Hammocking in Minneapolis Parks? Please Be Kind To The Trees.

If you’ve visited Minneapolis parks in the past year or two and noticed hammocks hanging from trees, you may have wondered, “Can we do that?”

The answer is YES, with limitations and a few guidelines:

  • Hammocks may only be used during regular park hours
  • Hammocks are temporary and those hanging the hammock must promptly remove it each time they are done using it
  • Hammocks do not damage property
  • Hammocks do not damage vegetation or trees
  • Hammocks do not restrict free use of the parks, or create a hazard to buildings, park or pathway use

Hammock users should be aware of two Park Board ordinances related to vegetation and trees:

PB2-2. – Molesting vegetation.

No person not an employee of the board shall pick or cut any wild or cultivated flower, or cut, break or in any way injure or deface any tree, shrub or plant within the limits of any park or parkway; nor carry within or out of any park or parkway any wild flower, tree, shrub, plant or any newly plucked branch or portion thereof, or any soil or material of any kind. (Code 1960, As Amend., § 1010.030)

PB10-9. – Damaging trees.

No person shall remove, destroy, cut, deface, trim or in any way injure or interfere with any tree or shrub on any of the avenues, streets or public grounds, including parks and parkways, without a permit from the general superintendent of parks. (Code 1960, As Amend., § 1020.090)

DMNA Seeking to establish a Homeowners Association Advisory Group

The Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA) Board of Directors would like to establish a stronger connection with residents living in condos and apartments in the Downtown East and Downtown West neighborhoods.  As such, it is working to establish a Homeowners Association Advisory Group.  This group would help the DMNA better communicate with residents of the downtown community on issues of important concern such as crime and safety and land use development.  The DMNA can also help HOA’s communicate more effectively with leadership at City Hall.

The DMNA is asking downtown HOA’s to designate a board representative to serve as a member of the advisory group. The preference would be for the HOA board president to serve on this group, but will accept a designee offered by an HOA president too.  Please submit the name and contact info to info@thedmna.org.  It is our hope to have an initial meeting with this group of people within the next two months, and possibly quarterly after that.  We are excited about this new initiative, and hope that we get good engagement from downtown HOA’s.

The Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA) exists to promote the common good and general welfare of the residents, businesses, and employees of Downtown Minneapolis.  Members of the DMNA Board include, Pam McCrea, Chair; Kevin Frazell, Vice Chair; Carletta Sweet, Secretary; Dianne Walsh, Treasurer; Max Erickson; Tomek Rajtar; Laurie Rice; Joey Senkyr; and Joe Tamburino.

Mpls City Council approves resolution declaring the intent to create a transformative new model for cultivating safety in our city.

RESOLUTION
By Bender, Jenkins, Reich, Gordon, Fletcher, Cunningham,
Ellison, Goodman, Cano, Schroeder, Johnson, and Palmisano
Declaring the intent to create a transformative new model for cultivating safety in our city.

Whereas, police violence and the use of excessive force have led to community destabilization, a decrease in
public safety, and the exacerbation of racial inequities in Minneapolis; and

Whereas, police use-of-force is among the leading causes of death for young men of color, and Black people,
including Black women, girls, queer, trans and nonbinary folks, disabled people, American Indians, immigrants,
and Latinos are killed by police at disproportionately higher rates than their white peers; and

Whereas, use of force by the Minneapolis Police Department exposes the City of Minneapolis to legal and
financial vulnerability with settlements in excess of $24 million in the past three years; and

Whereas, the University of Minnesota, the Minneapolis Park Board, the Minneapolis School Board, the Walker,
Minneapolis Institute of Art, and private businesses have announced an end to their relationship and contracts
with the Minneapolis Police Department in the past two weeks; and

Whereas, Chief Medaria Arradondo has made good-faith efforts within the existing system to improve public
safety for all communities in Minneapolis, and is a respected and integral leader in bringing forward this much
needed transformation; and

Whereas, the City of Minneapolis has taken many steps to reform the Minneapolis Police Department,
including but not limited to creation of civilian oversight bodies, implicit bias and de-escalation training for
officers, prohibiting “warrior”-style trainings, prohibiting the types of holds that led to the death of George
Floyd, adoption of a duty to intervene, the addition of body cameras for all officers, and many more; and

