Kim Eslinger
Editor
612-321-8040
kim@millcitymedia.org

David Tinjum
Publisher
612-321-8020
dave@millcitymedia.org

Ryan Ojard
Staff Photographer

Claudia Kittock
Columnist / Non-Profits

Kathleen Boe
River Matters Columnist

Meg Forney
Contributor

Doug Verdier
Contributor 

Mill City Times is a not-for-profit community service.  We do not sell advertising on this site.

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Minneapolis Riverfront News

Covering life, work, and play in the Historic Mill District and Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront neighborhoods. Have an opinion, local news or events to share?  Contact us.

Tuesday
May302017

Our Last Frontier

Minneapolis Park and Recreation (MPRB) continues to grow the system

By Meg Forney, Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner-At-Large

The riverfront above the falls I call our "Last Frontier."  MPRB is committed to providing access to the mighty Mississippi for underserved residents of North and NorthEast Minneapolis just as our fore bearers committed to developing the Grand Rounds and the Chain of Lakes.  It is for this commitment (when translated into access, acreage, facilities and investment) that the Trust  For Public Land has once again honored Minneapolis for having the best park system in the nation. That's five years in a row.   Parkscore.tpl.org./rankings.php#sm.0001hsjha3242dylw7t1w8q9br58kg

With the addition of Scherer and Sheridan parks and soon the Water Works at Fuji Ya, the frontier is inching closer to being settled. In just my first term these past three years, MPRB has been meeting its commitments.  We have secured another three miles of river front.  We are envisioning a playground, picnic shelter and pathways at Sheridan Memorial Park.  We are seeking funding from the legislature for a last connection of trail at the Great Northern Greenway at 26th Avenue North to Ole Olson Park, a missing linkage to Theodore Wirth Park through north Minneapolis.  The community is providing input for this settling of the frontier through the Upper Harbor master development team: United Properties, First Avenue and Thor Development.

Keep your eye on the prize: access. What might be the next frontier?

Meg Forney can be reached at megf@visi.com or www.facebook.com/meg.forney on Facebook.

Tuesday
May302017

St. Anthony Falls Visitor Center and Lock and Dam Tours Start June 11

The Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam will be open from 9:30am to 5:00pm daily from Sunday, June 11, through Labor Day weekend. Tours of the lock and dam are offered daily at 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm, but visitors are welcome at any time during open hours. Subjects of the staff-led tours include the lively history of the river, milling, and other topics. For more information call 651-293-0200.

Visitors can have their National Park Service (NPS) passports stamped at the visitor center and can purchase National Park and Federal Lands passes (annual, senior, military, and access) here, credit cards only.

You can also follow them on Facebook.

Sunday
May282017

Friends of the Mill District: Building Community by Connecting With and Supporting our Neighbors

Article by Claudia Kittock

I have spent the past several months writing about many of the wonderful nonprofit organizations in Minneapolis. It has been a genuine pleasure, and a source of great pride to discover the hearts of the people in our city. I will continue to do that work, but today’s article is about something much more personal, a neighborhood charity that I helped found, Friends of the Mill District.

In late 2015, a group of friends, Chad DiDonato, Ken Searl, David Tinjum, and me, Claudia Kittock, began a conversation about the Mill District that continues. We shared a vision for our neighborhood that includes every single resident and decided to start a 501©3 to do the work that needs to be done. In January of 2016, we filed papers with the IRS and began our work. Our mission is to “...build community in the Mill District by connecting, convening, and supporting our neighbors.” The history of our neighborhood is very short. Fewer than 300 people lived in the Mill District in the early 1990s, but in a short time we have grown to be close to 5000 residents. It seemed obvious to the founders of the Friends of the Mill District that this was a neighborhood without a sense of community, but one looking for an identity.

The socio-economic divide in our neighborhood is striking. While the mean income is $78,000, we know that 25% of our neighbors live below the poverty line. An integral part of the very existence of the Friends is to include all of our neighbors, which involves an almost constant outreach to our neighbors in poverty. No event sponsored by us has a charge. The choir, yoga, an evening of throwing bean bags in the park, Winterfest, and any future events are done free of charge. We are resolved to be an example of inclusiveness.

Subsequent to the Board being founded, Chad relocated to Nashville and Cynthia Froid joined Ken Searl, David Tinjum and Claudia Kittock to comprise the four members of the Friends of the Mill District Board. We are all volunteers and contributors. Three of us are residents in the Mill District, and the fourth owns a business here. No one is paid for the work they do for the charity. Our work is done because there is a need.

