Nokomis-Hiawatha Master Plan amended to include new Urban Agriculture Area and Nokomis Athletic Fields design conceptPosted on 26 July, 2017
Urban Agriculture Area added east of Lake Hiawatha and new layout approved for Nokomis Athletic Fields
On July 19, 2017, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) Commissioners approved two amendments to the Nokomis-Hiawatha Master Plan [PDF].
One amendment creates a designated Urban Agriculture Area on the east side of Lake Hiawatha. Another amendment approved a design concept for the Nokomis Athletic Fields, located on the northwest side of Lake Nokomis.
The Nokomis-Hiawatha Master Plan was approved by MPRB Commissioners on March 4, 2015. The Master Plan is a written and graphic document that sets a 25-year vision for Lake Hiawatha, Lake Nokomis, and the surrounding parkland. Both the Urban Agriculture Area and Nokomis Athletic Field design concept were not included in the Master Plan, so amendments are required to move forward with those projects.
Currently there are no funds allocated toward the Urban Agriculture Area or new Nokomis Athletic Field concept, but now that the plans are in place the projects will happen as soon as funding becomes available.
Lake Hiawatha Park Urban Agriculture Area
In the Master Plan, the eastern portion of Lake Hiawatha was shown as a mix of open lawn area and naturalized habitat areas. Recently, the community has expressed interest in having the ability to harvest from fruit trees in this area.
Any harvesting in parks will require an ordinance change, which MPRB Commissioners will consider at an upcoming Board meeting. The Urban Agriculture Activity Plan [PDF], adopted in 2014, calls for the official designation of any areas where harvesting may take place, so this amendment designates that area along the east side of Lake Hiawatha.
Nokomis Athletic Fields Concept Design
No final decision was made on the Nokomis Athletic Fields during the master planning process in 2014-15 to allow time for a final determination regarding a renovation of nearby Bossen Field Park. Now Bossen’s renovation is nearly complete, primarily as a softball complex with associated community amenities, so MPRB staff moved forward with a concept for Nokomis that provides increased open space for a variety of field sports and fewer softball diamonds.
The approved Nokomis Athletic Fields concept features a large open space to accommodate one Australian football field or three adult soccer fields or any variety of smaller field arrangements for ultimate Frisbee, flag football, or youth soccer. Around the edges of the field there are six improved softball diamonds where the outfields do not overlap. The main idea was to create broad flexibility in field arrangement and striping, while ensuring that the very largest of possible fields could be accommodated without overlapping softball infields.