Whereas, the City of Minneapolis has invested in public health and community safety beyond policingstrategies including evidence-based violence prevention programs like Next Step and invested in communitybased safety systems, innovative diversion and domestic violence programs in our City Attorney’s office, and the establishment of the Office of Violence Prevention to coordinate this work; and

Whereas, the City of Minneapolis established a 911 Work Group to analyze 911 call dispatch categories and
determine whether there are opportunities to expand the City’s ability to respond to those calls beyond the
Minneapolis Police Department, which generated 50 ideas and six recommendations to pursue, and is
continuing its work this year by prototyping new responses to mental health calls, and reporting; and further
explore 911 call options beyond the Minneapolis Police Department; and

Whereas, the adopted 2020 budget allocated $193 million to the Minneapolis Police Department, which
represents over 36% of the City’s General Fund of $532.3 million, and is more than twice as much as the
combined City budgets for workforce development, building affordable housing, homeownership support,
small business support programs, environmental sustainability, race equity, arts and culture, violence
prevention, family and early childhood support, youth development, senior services, lead poisoning
prevention, infectious disease prevention, and protection of civil rights; and

Whereas, the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, by Minneapolis police officers, is a tragedy that shows
that no amount of reforms will prevent lethal violence and abuse by some members of the Police Department
against members of our community, especially Black people and people of color; and

Whereas, George Floyd was not the first person killed by Minneapolis police, but joins a tragically long list of
names including Tycel Nelson, Barbara Schneider, Fong Lee, David Cornelius Smith, Terrance Franklin, Jamar
Clark, Justine Ruszczyk-Damond, Thurman Blevins, Travis Jordan, Chiasher Fong Vue, and others; and

Whereas, the murder of George Floyd set off a wave of protests and uprisings across the United States and
across the world and has led to thousands of voices asking for change;

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by The City Council of The City of Minneapolis: That the City Council will commence a year long process of community engagement, research, and structural change to create a transformative new model for cultivating safety in our city.

Be It Further Resolved that the City Council will engage with every willing community member in Minneapolis,
centering the voices of Black people, American Indian people, people of color, immigrants, victims of harm,
and other stakeholders who have been historically marginalized or under-served by our present system. Together, we will identify what safety looks like for everyone.

Be It Further Resolved that the process will center the role of healing and reconciliation. The process will
require healers, elders, youth, artists, and organizers to lead deep community engagement on race and public
safety. We will work with local and national leaders on transformative justice in partnerships informed by the
needs of every block in our city.

Be It Further Resolved that decades of police reform efforts have not created equitable public safety in our
community, and our efforts to achieve transformative public safety will not be deterred by the inertia of
existing institutions, contracts, and legislation.

Be It Further Resolved that these efforts heed the words of Angela Davis, “In a racist society, it is not enough
to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.”

Be It Further Resolved that the transformation under consideration has a citywide impact, and will be
conducted by the City Council in a spirit of collaboration and transparency with all constructive stakeholder
contributors including the Mayor’s Office, the Police Chief, Hennepin County, and the Minnesota Department
of Human Rights.

Be It Further Resolved that the City Council hereby creates a Future of Community Safety Work Group, to
include staff from the Office of Violence Prevention, the Department of Civil Rights, the City Coordinator’s
Office, in coordination with the 911 Working Group, the Division of Race and Equity, Neighborhood and
Community Relations and other relevant departments and directs the Work Group to do the following:

1. Report back to the Council by July 24, 2020 with a set of preliminary recommendations for engaging with
specific cultural and stakeholder groups, the community at large and relevant experts that can partner
with the City to help Minneapolis transition to a transformative new model for cultivating community
safety, including budget and resource need estimates for the process, and

2. With regular reports to the City Council, develop and present strategies for building this new model for
cultivating community safety, building on and acknowledging the work of the Police Conduct Oversight
Commission, the Office of Violence Prevention, the Audit Committee, and the 911 Work Group, and
community-based organizations including but not limited to:

a. Intermediate policy changes, investments and partnerships that center a public health approach to
community safety and support alternatives to policing;
b. Research and engagement to inform the potential creation of a new City Department of Community
Safety with a holistic approach to community safety, including a review and analysis of relevant
existing models and programs and practices that could be applied in Minneapolis;
c. Recommendations that advance the work of the 911 working group and other strategies for
transitioning work of the Minneapolis Police Department to alternative, more appropriate responses
to community requests for help and identifying the resources needed to perform this work in City
departments, other agencies, and/or community partners while the work of creating a new public
safety system is in progress; and
d. Recommendations for additional community safety strategies that build upon existing work across our
city enterprise that approaches public safety through a public health lens.