In the summer of 2016, the Friends started a yoga class in Gold Medal Park. The yoga class is held every Saturday morning from Memorial Day through Labor Day and averages 29 attendees. The first session of 2017 was held on May 27, and will continue through September 2. We were also lucky enough to find a group of yoga instructors who volunteer their time and talents to help us make this a free event.

“I was hesitant to participate since I only
knew one person. Nevertheless, I had the courage
to show up at the first rehearsal. The first gift
was the energy the choir leader exuded as we
started practicing. Suddenly, I was transported
to the beauty of singing unknown but beautiful
songs. By the time I was walking back home, my
mood was so positive and my brain thinking
process was in a creative mood..."
 

The Friends of the Mill District Singers began on a run. A group of neighbors formed a running group and invited residents from Emanuel Housing to be part of that group at its inception. During one of these runs, a friend brought up music and asked the question, “Why isn’t there more music in the neighborhood...you know, like a choir?” The simple answer to that question was, “I don’t know, but I will find out.” When I asked a MacPhail Center for Music employee the same question, she promised to do some research. Within a week, she suggested MacPhail might be willing to help us set up a pilot project to find out if we could make a choir a reality and offered us JD Steele as the director.

We started singing in the fall of 2015, and now have a roster of 161 singers. We are averaging close to 50 singers/rehearsal. Rehearsals are held in neighborhood venues. We have been lucky enough to sing at the Guthrie, MacPhail, the American Academy of Neurology, and the Mill City Museum. All space is donated and we continue to be grateful to our neighbors.

We have sung at the Capri Theater, Holidazzle, the MacPhail Music Matters Luncheon, at a Twins game (singing ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ during the 7th inning stretch), before a performance of ‘A Christmas Carol' at the Guthrie, at the Concert Across America to End Gun Violence, at Songs from the Street, and we caroled for the first ever Winterfest in the Mill District. These are but a few of the things we have done in the past 18 months, and on June 10th are scheduled to sing at the Loring Park Music Fest.

Scenes and singing from the first annual Winterfest in the Mill District

As Rosa Miller commented, “I was hesitant to participate since I only knew one person. Nevertheless, I had the courage to show up at the first rehearsal. The first gift was the energy the choir leader exuded as we started practicing. Suddenly, I was transported to the beauty of singing unknown but beautiful songs. By the time I was walking back home, my mood was so positive and my brain thinking process was in a creative mood. Besides a renewed confidence in my singing, my capacity that I would improve my vocal chords, etc., I very much enjoy the sense of connecting and community building among the members. New friendships, new interests, being able to pursue my love of music, performing across the city and with other choirs are gifts that have came so unexpectedly as a result of accepting a neighbor’s invitation.”

We have another project that will begin later this summer. In a joint effort with the Guthrie, YouthLink and MacPhail, we will sponsor an acting class for young people. It follows the same model as the choir. We are inviting young people from YouthLink who are experiencing homelessness, and then extending the invitation to young people in our community. The class will be free and taught by acting teachers from the Guthrie. It will happen over 3 weeks in July or August (stay tuned for the starting date) and will culminate in a performance at the Guthrie. We are incredibly excited about this project and hope to have enough success to be able to turn this into an ongoing effort.

A strong, healthy community can only be built together. We are stronger together, and bringing all of us together requires effort. The Friends of the Mill District are willing and anxious to continue to do this work. Your help and support is critical to the work we do. How can you help and support the work being done?

1. Sing with the Friends of the Mill District Singers. No talent is needed, just an interest in singing with a group of neighbors.

2. Grab a mat or a towel and meet under the huge orange sculpture in Gold Medal Park on any or every Saturday at 9:00am this summer.

3. Friend us on Facebook. All activities are posted there.

4. We are funded by contributions. Our only expenses are to pay the salary of JD Steele who directs our choir, and to pay the salaries of the Guthrie acting teachers. All other work is done by the Board. We rely on the generosity of our neighbors to be able to pay the salaries. Any contribution is tax deductible and can be made out to Friends of the Mill District and sent to Claudia Kittock at 215 10th Avenue S, Unit 613, Minneapolis, MN, 55415.

For any and all questions, please contact Claudia Kittock at cjkittock@gmail.com. We are stronger together!

- - -

Editor's Note:

Listen to Claudia's recent interview on KFAI: http://kfai.org/sites/default/stream/player.php?url=http://uno.kfai.org/AbdirizakBihi/AbdirizakBihi_2017-05-26.mp3

Sunday
May282017

Scenes from the May 27 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

We met some new businesses at the May 27 Market: Darling Pickle Dips, Inesse Ceramics and Homegrown Foods. Look for these vendors in future "Get to Know" articles on our Farmers Market blog.

