I believe that parks serve many needs of the community--
Parks are Wild
Have you ever seen a 6 point Buck in the city? One lives in Wirth Park. How about a nest of Eaglets? They soar about North Regional each spring.
Our parks are meant to protect our wild spaces within the human fingerprint of society. Birds, reptiles, deer, raccoons and all manner of native plants thrive in OUR Minneapolis parks system, or at least, they should.
We need to make space for MORE parks as our city grows, not less. With me on the board, I will promise to NEVER SELL PARKLAND for development.
Our parks are the crown jewel of our metropolis. Why would we ever compromise that?
Parks are for Children
As a teacher for 30 years, I have seen children do best when they play TOGETHER.
When we connect kids to their local community, and enlarge that through games: basketball, soccer, tee-ball, hockey, we will see so much healing. Children are the future we seek to be. Let's give them the proper chance. Even Plato said it thousands of years ago: "do not put children to learning by compulsion, but by play."
Parks are for Teens
When teens engage with our parks, it's an opportunity to connect them to their future. It's also a great place for young people to have their first job. I should know; my first job was in our parks.
When young people assist as coaches, lifeguards, and park managers it helps them build their future while keeping them connected to their community. We lost many of these jobs because politicians saw them as expendable. I believe their fiscal management was short sighted. The confidence a young person can gain from a job with MPRB lasts a lifetime.
Parks are for Families
One of the greatest things for a mom (I'll assume dad's too :) ) is a chance for a short break from the intensity of parenting and where their children can safely meet friends and play. It is a simple thing it would seem, but in the aftermath of the pandemic, our city parks became a very difficult place for families. As a parks commissioner, I would make sure that our wading pools return and are refreshed and our parks are safely patrolled. Splash pads are wonderful but don't teach children anything, nor do they give families opportunities a free and safe place to try to teach their children how to swim. I will seek to return our great pools system and learn to swim program.
Parks provide respite...
We all have different ways of recreating and finding peace from the bustle of city life: some like kayaking, others running or listening to a concert at the Harriet Bandshell. Still others like frisbee on the Memorial Parkway or a quiet walk with their dog by the river.
However you choose to use our parks, in community or solitude, I believe we need to get back to a sense of decorum in doing that, to keep them safe and communal for all.
Parks are distinct from campgrounds
Within the city of Minneapolis we do not have infrastructures in place for camping in our parks. This requires toilet facilities, protection, places for fires and making food. We are NOT equipped for that. My number one priority is that our parks remain a safe space for children, teens and families.
Parkways are for all of us
Our grand rounds are one of the most distinct features of our great city with an initial design over a hundred years ago by park visionaries such as Theo Wirth, Horace Cleveland and Charles Loring. We need to preserve that legacy so that everyone—pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers—feels safe on our grand rounds. The parkways should remain open to all. I oppose closing the parkways on a permanent basis to motor vehicles.