PDF of the Resolution

Law enforcement organizations to launch 2020 Joint Beats program in downtown mpls

The mpls downtown council (mdc) and Mpls Downtown Improvement District (DID), in collaboration with the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), and Metro Transit Police Department, today announced that the 2020 Joint Beats partnership program in downtown mpls will launch on Memorial Day.

Now in its 14th year, the Joint Beats program showcases collaboration between MPD, HCSO and Metro Transit PD that increases law enforcement visibility on the streets and helps enhance collaboration with street outreach teams—all in an effort to keep downtown safe.

“Law enforcement cooperation between MPD, HCSO and Metro Transit PD is crucial to the comprehensive public safety strategy the downtown business community supports and relies on,” said Steve Cramer, president & ceo of the mpls downtown council and Downtown Improvement District. “Joint Beats is an important part of an effective proactive safety plan. We believe prevention, outreach and street activation all work in tandem to create a safe environment for our community. Public safety is a top priority, and our partnerships through Joint Beats help insure we are keeping our community safe.”

The 2020 Joint Beats will run through Labor Day. During that span, more beat officers are being placed in downtown’s core to enhance safety during the summer months.

The collective partnership between MPD, HCSO, and Metro Transit PD—along with continued work by the DID Safety Communications Center, DID Ambassadors, and local street outreach teams—work together to add to the safety of our downtown core.

“Working collectively as a downtown community is important, and we value the relationships we have with our local law enforcement partners, the business community and city officials,” said Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. “These relationships, along with the continued efforts with street outreach teams in our community, provide a robust plan to not only prevent criminal activity but also build relationships and provide appropriate services to those who need them.”

The Mpls Police Department will continue its downtown presence in the 1st Precinct along with its Police Reserves program. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office will have a substantial presence in downtown Minneapolis through Labor Day. Metro Transit Police will also add additional officers to the downtown beat.

“We have a dynamic downtown that is not only home to more than 50,000 residents and 216,000 daily workers, but it also welcomes millions of visitors each year. It is a vibrant destination in Hennepin County,” Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said. “Our team is excited to work together with our local partners and help those who live, work and play here have a fun and safe summer downtown.”

As a transit hub that intertwines LRT, bus routes and the North Star commuter rail, downtown is a key destination for Metro Transit riders throughout the year.

“Safety for our riders throughout their transit experience is our top priority,” Metro Transit Police Chief Eddie Frizell said. “Our team is committed to working in collaboration with our local law enforcement partners in helping make downtown a safe and welcoming place through enhanced presence and strong patrol and community connectedness.”

The continued efforts this summer communicates a serious and shared focused on downtown safety, which is the foundation of any successful community. The Joint Beats program works in tandem with City of Minneapolis leadership, the downtown business community, and street outreach organizations to help meet the needs of all who live, work and play downtown.

About the mpls downtown council

Founded in 1955, and one of the most historic central business associations in the nation, the mpls downtown council (mdc) is a membership-based entity that works to create an extraordinary downtown. The mdc’s collaborative developments of Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan was designed to help downtown businesses, community leaders and citizens build on downtown assets and implement future goals. For more information, please visit mplsdowntown.com.

About the Mpls Downtown Improvement District

The Mpls Downtown Improvement District (DID) is a business funded non-profit focused on creating a more vibrant downtown. DID leads and collaborates on programs that make downtown safer, cleaner and greener. DID convenes people across sectors and jurisdictions to work on issues of mutual interest; develop innovative solutions to complex public space challenges/opportunities including strategic activation and seek continuous improvement of ongoing programs including the ambassadors. For more information, visit www.mplsdid.com.

DMNA announces opening of Police Safety Center at The Vicinity

DMNA Board Chair Pam McCrea is proud to announce the opening of the Mill District’s Police Safety Center at the Vicinity Building on South Second Street and Park Ave. The safety center will primarily be used by Lt. Grant Snyder and Sgt. David O’Connor of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD). Both officers are on the “Homeless Initiative” task force which helps homeless individuals access services for housing, chemical dependency, and mental health.  The safety center will not be used for effecting arrests, bookings or interviewing individuals.  Rather, it is a workspace for Lt. Snyder, Sgt. O’Connor and other MPD officers, and it will provide our community with a visible and approachable police presence.