What's a Pickle Dip? Why, it's a tasty, versatile spread that starts with a white bean and cream cheese base, flavored with pickled veggies and spices. Sara Doherty and Britt Jungerberg, creators of Darling Pickle Dips, will be back for the June 24 Market.

Farmers Market Vendor Event

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Ben Fiess of Inesse Ceramics (below, right) creates what I would describe as functional art. You can put these beautiful pastel pieces to work as dishes or display them as art. Ben also has a line of arc necklaces. Inesse will return for the July 8 Market, plus several Saturdays in September.

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Aleks Till of Homegrown Foods does the meal planning and grocery delivery for you - featuring wholesome, local, organic dinner kits. Condiments and seasonings are included, so all you need to do is follow the instructions and dinner is served!

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Power of Produce! Every week this popular free program introduces kids to produce available at the Market, and provides them with a $2 chip to shop with. :)

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

If you pay attention, you'll discover something new at Market with each visit. This week it was lovage from Cherry and Tim of Holistic Health Farms. The cool thing about lovage is it has a celery flavor, with hollow stems sturdy enough to be used as straws in a Bloody Mary.

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Pie maker extraordinaire Susan Dietrich of Very Prairie also makes aprons from vintage feed sacks. How special are they? Regular MCFM shopper and local author, Kathleen Novak, wrote an ode to them!

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Shoppers enjoying breakfast on the steps while a group of yogis practiced with YogaFit Northeast.

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Love this girl! Kelli McManus and her business partner Jeff Casper of Dumpling and Strand where recently featured in a Pioneer Press article. At the May 27 Market they celebrated the company's 1 Year Anniversary with a Spin the Wheel game in which customers tried for a chance to win free pasta and many other prizes. We wish them continued success!

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Talin Spring of Spring Finn & Co prepared to wrap one of her exquisite bracelets around a shopper's wrist.

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Young parents checking out some sassy baby pants from Sassy Knitwear. Cute!

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the goat!

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market 

Sunday
May282017

Video: Pillsbury "A" Mill Interactive Visualization

The historic Pillsbury “A” Mill was completed in 1881 on the west bank of the Mississippi river in Minneapolis, Minnesota. To power the mill, water works were constructed beneath the building, carrying water from the river and through turbines to generate electricity. VJAArchitects hired Artificial Natures to create an interactive application that allows people to explore this underground world, including the 500 foot long head race tunnel and realistic water effects. This video shows a tour through the tunnel system.

Sunday
May282017

Buses Will Replace Downtown Minneapolis Trains June 1-5

Due to scheduled maintenance, buses will replace trains beginning Thursday, June 1 during a partial shutdown on the METRO Blue & Green Line. Customers can board replacement buses near the affected stations. Buses run on similar schedules as trains but can take more time.

Customers are urged to plan accordingly. Consider walking or biking from U.S. Bank Stadium Station to your downtown destinations.

From 6:45 p.m. Thursday, June 1 until 5 a.m. Monday, June 5, buses will replace Blue and Green Line trains for these stations:

- U.S. Bank Stadium (northbound/westbound only)
- Government Plaza
- Nicollet Mall
- Warehouse-Hennepin Avenue
- Target Field

See maps for boarding locations

Saturday
May272017

Reminder - 2017 Music & Movies in the Parks Series Kicks off May 29!

Music in the Parks May 29 - September 4

Featuring over 200 free outdoor concerts, the 2017 schedule has something for every musical taste including Jazz, Latin, Swing, Folk, Rock, Bluegrass, Classical and much more.  See and enjoy great local talent at one of these six venues:
 
Lake Harriet Band Shell (Monday-Saturday 7:30pm, except Wednesdays; Sundays 2:00pm & 5:30pm)
Nicollet Island Park (Mondays 7:00pm)
Father Hennepin Bluff Park (Tuesdays 7:00pm)
Minnehaha Park (Wednesday-Friday 7:00pm)
Bryant Square Park (Tuesdays & Thursdays 6:30pm)
Loring Park (Wednesdays 11:30am-1:30pm)
 
Movies in the Parks June 5 - August 26

The mobile program takes place Monday through Saturday evenings and will travel to more than 50 parks throughout the summer, which includes a partnership with the Twin Cities Black Film Festival.  Music-movie combo sites include Tuesdays at Father Hennepin Bluff Park, select Fridays at Lake Harriet Bandshell, and the Live on the Drive series in north Minneapolis.  Movies start 15 minutes after sunset.
 
