PRK41 East Phillips Park Master Plan and Implementation

Project Details:

Project Start Date: January 1, 2022

Ongoing Program: N

Submitting Department: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Contact Person: Adam Arvidson

Level of Need: High

Estimated Project Completion Date: December 31, 2026

Department Priority: 8

Contact Phone Number: 612-230-6470


Project Location:

Address: 2307 S 17th Ave.

City Sector: South

Affected Neighborhoods: East Phillips

Affected Wards: 9

Project Description:

This project will implement a variety of recreational improvements at East Phillips Park in south Minneapolis. Funding is requested in two separate years: 2022 and 2025. Approximately 40% of the 2022 funding would be used to create a community-driven master plan for the park, with the remainder of that year's funding and the entirety of the 2025 funding used to implement improvements called for in that master plan.

The South Service Area Master Plan (SSAMP), adopted by the Board of Commissioners in 2016, did include East Phillips and did produce initial concepts for the park. However, it was the community's recommendation to not include a master plan for the park because the existing facilities were still so new. East Phillips was considered a "special case" park in the SSAMP. Specifically, the SSAMP says: "a full master plan for the park will be performed at which time the first major asset in the park needs replacement. This is expected to be the artificial turf fields around 2020. Normally, such a replacement would be done in the same location and at the same general size. At East Phillips, however, replacement of that asset will trigger a community engaged master plan to create a new vision for the entire park. That plan will then be amended into the SSAMP."

East Phillips improvements have been separated into a new project because the total multi-year request is greater than $1,100,000. The scale of this project suggests it should be considered individually by CLIC.

Purpose and Justification:

East Phillips Master Plan and phase one implementation is a project funded by the 20-year Neighborhood Parks and Streets Program. Under this program, MPRB has developed an empirical equity metric for ranking neighborhood parks based on community and park characteristics. A park’s score and resultant ranking determines when a park receives an allocation in MPRB’s CIP.

East Phillips Park’s 2020 NPP20 ranking is #15. This high ranking initially placed funding into the CIP for 2022. Because the South Service Area Master Plan includes special direction for this park, that funding was always envisioned as paying for both a master plan and initial improvements.

MPRB's adopted 2025 CIP year is considered a "normalization year," wherein additional funds are provided to certain parks, as previously presented to CLIC during the 2020 funding process. It is for this reason that East Phillips is being provided a second allocation in 2025, to continue implementation that will begin in 2022.

Project Visuals and Map:

East Phillips Park Master Plan Direction

Project Cost Breakdown

Department Funding Request


Have Grants for this Project been secured?

No grants will be included in this project

Describe status and timing details of secured or applied for grants or other non-City funding sources:

Not applicable

Describe any collaborative arrangements with outside project partners, including who they are and what their role is with the project:

Not applicable


State Law Chapter 462.356 (Subd. 2) requires review of all capital improvements for compliance with the comprehensive municipal plan. Chapter 13, Section 4 of the City Charter requires Location and Design Review for the purpose of approving the sale of bonds for these projects. Describe how the project is consistent with the adopted City/Park Board comprehensive plans and how the project implements goals and policies as stated in the adopted plans, including specific policy references:

Projects funded with these dollars are consistent with the following direction of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board comprehensive plan:

Vision Statement: Dynamic parks that shape city character and meet diverse community needs.

Goal: Park facility renewal and development respects history and focuses on sustainability, accessibility, flexibility and beauty.

Strategy: Integrate sustainable practices, ecological design for landscapes, and green building techniques into new construction and renewal of all amenities, giving priority to those practices that meet or exceed established standards, improve ecological function, and minimize long-term maintenance and operating costs.

Strategy: Implement a sustainable, long-term renewal plan based on a complete inventory of the system, life-cycle cost analysis, and condition assessment of all park facilities.

Strategy: Build or renew facilities to meet or exceed standards for accessibility.

Relevant City of Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan Polices, from the Minneapolis 2040 Plan:

Policy 78 Park Design and Programming: Improve the design and programming of parks to better serve a changing population.