Current DMNA board member, and former board chair, Joe Tamburino has been working on the safety center project for over 3 years and is extremely happy that it is now open and running. “This is a wonderful development for downtown because it will give us a greater police presence in the neighborhood and a fantastic opportunity for the police to interact with downtown residents” Joe said.  “Hopefully in the late summer or early fall, after the virus subsides, we will be able to have a grand opening at the safety center so the public can see the space, meet the officers, and enjoy some food and refreshments” Joe stated. “And I truly wish to thank the wonderful board members and volunteers at the DMNA, the fabulous people at Sherman Associates, the dedicated officers of the MPD, and Chief Arradondo for all of their help in making this project happen.”

The safety center will also be very useful to ensure public safety in the neighborhood during the terrific public events that occur in our great city throughout the year, such as the Stone Arch Bridge Festival, the Pride Festival, Northern Spark, National Night Out, and many other wonderful celebrations.

DMNA Board approves funding for COVID-19 relief efforts

The DMNA Board took steps at their meeting last night to help address the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the downtown community.  The board allocated $20,000 to an organization called WorkingPartnerships.org. This organization has established a relief effort to respond to the financial needs of hospitality and event workers in the Twin Cities.

WorkingPartnerships.org is collaborating with the City of Minneapolis and Meet Minneapolis, and they have asked the DMNA to join their relief efforts. COVID-19 has severely impacted the downtown community with the closing of bars and restaurants, the shuttering of event venues and the loss of convention and tourism business. As a result, hundreds of people have been furloughed, laid off or terminated from their jobs. WorkingPartnerships.org will use the DMNA’s funds to support the work of Navigators who are helping Minneapolis residents with the following challenges:

  • Applications for unemployment insurance
  • Childcare procurement
  • Navigating healthcare coverage
  • Securing food assistance
  • Providing working protections

If you are interested in joining the DMNA to help support the relief effort for Minneapolis hospitality and event workers, please go to www.workingpartnerships.org and click on “DONATE” at bottom of page.

If you are a hospitality or event worker in need of assistance, please use the link below to request support:

https://www.twincitieshospitalityfund.org/request-support/

In addition to providing funds for WorkingPartnerships.org, the DMNA Board also allocated dollars for the purchase of masks for people living at The Atrium, a residential building owned by the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, and for the purchase of masks for giveaway to downtown residents.  We are considering locations for distributing masks at Trader Joe’s, or The Commons.  More info to come on this effort.

Please contact the MPRB with questions or concerns about The Commons

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board assumed management of The Commons from Green Minneapolis on April 1.  Please direct all comments, concerns and questions to the MPRB by calling 612-230-6400 M-F from 8 am-4:30 pm or by emailing info@minneapolisparks.org at any time.

MPRB Update 05-07-2020: Parkway closures continue through June

Board passes resolution allowing up to $250,000 to be spent on a series of parkway closures enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Sections of four parkways with little or no residential access will transition from one-lane to full closures to provide more space for social distancing and reduce costs

At its May 6, 2020 meeting, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) of Commissioners passed Resolution 2020-202, which grants MPRB Superintendent Al Bangoura authority to spend up to $250,000 on a series of parkway closures enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sections of eight parkways or park roads totaling 21 lane miles are closed to motor vehicles and open to pedestrians to allow more space for trail users to follow social distancing practices and limit the spread of COVID-19. The authorization to spend up to $250,000 includes costs already incurred for the closures, which started in late March. The closures will remain in place until the $250,000 is depleted, which MPRB staff estimate will take until at least the end of June.

“We recognize the important role parks play during this national health crisis and we will continue to look at ways to provide safe, close-to-home outdoor spaces throughout the city, for all Minneapolis residents,” said MPRB Superintendent Al Bangoura.

MPRB staff are working on determining a more precise time frame for how long the $250,000 limit will allow parkways to remain closed and identifying additional funding sources that could continue to fund the closures.

MPRB staff are also evaluating the closures to improve the trail user experience and reduce costs. Beginning today, Thursday May 7, sections of four parkways – Bde Maka Ska, Cedar, Nokomis and West River – will begin transitioning from one-lane to full closures in areas with little or no residential access impacts. The shift to full closures provides more space for social distancing and will lower costs by reducing equipment rental needed to maintain the closures. Up-to-date maps of every closure in the Minneapolis park system are posted on the MPRB Road Closures page.