Concerts and movies are free, and everyone is welcome to attend. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, bug spray and pack a picnic. For the most up-to-date schedules and weather related information, follow Twitter and Facebook. For a complete schedule, visit www.mplsmusicandmovies.com.

Thank You to the Minneapolis Park and Rec Board for bringing us Music & Movies in the Parks!

Friday
May262017

The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul Announces NT Live Summer Schedule

Starting Monday, May 29, the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul kicks-off the Summer 2017 season of National Theatre Live screenings at the St. Anthony Main Theatre. The Film Society’s Summer Season of NTL will feature new afternoon encores at 1:00pm on the Wednesday following each production's first screening. These matinees will be available at a 30% discounted admission.

Full NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE Summer Season Schedule:
 
ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD - May 29, May 31, June 3 - Directed by David Leveaux and Tim Van Someren. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Joshua McGuire, David Haig, Luke Mullins, Helena Wilson.
 
PETER PAN - June 10, June 12, June 14 - All ages production. Directed by Sally Cookson. Adapted from J.M. Barrie’s classic tale.
 
WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? - June 19, June 21, June 24 - Directed by James MacDonald. Starring Imelda Staunton, Conleth Hill, Imogen Poots, Luke Treadaway.
 
OBSESSION - July 3, July 5, July 8 - Directed by Ivo van Hove. Starring Jude Law.
 
TWELFTH NIGHT - July 17, July, July 22 - Directed by Simon Godwin. Starring Tamsin Greig, Tamara Lawrence, Daniel Ezra, Daniel Rigby.

SALOMÉ - July 31, August 2, August 5 - Directed by Yael Farber. Starring Isabella Nefar, Raad Rawi, Olwen Fouere, Theo TJ Lowe

ANGELS IN AMERICA PART 1, MILLENNIUM APPROACHES - August 14, August 19 - Directed by Marianne Elliott. Written by Tony Kushner. Starring Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, Susan Brown, Denise Gough, Amanda Lawrence, James McArdle, Nathan Steward-Jarrett, Russell Tovey
ANGELS IN AMERICA PART 2, PERESTROIKA - August 21, August 26 - Directed by Marianne Elliott. Written by Tony Kushner. Starring Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, Susan Brown, Denise Gough, Amanda Lawrence, James McArdle, Nathan Steward-Jarrett, Russell Tovey
Thursday
May252017

Here's the Schedule of Free Outdoor Movies at Target Field Station

Schedule of free outdoor movies at Target Field Station announced

Hennepin County is hosting free movie nights this summer at Target Field Station in partnership with the mpls downtown council and the Minnesota Twins. 

Residents can bring a lawn chair or blanket, find a spot on the grass outside the ballpark and watch movies on the video board. The digital screen at Target Field Station allows for movies to be shown in crisp quality and before dusk, making the events ideal for all ages.

All movies begin Thursdays at 7:00pm

  • June 1: “The Sandlot”  
  • June 8: “Footloose” (1984)  
  • June 29: “The Parent Trap” (1961)  
  • July 13: “Inside Out”  
  • August 10: “Finding Dory”  
  • August 24: “Free Willy”  

Getting to Target Field Station

Go Outside with Hennepin County

The movie nights are part of Go Outside with Hennepin County, a series of free, family-friendly events. Events will take place this summer at Target Field Station and the Hennepin County Government Center. 

Share your experiences at Go Outside events. Interact on social media using the hashtag #GoOutside. 

See this year's full schedule of Go Outside with Hennepin County events.

Thursday
May252017

My North Series - 52 Minnesota Stories Leading up to the 2018 Super Bowl (Episodes 11-15)

Count down to Super Bowl 52 with this weekly video series of 52 love letters to Minnesota from notable Minnesotans. My North is an editorial video series created by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and presented by Explore Minnesota. Hear from tastemakers and stylemakers. Artists and athletes. Authors and entertainers. These are their odes to the state they love. Below are episodes 11-15 - click here to see more

 

Thursday
May252017

June 21: Book It to the Parks!

Book It to the Parks!

On Wednesday, June 21, Minneapolis parks will open more than 50 new Little Free Libraries - a gift from The Minneapolis Foundation to local families in honor of Minnesota Public Radio’s 50th anniversary. MPR hosts, local authors, and other guest readers will celebrate by reading children’s books at story times in parks all over the city, from sunrise to sunset on summer’s longest day.

Book donations are welcome – help stock your neighborhood’s newest Little Free Library.

Bring your kids and Book It to the Parks!

Wednesday
May242017

Get to Know The Commons!

