Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board assumes operations at The Commons on April 1

On April 1, 2020, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) will officially assume operations at The Commons, the 4.2-acre park in downtown Minneapolis at 4th Street South and Portland Avenue. Green Minneapolis, a non-profit conservancy, has operated The Commons through an agreement with MPRB since May 2019, and before that with the City of Minneapolis.

Park operations include ongoing maintenance such as lawn and garden care and trash removal, security, and public programming. The change in operations results from a Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling on January 20, 2020, which upheld a 2019 Hennepin County ruling that prohibits the City from operating and managing a park.

“The Commons is a vibrant community asset, and we’re committed to keeping it that way,” said MPRB Superintendent Al Bangoura. “As MPRB assumes operations, our staff will provide service levels comparable to those used at Loring Park, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and other MPRB parks in and around downtown.”

In the time that Green Minneapolis has operated The Commons, the park welcomed more than 500,000 dedicated visitors annually and featured more than. 150 free public programs.

“The MPRB appreciates the work that Green Minneapolis has put into The Commons,” said Board President Jono Cowgill. “Going forward, the park will continue to be an attractive destination for Minneapolis residents, downtown workers and visitors. I’m confident that Superintendent Bangoura and MPRB staff will develop a balance in assuming responsibilities at The Commons that allows us to uphold the MPRB mission and maintain delivery of core services throughout the entire park system.”

Green Minneapolis will continue its management and operations at Peavey Plaza and other downtown sites, along with its stewardship of street trees downtown.

Public Impacts at The Commons as of April 1

Hours: The Commons will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight, per Ordinance PB-2-33 for MPRB parks in developed areas.

Security: The Minneapolis Park Police Department will patrol at The Commons from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. as part of its operations at all MPRB parks in the downtown area. Between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m., the Minneapolis Police Department will deploy officers as requested through 911.

Programming and activities: MPRB will share plans at a later date.


2014: The City of Minneapolis acquires land for The Commons through the Ryan Companies, which built the park as part of the U.S. Bank Stadium project for the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.

Summer 2016: The Commons opens as a 4.2-acre park managed and operated by Green Minneapolis through an agreement with the City of Minneapolis. As a non-profit conservancy, Green Minneapolis raises funds to support the park’s annual budget.

2017: The City conveys ownership of the park’s land to the MPRB, which in turn leases it to the City.

2019: A Hennepin County ruling requires MPRB to operate the park beginning on May 1. MPRB contracts with Green Minneapolis to continue operations at The Commons. The County’s ruling is challenged at the Minnesota Court of Appeals. MPRB partners with Green Minneapolis in summer programming at The Commons.

January 2020: The Minnesota Court of Appeals upholds the ruling for MPRB to assume operations at The Commons.

April 1, 2020: Operations at The Commons transfers from Green Minneapolis to the MPRB.

#Stay Home Minnesota: March 27-April 10

Stay At Home order does not mean you need to show paperwork. The goal is social distancing.

The resources found at mn.gov/deed/critical can help you determine eligibility for Critical Sector worker exemptions and help answer any other questions you may have #OneMinnesota.

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board announces riverfront parkway and road closures to help trail users maintain social distancing

Following Gov. Walz’ Emergency Executive Order 20-20 Directing Minnesotans to Stay at Home, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) President Jono Cowgill and District 1 Commissioner Chris Meyer announced today that sections of West River Parkway and Main Street SE will close to allow more space for trail users to follow social distancing practices to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The riverfront parkway closures will begin by 5 pm Friday, March 27 and remain in place until the end of the Emergency Executive Order on Friday, April 10, 2020 at 5 pm. MPRB Commissioners are working with staff to consider additional parkway closures in the Minneapolis park system during this time.

“I am thrilled we’re able to open road and parkway segments next to our busy central riverfront park, and I look forward to announcing additional parkway closures soon,” explained Jono Cowgill, President of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. “This has been a collaborative effort with the City of Minneapolis in response to the people we serve and their need for social distancing within parks and public spaces.”

Once the closures go into effect:

  • Parkway roads will be dedicated to two-way pedestrian traffic.
  • Walking paths will be dedicated to two-way pedestrian traffic.
  • Bike paths will remain bike paths in their current direction, if applicable.

West River Parkway

West River Parkway will close between Plymouth Avenue N and 11th Avenue S. One lane will remain open to provide access to the Stone Arch Bridge Parking Lot and parking serving 200 2nd St. S. Modifications may occur during the closure.

