Save Our Minneapolis Parks

Good news! The Minneapolis City Council has decided to continue moving forward with the Johnson-Goodman agreement, which calls for $11 million in new funding annually for our neighborhood parks. Passing this agreement is so important to the tens of thousands of kids who play in the parks each year. Save Our Minneapolis Parks is ready to do everything we can to support it!

Last week, you may have seen that Mayor Betsy Hodges released her own neighborhood park plan. As we have said previously, we are grateful that the Mayor recognizes the need for new neighborhood park funding, and we thank her for helping to make this critical issue a part of the public conversation. Unfortunately, as we have also said, the Mayor’s initial plan calls for too little funding for our parks for too short of a time period. It also does not provide protections for other park funding sources (i.e. LGA). In this case, the details do matter! In its current form, the Mayor’s plan simply would not solve the neighborhood parks shortfall (see Table 1).

Table 1. Minneapolis Neighborhood Parks Funding Gap Proposal Comparison

   Mayor’s Proposal  Johnson-Goodman Agreement
Annual funding  $10 million  $11 million
Annual Capital funding

Annual Operating funding

 $10 million

$0 million

 $8 million

$3 million

Term  10 years  20 years
Allows for inflation  No  Yes (every 5 years)
Protection of current Park Board funding streams from the City  No  Yes
Provides funding for ongoing park maintenance  No  Yes
Long-term commitment protected by Ordinance  No  Yes

The Johnson-Goodman agreement represents a historic step forward for our parks, our city, our residents, and for the relationship between the City Council and the Park Board. It will allow us to maintain our neighborhood park system. It will improve the quality of life of the six million visitors they receive each year. We hope the City Council makes the right decision and passes it. If they do not, we will resume our effort to place a parks referendum on the 2016 ballot. Our neighborhood parks are too important to neglect—they help make this city a special place to live—we’ll keep working until they receive the funding they need.

Please call Mayor Hodges at 612-673-2100 and ask her to support the Johnson-Goodman agreement. Please also call or email your Minneapolis City Council Member and ask them to support the agreement.

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