Gray to green

In 2015, Green Cities Accord lead a partnership with the City of Minneapolis and downtown business leaders that raised approximately $15 million dollars from generous companies and individuals for The Commons, a 4.2 acre green oasis that replaced surface parking lots and helped launch the revitalization of East Town. In conjunction with the opening of the adjacent US Bank Stadium, The Commons opened in the summer of 2016, and Green Cities Accord operated and maintained the park thru March 2020. In a few short years, The Commons became a vibrant gathering place for the community, hosting visitors from the many events held at US Bank Stadium, as well as welcoming downtown neighbors with free activities including lawn games, reading carts, concerts and movies.

On April 1, 2020, ongoing care and management of the park transitioned to the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. Green Cities Accord is proud of its leadership role in establishing The Commons as a new and welcoming downtown oasis. 

Click here to be redirected to the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board website for current park information, programming schedules and event rental applications.

capital Campaign

Uniting public and private sector funding, vision and leadership, Green Cities Accord successfully fundraised $14 million to fund construction of The Commons and an operating reserve. The new gathering space catalyzed the transformation of East Town, triggering substantial residential and commercial development throughout the neighborhood.

daily care

Compelling and welcoming spaces require the highest level of care. In the park’s opening years, Green Cities Accord maintained the new park to world-class standards, managing a robust maintenance program to tend the park’s three lawns, hundreds of trees and thousands of plants. Park hosts provided hospitality services and ensured the space was litter-free.


Green Cities Accord hosted over 150 events at The Commons in the park’s first three years. Through free and engaging public programs – from a weekly farmers market and monthly outdoor movie series, to a community concert by the world-renowned Minnesota Orchestra – we created community at The Commons.

Recognizing our donors

City of Minneapolis • Wells Fargo Foundation • Wilf Family & Minnesota Vikings • Ryan Companies • Target • Xcel Energy • Invesco Real Estate • The Excelsior Group • The Sherwin-Williams Company • U.S. Bank • The Pohlad Family Foundation • Julia W. Dayton • Polaris Industries Inc. • Carlson Family Foundation • Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc. • Land O’Lakes, Inc. • Piper Jaffray Companies • The Phillips Family • David A. Wilson and Michael J. Peterman • The Toro Company • Heartland Realty Investors • Jay Cowles and Page Knudsen Cowles • Opus Foundation • Veit & Company, Inc • Provident Real Estate Ventures LLC • Century Link  James M. Stanton  Jan and Ellen Breyer