Map of West River Parkway closure

Map of West River Parkway Closure [PDF]

Main Street SE

Main Street SE will fully close between Hennepin Avenue and 3rd Avenue SE. Merriam Street will also be closed. The eastbound lane of Main Street will close between 3rd and 6th Avenues SE. The southbound lane of 6th Avenue SE will also close between Main Street SE and the Stone Arch Bridge. Modifications may occur during the closure.

Map of Main St. SE road closure

Map of Main Street SE Closure [PDF]

Exceptions and Conditions

  • Emergency vehicles will be allowed on closed sections of parkways and streets at all times.
  • Service, delivery and sanitation vehicles will be allowed on closed sections of parkways and streets as part of their regular operations. Vehicle drivers will be required to move and replace barricades.
  • Access to residential buildings and residential parking facilities on closed sections of parkways and streets will be maintained.
  • Intermittent construction vehicle access related to the Water Works project will be allowed. Water Works is under construction near Stone Arch Bridge on West River Parkway.

Social Distancing

The Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control offer the following guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19:

  • Do not use parks if you feel sick or have symptoms, including fever, body aches, coughing, nasal congestion, runny nose and sore throat.
  • Cover your cough with your elbow, don’t cough into your hands.
  • Wash your hands immediately before and after visiting a park or trail.
  • Maintain at least six feet of distance between you and other people that are not a part of your household.

Stay Updated

Visit minneapolisparks.org/coronavirus for parkway closure updates and other MPRB FAQs, including facility closings and activity cancellations. Receive timely email updates by visiting minneapolisparks.org/subscribe, entering your email and selecting the “COVID-19” topic in the “News Updates” section.

Get outside, but be safe and practice social distancing

We know you are going stir crazy, and we encourage you to get outside, but please be safe and respectful of your fellow neighbors. Practice social distancing in public parks and trails. Be well everyone!


The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s (MPRB) priority is the health and safety of our park visitors and employees. The MPRB is actively monitoring and responding to the coronavirus COVID-19 in partnership with the Minneapolis Health Department, Minneapolis Office of Emergency Management, and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), which is leading the statewide response to COVID-19.  MPRB leadership staff are discussing COVID-19 daily and determining strategies related to COVID-19 impacts to the MPRB, the public we serve, and our employees.

Additional local, state and national resources and recommendations are available on their COVID-19 webpages:


Restaurants and Coffee Shops Open for Business

For those who are able, it is vital that you continue to support local retail and dining operations. To help you, help the local business community, we’ve begun compiling a list of local restaurants and coffee shops that are open for delivery and take-out and need your support.  If you notice something missing, please let us know at info@thedmna.org.


Bacon Social House 9am-4pm [OPEN]
700 S 3rd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Caribou Coffee (Washington Ave & 5th Ave S) [OPEN]
509 S Washington Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Beginning March 24th: Mon-Fri 5:30 am-6:00 pm, Sat 6 am-6 pm, Sun 6 am-5 pm

Collins Restaurant and Café’ (at Parkside Building, Elliot Park) [OPEN, CARRYOUT ONLY]
825 S 8th Street #L108
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Hours: Monday-Friday, 7am-2pm

Crooked Pint Ale House [OPEN]
501 S Washington Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Online Ordering: Mon-Fri 11am-7pm, Sat-Sun 10am-7pm

Brian’s Kitchen and Catering (#4-Wells Fargo DTE Skyway) [OPEN]
Delivery Fees Waived, Minimum Order $25
Hours: 7am-2pm
Phone: 612-338-2951
600 South 4th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Hours: Monday – Friday 7:00 am – 2:00 pm

Einstein Brothers (Wells Fargo Skyway) [OPEN]
550 S 4th St Suite 230, Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 333-9088
Hours: 6 am-4 pm Monday-Friday

Finnegan’s Brew Co. [OPEN]
817 S 5th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 454-0615
Curbside pickup is available Monday-Friday: 3-6 pm: Growlers, 750 ml bottles, Merchandise

Jimmy Johns at East End [OPEN]
720 S 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55415
Mon-Thursday-10:30 am-10 am, Friday-Sat 10:30 am-11 pm
(612) 338-7827

Kindi Thai Restaurant [OPEN]
719 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 465-8303
Monday – Friday: 11:30 am-9 pm
Saturday: 11 am-9 pm
Sunday: 3 pm-9 pm

Pog Mahones Pub and Grill [OPEN]
903 S Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 236-4724
Everyday: Noon-7pm