“Minneapolis consistently ranks among the most physically active cities in America, and it’s important to continue providing spaces for residents to get outdoors and maintain social distancing,” said MPRB President Jono Cowgill.

The MPRB asks all trail users to follow the rules for parkways closed to motor vehicle traffic:

  • Parkway roads are dedicated to two-way pedestrian traffic; cyclists should remain on bike trails.
  • Bike paths will remain bike paths in their current direction, if applicable.
  • Walking paths are dedicated to two-way pedestrian traffic.

Parkways Closed to Motor Vehicles are for Pedestrians Only

Once closures go into effect:

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

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.

Social Distancing

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

  • Bring a water bottle. MPRB water fountains remain turned off for the health and safety of park users.
  • Bring disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizer. MPRB restroom buildings remain closed.
  • 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 more information on the MPRB’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Receive timely email updates by visiting minneapolisparks.org/subscribe, entering your email and selecting the “COVID-19” topic in the “News Updates” section.

Learn About Neighborhood Buildings as you “Stroll Through the Streets” of Minneapolis

During this time of isolation and social distancing due to COVID 19, and as the weather becomes nicer, many of us are venturing outside. As we take walks, “Strolls Through the Streets” is a new initiative that provides interesting information about venues and buildings in Minneapolis neighborhoods.

By going online to www.DoorsOpenMinneapolis.org and clicking on the “Strolls Through the Streets” link, individuals will find venues by neighborhood and can learn architectural facts about each venue as well as how organizations inside are responding to this pandemic.

As producer Scott Mayer notes, “As we stay in place, our world becomes much smaller. It underscores even more why feeling a sense of community with the people close to you has become more essential. Having an opportunity to learn more about the places around us, whether by reading about them or experiencing them on walks while maintaining social distancing, is something Doors Open Minneapolis is happy to facilitate.”

Doors Open Minneapolis is encouraging walkers to share the exterior of their favorite venue – whether it be their home or a favorite building – and share the photo on Instagram.

WHAT: “Strolls Through the Streets” provides information about more than 30 venues throughout the City of Minneapolis that walkers can enjoy without having to enter the building.

WHO: Individuals can post an image of their favorite venue to Instagram using the hashtag #dompls along with 100 words or less explaining why it’s their favorite place. One person will be selected to receive $250 cash and the opportunity to direct $250 to one of several COVID-19 relief-based organizations.

WHEN: The contest begins May 4, 2020 and end May 11, 2020. The winner will be notified by May 25.

THE RULES:

1. Anyone can participate.
2. Photos must be taken of the exterior of a building in Minneapolis and including people wearing masks is encouraged!
3. All photos must be submitted via Instagram using hashtag #dompls by no later than midnight May 11, 2020.
4. The photo that the judges deem to be most representative of Doors Open Minneapolis wins, and becomes the property of Doors Open Minneapolis.

About Doors Open Minneapolis:

Doors Open Minneapolis is a weekend-long event to be held September 12-13 that gives the public free, behind-the-scenes access to over 110 buildings in the City of Minneapolis that are architecturally, culturally, or socially significant. From theaters to business hubs, sacred spaces to private clubs, sports complexes to engineering wonders, historical gems to not-even-open-yet buildings, Doors Open Minneapolis gives visitors the opportunity to have meaningful conversations with many of the people who make these venues the marvels that they are. Doors Open is a chance to venture into new neighborhoods, learn the stories of Minneapolis’ buildings, and experience the rich and diverse cultures of our community.

Doors Open Minneapolis is produced in collaboration with the City of Minneapolis and AIA-MN, presented by Comcast, and sponsored by the Minneapolis Foundation, Andersen Windows & Doors, Commonwealth Commercial, Xcel Energy, Braun Intertec, Emanuelson Podas, Bellisio, United Properties, Harris, Fluid Interiors, IATSE, ESG Architects, AirVuz, Metro Transit, Tunheim, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Star Tribune, My Talk Radio, WCCO Television, City Pages, OutFront Media, and The Development Tracker.

Follow Us on Social Media:
• Facebook: @dompls
• Twitter: @doorsopenmpls
• Instagram: #dompls

Governor extends Stay at Home order until May 18

Our Stay Home Order has been extended until May 18. While retail businesses can begin offering curbside pickup on Monday, the Governor is asking Minnesotans to continue to stay home, practice social distancing, and wear cloth masks as we turn the dial toward reopening society.