The Commons is more than just a huge expanse of luxurious grass to run your toes through.  Check out all the programming scheduled for this summer and fall. FUN! :D

 
Daily Amenities – Free and open to the public:   
Umbrellas – Colorful umbrellas provide shade at amenity areas and within program rooms. 
Games Cart – A variety of favorite lawn and board games, including Corn Hole, ladder ball, bocce, chess, checkers, Connect Four, etc. Available free of charge, to borrow from our games cart. Opens June 1.
Reading Cart – Explore best sellers and titles from local publishers as well as daily newspapers, available for use in the park. Make The Commons your stop over lunch to read up on news. Opens June 1. With support from Bond & Devick Wealth Partners.
Ping Pong – Challenge your friends, family and colleagues to a game. Free paddles and balls available for use in the park. Opens June 1.
Public Art Installation - Orbacles by MINN_LAB is presented as part of the City of Minneapolis Creative City Challenge. The winning submission by MINN_LAB addresses how climate change affects birdlife in Minnesota, and launches in conjunction with the Northern Spark Festival June 10.
- - - - -
Series – Free and open to the public
• Kubb Lessons • Hip Hop Dance • Fly Feet HIIT & Run • Silent Disco • Summer Extravaplaza • Spoken Word Workshops • Sing Play Learn – Early Childhood • Film Festival • Mill City Farmers Market • Bike with a Ranger
- - - - -   
Single Events – Free and open to the public
Storytime with Nancy Carlson • Northern Spark • German Student Orchestra Performance • Lit Community Picnic • Storytime with John Coy & Wing Young Huie • Make Music Day Twin Cities • Aquatennial Yoga with CorePower Yoga • Storytime & Sing-A-Long with Trisha Speed Shaskan and Stephen Shaskan
- - - - -
External Events
Badass Dash - X Games Concerts - Vikings Activations
Wednesday
May242017

Minneapolis Edges Out Saint Paul to Retain Title of Nation's Best Park System

Minneapolis has the best park system in the United States, according to The Trust for Public Land's 6th annual ParkScore® index, which was released today by the non-profit organization.

Minneapolis narrowly edged out cross-town rival Saint Paul to earn top honors for the second consecutive year. San Francisco climbed into third, pulling ahead of Washington, DC, and Arlington, VA, mostly because of improved access to basketball courts at schoolyards now open after hours and on weekends. PortlandIrvineNew YorkMadison, and Cincinnati rounded out the top 10.

Fresno shook up the bottom of the ParkScore rankings, vaulting from last year's 97th to a tie for 90th place (with Hialeah and Jacksonville, FL). Fresno's climb stemmed mostly from the creation of "joint use" agreements that open school playgrounds and athletic fields for public use after school hours and on weekends. Fresno had been the lowest ranking ParkScore city from 2012-2015.

"Joint use of school facilities is a major national trend, and a very positive development. Keeping playgrounds and athletic fields open to the public when schools are closed helps cities significantly increase park access at relatively low cost. The Trust for Public Land enthusiastically supports joint use, but it does not replace the need for new park acquisition and open space preservation," said Will Rogers, President of The Trust for Public Land.

"Everyone in America deserves to live within a 10-minute walk of a park. Parks are proven to improve physical and mental health, increase property values, and bring neighbors together to nurture the personal bonds that make our communities special," said Charlie McCabe, Director of The Trust for Public Land's Center for City Parks Excellence.

ParkScore rankings are based on three factors: Park Access, which measures the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park (approximately ½-mile); Park Size, which is based on a city's median park size and the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks; and Facilities and Investment, which combines park spending per resident with the availability of four popular park amenities: basketball hoops, off-leash dog parks, playgrounds, and recreation and senior centers.

In addition to ranking park systems in the 100 most populous U.S. cities, ParkScore also provides a one-to-five park bench rating summary that provides a snapshot of local park quality. In 2017, three cities received the highest possible 5-bench rating: MinneapolisSaint Paul, and San Francisco.

ParkScore champion Minneapolis scored strongly on all ParkScore rating factors. In Minneapolis, 97 percent of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park, and 15 percent of city area is reserved for parks. Second-place finisher Saint Paul nearly matched Minneapolis for park access, amenities, and investment but ceded the top spot due to its smaller median park size (3.7 acres vs. 6.6 acres).  Third place San Francisco outperformed both Minnesota cities for investment and access, but was third overall, mostly because of its comparatively small median park size, 1.6 acres. Boise, ID, led the nation with 7.2 dog parks per 100,000 residents and tied for 35thposition overall (with Raleigh).