Sarpino’s Pizzaria [OPEN]
1028 S. Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55415
Sunday-Thursday: 10 am-1 pm; Friday-Saturday: 10 am-3 am

Sawatdee (11am-9pm) [OPEN]
607 S Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 338-6451

Starbucks at the East End [OPEN]
713 S Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 383-2274

Starbucks at the Edition [OPEN]
515 S 4th St, Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 357-6344

Subway Restaurant (at 701 Building) [OPEN]
701 S 4th Ave Suite 230, Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 333-3109
Monday-Friday, 7 am-5 pm

Umbra (at the Canopy Hotel) [OPEN]
708 3rd Street South
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 540-7323
11 am-7 pm for take-out

Zen Box Izakaya [OPEN]
602 S Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 332-3936
We are OPEN with a Pay-what-you-can Take Out menu.
Orders are accepted by phone 612-332-3936 or online anytime from 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Mon to Fri only. We have GIFTCARDS available online, click here​

DMNA approves resolution to support Police Safety Center

At its February 24, 2020 meeting, the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA) unanimously approved a resolution to fund a police safety center on Second Street South in the Mill District. Working with Sherman Associates, owner
and developer of The Vicinity, and the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), Joe Tamburino, former chair of the DMNA, worked over several years to make the police safety center a reality.

The DMNA will be signing a five-year license giving the MPD’s Homeless Initiative officers a base of operations. It is hoped that having the safety center in the neighborhood will assist with local outreach and provide an enhanced police presence in the neighborhood. The safety center will be available for use by any licensed Minnesota peace/police officer.

Pam McCrea, chair of the DMNA, applauded the work that went into making the safety center happen with “special thanks to Joe Tamburino who took the leadership and never dropped the ball.” Steve Fletcher, city council member and neighborhood resident, when asked about the safety center, noted that the anticipated use of the space would put eyes on the street without drawing resources away from higher priority tasks.

The Mill Yard at Stonebridge Lofts Art Exhibit announces our new winter show!

Opening Reception Sunday, February 23   5:00 – 7:00 PM
Stonebridge Lofts, 1120 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis 55415

The new show runs from February 23 – June 1, 2020

Artists featured at this show:

  • Laura Donovan, painter
  • Steve Hemingway, ceramic artist
  • Tim Harding, textile
  • Nancy Yermakoff, painter

Join us at The Mill Yard opening reception for wine, beverages, snacks and beautiful art.  Local popular food truck, Taqueria Victor Hugo, will be out front selling a variety of Mexican cuisine.


Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TheMillYardatStonebridgeLofts

The Mill Yard at Stonebridge Lofts

The Mill City.  Residents celebrate our area’s industrial heritage of the mighty Mississippi River and the mills. Today, what we see are the most recognizable Minneapolis landmarks. However, this is only part of the story. Rail lines were key to Minneapolis’ growth, and were particularly integral to the Mill District, bringing in wheat and timber and shipping out flour and lumber. We also honor the history of the mills, the reason for the rail yard’s existence.  The Mill Yard aims to be both a gathering place for art and artists and a conduit by which art can be shared with and disseminated into the wider community.

Contact us at:



Laura Donovan

Laura describes her oil paintings as “suggestive of landscapes in a world just beyond this one. The moods can be dark while the colors vivid and provocative.” Elements in her work are inspired by her surroundings and her travels. A Twin Cities native, her education focused on International Relations at the University of Minnesota but she has pursued art throughout her life.  Her paintings have been displayed around the Twin Cities and she is currently an exhibitor at Gustaf’s Up North Gallery in Lindstrom, MN.


Tim Harding

After working in painting and photography Tim became intrigued with the intimacy of fiber/textiles, their textural, tactile richness, the pliable plane, and the inherent grid of the weave, as well as the complex cultural roles of this medium. Inspiration for his work emerges from historical references, world cultures, modern art and artists with a key influence being the profound connection between modern painting and primitive ethnographic artifacts. Tim uses a unique, self-developed physical technique (a complex, free-reverse applique) that creates a compelling interplay of surface and structure. He has received numerous prestigious awards and Tim’s pieces are in museums and corporate collections across the country.

