Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to assume operations of The Commons on April 1, 2020

Green Minneapolis announces transition of operations of The Commons to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board as of April 1, 2020.

In May 2019, the City of Minneapolis transferred responsibility for The Commons to the Park Board, who continued the contract with Green Minneapolis to operate the 4.2 acre green space adjacent to US Bank Stadium. On February 5 of this year, the Park Board of Commissioners voted to assume operations of The Commons effective April 1, 2020. 

“Green Minneapolis is proud of the role we have played to make The Commons the vibrant downtown green space it is today, and have demonstrated the transformative effect that parks and public realm investments can have on our community.” said Beth Shogren, Executive Director of Green Minneapolis.  “We have created a welcoming, dynamic urban park, set a high standard for maintenance, safety and activation, and are now working to ensure a smooth transition of operations to the Park Board.”

Uniting public and private sector vision and leadership, Green Minneapolis supported the partnership that facilitated development of The Commons, and successfully raised $14 million in private dollars to fund construction of The Commons and to create an operating reserve. Major donors include Wells Fargo Foundation, The Minnesota Vikings, Ryan Companies, and Valspar.

The Commons catalyzed the transformation of East Town, triggering substantial residential and commercial development throughout the neighborhood. It has become a daily attraction for residents, workers and visitors to the City. 

Green Minneapolis had been operating, maintaining and programming The Commons under contract with the City, and later the Park Board, since 2017, and in that time, the park welcomed over 500,000 visitors annually and featured over 150 free public programs. 

“The Commons is a prime example of the power of public-private partnerships. Because of the vision and generous contribution from many individuals and businesses in our community, the City was able to replace surface parking lots with a lush, active urban park for all its citizens,” said David Wilson, board chair for Green Minneapolis.   Green Minneapolis’ work to advance the vibrancy of downtown Minneapolis through parks and greening continues through projects like the revitalization of Peavey Plaza, work to enhance downtown’s urban tree canopy, and the landscaping of the Hennepin-Lyndale Crossroads.  Noted Wilson, “We envision a much greener future for downtown with trees on every block and active public spaces. Robust green infrastructure can make our downtown healthier, safer and more resilient to climate change, and with thousands of people moving downtown every year, greening isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ – it is an imperative.”

About Green Minneapolis:

Green Minneapolis is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) conservancy with the mission to advance the vibrancy of downtown Minneapolis through parks and greening.

Our vision is to grow a green future for downtown, with tree-lined streets and active public spaces that enrich quality of life, create a healthier environment and connect people through place.