"You can't have a great city without a great park system," said Adrian Benepe, Senior Vice President and Director of City Park Development for The Trust for Public Land. "Our top-ranked park systems are terrific, but all cities have room to improve. ParkScore is a tool that city leaders can use to guide park improvement, helping planners identify where they should focus their efforts, so more residents can live within a 10-minute walk of a well-planned and well-maintained park."

According to The Trust for Public Land, the 10 highest-ranking park systems in the United States are:

 

Rank

City

Park Bench Summary

Raw Score (Max 100)   

1.

Minneapolis

5.0 park benches

87.5

2.

Saint Paul

5.0 park benches

82.5

3.

San Francisco

5.0 park benches

80.0

4.

Washington, DC

4.5 park benches

79.0

5.

Portland, OR

4.5 park benches

77.5

6.

Arlington, VA

4.5 park benches

76.5

7.

Irvine (tie)

4.5 park benches

74.0

7.

New York (tie)

4.5 park benches

74.0

9.

Madison, WI

4.5 park benches

73.5

10.

Cincinnati

4.0 park benches

71.5

 

The lowest-ranking park systems are:

 

90.

Fresno (tie)

1.5 park benches

33.5

90.

Hialeah, FL (tie)

1.5 park benches

33.5

90.

Jacksonville, FL (tie)

1.5 park benches

33.5

93.

Laredo, TX (tie)

1.5 park benches

32.5

93.

Winston-Salem (tie)

1.5 park benches

32.5

95.

Mesa, AZ

1.5 park benches

31.5

96.

Louisville

1.5 park benches

31.0

97.

Charlotte

1.0 park benches

29.0

98.

Fort Wayne (tie)

1.0 park benches

28.5

98.

Indianapolis (tie)

1.0 park benches

28.5

 

Gilbert, AZ was not ranked because the city did not provide parks data to The Trust for Public Land.

ParkScore uses advanced GIS (geographic information system) computer mapping technology to create digital maps evaluating park accessibility, making it the most realistic assessment system available. Instead of simply measuring distance to a local park, ParkScore's GIS technology takes into account the location of park entrances and physical obstacles to access. For example, if residents are separated from a nearby park by a major highway, ParkScore does not count the park as accessible to those residents (unless there is a bridge, underpass, or easy access point across the highway). Esri and The Trust for Public Land collaborated on GIS design and implementation, helping to make ParkScore the most comprehensive park evaluation tool ever created.

ParkScore is free and open to the public to use as a roadmap to guide park improvement efforts. Users can browse interactive maps and zoom in and study park access on a block-by-block basis, pinpointing the neighborhoods where parks are most needed.

For more information about ParkScore, visit www.tpl.org/parkscore and join the discussion on Twitter @TPL_org, #ParkScore.

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.

SOURCE The Trust For Public Land

Tuesday
May232017

2017 Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Award Recipients Announced

On Thursday, May 18, Preservation Award partners Preserve Minneapolis, AIA Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission announced the recipients of 2017 annual Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Awards during a luncheon at International Market Square. 

The following honors were presented at the 27th Annual Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Awards:

 Historic Restoration, Rehabilitation, or Adaptive Reuse Project

700 Central

Hewing Hotel

 

New Addition to an Historic Building

Residence on Emerson

Charles Frederick Keyes House

 

Grassroots: Advocacy & Education

4Word Homes and Design, LLC/Robin O’Brien’s Home Restoration   

 

The Steve Murray Award

Robert M. Frame, III

 

The Minneapolis Preservation Awards annually recognize projects, individuals, and organizations that celebrate the heritage and historic character of Minneapolis. Nominations are selected based on their careful attention to the quality of design, architecture, workmanship, and materials as well as the positive impact on the surrounding neighborhood and community.

A jury comprised of two Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commissioners, two members of the American Institute of Architects Minneapolis Chapter, and two board members from Preserve Minneapolis reviewed the nominations.

For more information about the award program and details of the 2017 recipients, visit the AIA Minneapolis website.

Tuesday
May232017

Northern Spark Launch Party, June 10 at Thresher Square

Northern Spark’s 7th year kicks off with the Launch Party from 7 – 9 pm on Saturday, June 10 at Thresher Square.

Start your adventure with artful food created by 8 amazing local restaurants, beer from Fulton Brewing, a Northern Spark specialty cocktail crafted by Crooked Water Spirits, and musical guests ZULUZULUU! The historic Thresher Square building is just steps from The Commons, Northern Spark’s downtown Minneapolis neighborhood, so as the sun sets at 8:59 pm, you’ll already be in the prime spot for the festival’s opening celebrations.