Steve Hemingway

Steve explains the material that best suits his work is clay. “Clay, especially wet clay, allows for sensuous immediacy. The clay responds immediately to your touch and in return you respond back and a dialog is created. It immerses you into the present moment. I find this a wellspring for creative thought and process.”  A native of Flint Michigan, and where he trained as an artist, Steve taught part time which allowed him to develop as an artist. In 1992 Steve moved to Minneapolis and in 1996 moved to Minnetonka where he built another studio and soon after devoted himself full-time to his art.  Steve creates tablets, tiles, vessels and sculpture. Most of his work is Raku fired.


Nanci Yermakoff

Nanci’s luminous watercolors majestically radiate color, space and emotion. She currently lives and works in St Paul and has a studio in the Northrup King Building. In addition, she has a studio in north-central Minnesota where the lakes of the north woods inspire her work. Nanci has been a featured artist in American Artist Watercolor magazine as well as Watercolor Artist magazine. She taught watercolor at the Botanical and Zoological Art and Illustration Program at the Como Conservatory in St Paul from 2004-2009.

Wells Fargo WinterSkate Continues through March

Wells Fargo Mpls WinterSkate is a refrigerated sheet of ice located in Loring Park in downtown Minneapolis. It is FREE to skate, and we do have complimentary skates available for use during all warming house hours. The rink is open daily 3-9 pm Monday-Friday, 9 am-9 pm on Saturdays and 10 am-6 pm on Sundays. It is also open 12-9 pm on Minneapolis Public School release days.

Plus, we have great prize opportunities and free activities all winter long! When you’re here, tag “@WellsFargo #MplsWinterSkate” in your social media posts, and you could win 2 tickets to sit in Wells Fargo’s suite at Xcel Energy Center as the Minnesota Wild host the Buffalo Sabres on March 28!

Don’t miss out on fun, FREE activities all winter long, including:

  • Skating lessons with the Figure Skating Club of Mpls: Each Saturday 3-4 pm now through Feb. 29
  • Fitness Skates with music, CorePower Yoga prizes & giveaways: Each Tuesday 3-4 pm now through Feb. 25
  • “The Mighty Ducks” movie skate: January 17, 6-8 pm
  • Silent Disco skates: January 10 & February 7, 6-9 pm
  • And more!

View the full schedule at www.mplsdowntown.com/winterskate


Help the families displaced by the fire at the Drake Hotel

Thank you to everyone who has reached out looking for ways to help the victims of the Drake Hotel fire on Christmas morning.

The The Minneapolis Foundation has now established a fund specifically for the residents and families displaced by the fire. ‬Info available via the link below.


The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers announced that they are collecting gift cards for Target, Cub, Aldi, and other places that can help families rebuild. They will ONLY accept gift cards as the community has shown up and met the immediate needs for clothing, food, and hygiene items. The displaced families, however, will need support in rebuilding once they have a new place to stay. Gift cards are absolutely critical for meeting their needs moving forward. (Please do NOT bring clothing, food, or cash.) They are located at 67 8th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN.

DMNA Supports Mayor Frey’s Proposal to Increase MPD Funding in FY2020

At their meeting on November 18, the DMNA Board approved submitting a letter to the Minneapolis City Council in support for Mayor Jacob Frey’s FY 2020 Budget proposal to increase funding for the Minneapolis Police Department.  The text of the letter is available below.

November 28, 2019

Minneapolis City Council
City Hall, Room 307
350 South Fifth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415

RE:       Support for Mayor Frey’s Budget Proposal for the MPD

Dear Minneapolis City Council Members:

I am writing to you on behalf of the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association Board of Directors regarding Mayor Jacob Frey’s FY2020 Budget.  The DMNA has reviewed and discussed Mayor Frey’s proposal to increase funding for the Minneapolis Police Department on several occasions over the past three months.  Mayor Frey also presented his plan to the neighborhood at our annual meeting this past October.

The DMNA is submitting this letter in support of Mayor Frey’s proposal to increase the MPD authorized force by at least 14 additional police officers in the 2020 budget.  Further, the DMNA strongly encourages the Mayor and Council, the MPD, and the Minneapolis Police Federation to collaborate in identifying and revising any staffing and assignment policies that might impede the best use of those new resources in addressing the highest public safety needs of the community.

If you have any questions about this letter, please feel free to contact me at christie@thedmna.org or by phone at 320-583-4573.


Christie Rock Hantge
DMNA Neighborhood Coordinator

Mayor Jacob Frey
Darwin Forsyth, Office of the Mayor
Pam McCrea, DMNA Board Chair
Joe Tamburino, DMNA Board Chair (former)
Kevin Frazell, DMNA Vice Chair