over the next year Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) staff, the East of the River Park Master Plan Youth Design Team and CAC members traveled throughout Northeast and Southeast Minneapolis to tell park users about the project and get feedback on plans.

Many different methods were used to reach park users:

  • Attending dozens of community events, including Halloween parties, ice cream socials, community barbecues, farmer’s markets and neighborhood festivals
  • Partnering on a special design workshop during Art-A-Whirl where local artists helped create new park wayfinding signs
  • Hosting nearly 20 design workshops with neighborhood groups and organizations across NE/SE Minneapolis
  • Taking a Van Tour across NE/SE Minneapolis Parks
  • Hosting a Scavenger Hunt with a Pop-Up Design Truck across NE/SE Minneapolis Parks
  • Creating three online surveys, which generated nearly 1,200 comments
  • Holding 12 CAC meetings, all of which were open to the public with free food and children’s activities
  • Weekly educational, design, and outreach sessions with the Youth Design Team, a group of youth from Northeast or Southeast Minneapolis neighborhoods who were hired to work on the process with MPRB staff and design team consultants.

All these efforts created many robust debates over how neighborhood park properties – 33 parks, park triangles (and circles and ovals) and park connections, including the Grand Rounds Missing Link – in NE/SE Minneapolis should be improved, managed and operated in the coming decades. Your input made these plans better.

In June, two designs for each park property were released for public comment. After considering all submitted feedback, a single, preferred design for each park property was released in September. Three CAC meetings have been held over the last month to discuss and refine the preferred concepts even further.

What’s Next

Now MPRB staff and its design consultants will consider all the feedback received to date and publish another iteration of design concepts for a 45-day public comment period in November.

After the 45-day comment period closes, the design team will again consider comments from all stakeholders and potentially make more adjustments. Then, over the winter, the final plan will be sent to the Board of Commissioners for a final public hearing and vote on its final approval. Please continue to share your thoughts on the park plans in these final stages of public comment. Master plans are available in all NE and SE Minneapolis recreation centers, at MPRB Headquarters and online for public comment.

Once approved, these plans will be used to guide park development over the next 20-30 years – including NPP20 funding allocations