Featured restaurants: Mercy, Cafe Alma, Eastside, Red Stag Supperclub, French Meadow, Handsome Hog, Silhouette Bakery & Bistro, Cafe Latté
Beverages: Fulton Brewing, Crooked Water Spirits, Barefoot Bubbly, Sociable Cider Werks, Peace Coffee

Tickets are available on Eventbrite
$50 Adapt Ticket - Entrance to the Launch Party from 7-9pm along with two hours of hosted libations, the specialty Northern Spark Launch Party cocktail, and a concert by stellar artists ZULUZULUU
$100 Sustain Ticket - Entrance to the Launch Party from 7-9pm along with two hours of hosted libations, the specialty Northern Spark Launch Party cocktail, and a concert by stellar artists ZULUZULUU, plus artistic hors d'oeuvres from 8 local restaurants
.
The Launch Party is presented by the Northern Spark Host Committee and is the annual fundraiser for Northern Lights.mn, the producers of the Northern Spark festival. The launch party funds a large portion of Northern Spark activities. 
Monday
May222017

Exploring the Upper River – Edgewater Park

Article by Kathleen Boe, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership

Exploring the Upper River

A look at hidden gems along the Minneapolis Riverfront

Through the course of this series on placemaking, we’re visiting parks, areas of green space and locations of interest along the upper river and the Minneapolis Riverfront.

But as you’re driving along Marshall St. NE, you might miss this spot. It’s at a busy intersection of Marshall and Lowry, where we’ve already written about Stormwater Park and there’s even more to discover than can be covered in this piece. So you might be forgiven if Edgewater Park has receded into the background for you so far.

I’m here to change that.

Edgewater Park sits on the southwest corner of Marshall and Lowry. The park is, of course, at the edge of the water, but the name also comes from the Edgewater Inn, which was a popular music spot on the site. The city acquired the land in 1993 and Edgewater Park was built as part of the Above the Falls Master Plan in 2006 thanks in part to funding from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. The park was dedicated in the spring of 2007.

This space was envisioned as parkland as far back as 1883, among Horace Cleveland’s initial suggestions to the city of Minneapolis, but it was not originally developed as such.

The park itself features a small picnic area and a walking path, but you might easily miss its key feature if you’re not aware of it coming in. The layout of Edgewater Park mimics the flow of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers through the area, with the Mississippi (pictured) heading out of the park toward Lowry and the Minnesota headed out toward Marshall. An aerial viewwill give you the best perspective.

While you’re there, also take note of how the park is divided into two distinct pieces, with planting and grasses distinguishing the metro area from the prairie.

At the midpoint of the park, near the confluence, as it were, of the two paths, is a lookout, mimicking the view Fort Snelling has on the actual rivers themselves.

This lookout is a great spot, too, to observe what is going on across the river. In two years we’ll have Northern Metals shutting down and starting to head out, removing some of the heavy industrial work. So when you visit, take a few minutes to envision what a mixture of parkland, trails and housing or light industrial use might look like on the river’s west bank.

So, the next time you’re taking a Nice Ride bike along the East Bank trail, continue up Marshall for a few more blocks and check out Edgewater Park. Drop off your bike and head into Tony Jaros Rivergarden for a greenie, or check in at Betty Danger’s. It’s a good time of year to hit the Ferris Wheel.

Kathleen Boe is Executive Director of the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership. She can be reached at kathleen.boe@minneapolisriverfront.org via email, or minneapolisriverfront.org on the web.

Sunday
May212017

Scenes from the May 20 Mill City Farmers Market

Sure it was soggy at the May 20 MCFM, but the shoppers who braved the weather did not go home disappointed!

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers MarketMelanie Ebertz of ArtAndes with Peruvian photographer Humberto Valdivia, who was in town in conjunction with Art-A-Whirl.

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the goat!

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 20, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Sunday
May212017

Selling Mill City / 1965 Pillsbury Flaky Biscuits TV Commercial Featuring the Pillsbury Doughboy

A 1965 TV commercial for Pillsbury Flaky Biscuits featuring one of the first appearances of the Pillsbury Doughboy (Poppin' Fresh) who was voiced by the legendary Paul Frees.

The Central Minneapolis Riverfront is not only the birthplace of the Minneapolis, but also gave rise to many iconic brands, some of which have endured for over a century.  Alas, some have not.  Selling Mill City is a series highlighting brands that arose on the riverfront and surrounding neighborhoods.

Saturday
May202017

Yoga in the Park is Back!

Yoga in Gold Medal Park returns Saturday, May 27!

