People for Parks recently approved the largest grant in its 41-year history to create an interactive nature play space near the Carl W. Kroening Interpretive Center in North Mississippi Regional Park.
The $35,000 grant will be used to construct the new nature play area after North Minneapolis park users have a chance to weigh in on the plan. Nature play areas are built using materials like logs, sticks, rocks or water to foster imaginative play and a deeper connection to the natural world. We hope to begin construction in late 2018.
People for Parks’ Executive Director, Chriss Joyce, reminisces about when she was a kid, “I would find a fallen tree in the forest and it would provide hours of entertainment as my rocket ship, pirate ship, castle wall, or just be a place that I could enjoy the nature around me and watch the clouds pass by. I hope that this nature play area will allow for that same kind of curiosity, adventure, and fun for the nearby communities of North Minneapolis as well as residents beyond the Minneapolis boundaries.”
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board opened its first nature play area last summer at Lake Nokomis Community Center. Nature play areas were also included in plans for Keeywaydin, Matthews and Powderhorn Parks as part of the South Service Area Master Plan, a long-term plan for all South Minneapolis neighborhood parks approved in 2016.
“Playing for life is my motto, and nature play areas provide a wonderful way to promote discovery, creativity and imagination through outdoor experiences,” said Mary Merrill, MPRB Superintendent. “We’re excited about diversifying outdoor play opportunities at Minneapolis parks and grateful for partners like People for Parks to help make that happen.”
Future growth opportunities exist to help draw more visitors to the many offerings at the Interpretive Center. To learn more or to make an individual donation, visit www.peopleforparks.netor contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about this Nature Play Space Project.
About People for Parks
People for Parks is a grass-roots 501(c)(3) non-profit that funds projects and programs which enhance the Minneapolis park system. In four decades, People for Parks has contributed more than $2 million and thousands of volunteer hours toward making Minneapolis parks more beautiful, more useful and more enjoyable. People for Parks was created in 1977 to help fight Dutch Elm Disease, which was decimating the city’s urban forest. By 1979, as the worst of the scourge had passed, People for Parks began to solicit contributions for a variety of park programs, working with the staff of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to identify unfunded needs.
About the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is an independent, semi-autonomous body responsible for the Minneapolis park system. With 179 park properties totaling 6,804 acres of land and water, the Park Board provides places and recreation opportunities for all people to gather and engage in activities that promote health, well-being, community and the environment. Its Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, neighborhood parks, recreation centers and diversified programming have made the park system an important component of what makes Minneapolis a great place to live, play and work. More than 22 million annual visits are made to the nationally acclaimed park system, which was named the number one park system in the nation in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 by The Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore® Index.