The planning process for major capital improvements to parks concludes with a dedication ceremony. Park users admire the new playground before the ribbon cutting ceremony at Lynnhurst Park.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) planning process may vary depending on the nature of the project, however, projects pass through four basic phases of planning from start to finish.
Phase I: Pre-Planning
On a yearly basis the MPRB assesses the needs of the park system and develops a five-year capital improvement program (CIP) to meet those needs.
The program prioritizes potential projects based on:
Community research and support
Distribution of facility improvements throughout the city
In addition to this process, individuals, groups, and/or agencies may generate an idea for a project. When this occurs, the pre-planning process consists of presenting the idea to commissioners and staff, who determine its alignment with vision, goals, and strategies outlined within the MPRB comprehensive plan. If the project is deemed consistent with the above criteria, the pre-planning phase concludes, and the idea moves into the funding phase.
Phase II: Funding
When the MPRB sets its internal development priorities or decides to support a project proposed from an external entity, a funding search is initiated. Need for funding tends to outpace available resources, so this can be a lengthy phase of development. Learn more about available funds in the current MPRB budget.
Phase III: Design and Development
Once funding is secured, MPRB planning staff begin the design and development process for the project. In this phase recommendations are sought from community members.
For construction and redevelopment projects, a community advisory committee may be formed to develop design recommendations for the project from the perspective of a user or neighbor of the park
The recommendations and information from the community, technical experts, and MPRB staff guide the development of a project design. The goal is for all participants involved to endorse the final schematic design for the project. The final schematic design is presented to the Board of Commissioners, in conjunction with a public hearing, for approval. If the Board approves the plan, implementation begins. If the plan isn’t approved, planning staff facilitates further work with the various stakeholders to revise the plan.
Phase IV: Implementation
If the Board approves the final schematic design for the project, construction documents are developed and bids for construction of the project are sought. Construction begins when the bids match the available funds. If the bids are too high, the project design may have to be revised and re-bid, or elements of the project may have to be omitted. In some cases, the project may be put on hold until additional funding can be secured. Upon completion, a grand opening or other type of appropriate celebration is usually held to dedicate the new facility.