We will meet on Saturdays, beginning on May 27 and ending on September 2nd. Each session will begin at 9:00am and end before 10:00am. Grab your mat (or a towel) and a neighbor, and meet us by the orange sculpture. The sessions are free of charge and sponsored by the Friends of the Mill District. Come salute the sun and enjoy the beauty of our neighborhood with your friends and neighbors. 

Questions and comments can be sent to cjkittock@gmail.com.

Saturday
May202017

Nonprofit Spotlight: The Lift Garage - Changing the World One Car at a Time

Article and photos by Claudia Kittock

I’m sure all of you have been inconvenienced by a car repair. That moment always happens when you realize how much of life depends on a reliable car. How do you get groceries? How do you make appointments? How do you get to work?

I first met Cathy Heying on a Saturday in May when she agreed to come in an hour early to share the story of The Lift Garage with me. Her enthusiasm and passion for the work she does is amazing. Cathy is funny, kind, smart, and has a laser focus.

Cathy had spent most of her career working at St. Stephens. She held multiple positions during her 15 years working with people experiencing homelessness. Her clients told her over and over again about the obstacle of not having a dependable car. How do you get to work if your car isn’t working? How do you afford car repairs if you can’t get to work?

Cathy said she was plagued with the recurring thought that ‘somebody should do something about it’. While she struggled to ignore that voice, she took a tour of Dunwoody College of Technology in 2008 and was told that applications were due by the end of the week. After coming to terms with the idea of a 2 year program and more student loans, she sent in her application, was accepted and began in the fall of 2008.

Armed with a master’s degree in pastoral ministry, Heying assumed the training would be a ‘piece of cake’.  That’s not how it turned out. The training was rigorous and difficult, and Cathy persisted, working full time at St. Stephens while attending classes full time at Dunwoody. She graduated 2 years later with an AAS degree in auto technology.

Cathy said she was plagued with the
recurring thought that
‘somebody should do something about it’.

Still not sure what was coming next, she spent a year having conversations. The ‘language’ of nonprofits was a language she knew well, so in August of 2012 The Lift Garage received 501©3 status, with a projected opening in late 2013. Shortly after the decision had been made to open in 2013, Cathy got a call about renting a repair bay at Dan’s Car Wash, and in March of 2013 The Lift Garage opened at 5925 Nicollet Avenue S.

For all of 2013, the garage was open 1 day a week, and customers flocked to it. On the 3rd Saturday they were open, Cathy got a call from a woman in Lakeville who needed her help. She was calling because she had seen the information on a flyer...but there was no flyer!! Word of mouth was powerful and swift. Within a very short time, they were booked out 3 months, and Cathy knew she needed help. She had volunteers to help her with the office and the repairs, but more was needed.

By January of 2014, The Lift Garage was able to expand business hours to Wednesdays through Saturdays, and by the summer had hired both full time and part time staff. There are now 4 full time employees and the garage is open 50 hours a week. A mobile van has just been added with the goal of going out to assess repair issues to determine if it can be fixed or not. The Lift Garage still has a 3-month waiting list.

The service is for all Minnesotans who meet the 150% Federal Poverty Guideline. They charge only $15 per hour plus the cost of parts at no mark-up, serving all counties in Minnesota.

The goal is getting cars safe and back on the road, so they work on brakes, suspension and steering, starting and charging systems, fuel systems, exhaust systems, and heating and cooling systems (not air conditioning). They do not do work on transmissions or the body. They are also not able to do significant engine repairs such as head gaskets or engine rebuilds, and are no longer able to offer payment plans.

The Lift Garage costs approximately $30,000/month to run. Earned income for most months is $8,000-$10,000. Help is needed!

How can you help?

• Learn more at https://www.theliftgarage.org/
• Donate at https://www.theliftgarage.org/donate. Please take note of the supplies needed.
Volunteer! Currently they are in need of:
  - Mechanics: Insurance requires certified or formally trained techs to work on cars.
  - Office assistants: Staffing phones, intakes, and payment.
  - Committee members to serve in areas of fundraising and finance. 
• If you are a caseworker you can fill out The Lift Garage – Income Verification Form and email it to info@theliftgarage.org or mail to PO Box 6992, Minneapolis, MN 55406. Once you send a referral the customer needs to call to set up an appointment.

Cathy Heying reminded me that fixing the problems we find in this world is about doing it. Don’t argue with that thought that ‘someone should do something about that’. Dig deep, ask yourself what you can do, take a deep breath, and get to work!

Claudia can be reached at claudia@millcitymedia.org

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Editor's Note - How humbling it is to be in the midst of a CNN Hero!

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