Policy 53 Quality of Life: Perpetuate a high quality of life for Minneapolitans that includes safe, open, and welcoming cultural and social institutions, as well as natural and built infrastructure. Especially applicable is Action Step 53c: Maintain and enhance the many built, historic, arts, and natural environmental assets throughout the city to promote and strengthen communities.

Policy 83 People with Disabilities: Ensure people with disabilities and their families are visible, active, and values members of the community. Especially applicable is Action Step 83h: Increase accessibility of public infrastructure and public amenities.

Provide the date that Location and Design Review was conducted for the project, the outcome of that analysis and the date formal action was taken by the Planning Commission:

Location and Design Review for this project will take place in the spring or summer of the funding year.

Economic Development

Will the project contribute to growth in the city’s tax base? No

Describe the economic development impact of the project:

Not applicable

Does the project support redevelopment opportunity that without the project would be infeasible?



Is the proposed project on an existing or planned transitway, transit route, or high-volume pedestrian corridor? If yes, provide details on how the project will improve the transit and/or pedestrian experience.


Does the proposed project anticipate multi-modal enhancements (sidewalks, bicycle or transit facilities)? Provide details.

Sidewalks and park trails may be included in the project, dependent on master plan outcomes and prioritization of improvements,

Is the right-of-way constrained and do you anticipate that modes of travel will be competing for space? Provide details, is there potential for innovative design options? Provide details

All improvements will take place within parkland, not right-of-way.

Operating Impacts

Operations & Capital Asset Maintenance: Dependent on exact facilities implemented

Is this request for new or existing infrastructure? Likely a mix of new and existing facilities

What is the expected useful life of the project/Improvement? 20-40 years, depending on facilities

Year that Operating Incr/(Decr) will take effect? 2023, then again in 2026

What is the estimated annual operating cost increase or (decrease) for this project? Dependent on facilities implemented

Any Prior Year Remaining Bond Authorizations? No

Prior Year Remaining Bond Authorizations: Not applicable

Describe how operating cost increases or decreases were determined and include details such as personnel costs, materials, contracts, energy savings, etc:

Increases in operating costs are possible depending on which amenities are implemented. Replacement and upgrades of existing facilities may have minimal operating cost increases, while larger elements like a new recreation center or sports dome will have significant increases. The South Service Area Master Plan includes calculations on likely operations increases for a variety of typical park elements. The master plan, to be completed in 2022, will provide more specific information on operating costs. After the master plan and prior to construction, MPRB staff will scope the 2022-funded construction project. MPRB staff will consider likely cost increases and incorporate them into existing operations budgets or will address increases through MPRB’s annual budgeting process.

If new infrastructure, discuss how the department/agency will pay for the increased annual operating costs:

Through reallocation of existing resources or additional funding.

For new infrastructure, describe the estimated timing and dollar amount of future capital investment required to realize the full expected useful life of the project:


Project Coordination

Describe completion status for ongoing projects and how and when the department/agency plans to use the prior year remaining bond authorizations:

Not applicable.

If this is a new project, describe the major project phases and timing anticipated for completing the project:

The master plan, including community engagement, will initiate and be completed in 2022, followed quickly by construction project scoping. Schematic and final design will take place in 2023, with construction initiating possibly in late 2023 and continuing through 2024. The larger of the two construction projects will begin in 2025 with community engagement around project prioritization, scoping, and design. Construction will likely begin in 2026 and possibly continue (depending on the complexity of the project) through 2027. Due to the short window between the two construction projects, MPRB will consider which elements will be built in 2023 and which in 2026, to ensure the same area of th park is not disturbed twice in rapid succession.

Scalability/Funding Allocation Flexibility – discuss any flexibility to increase or decrease funding among the years in the five-year plan and the most that could be spent in a given year:

Moving funding from year to year will affect staff ability to implement projects. Delaying this project will invariably delay other park improvement projects called for in the CIP.

Minneapolis Goals and Strategic Direction

Minneapolis is a growing and vibrant world-class city with a flourishing economy and a pristine environment, where all people are safe, healthy and have equitable opportunities for success and happiness.Below is a description of how this project meets each of the City's Goals. Below is a description of how this project meets each of the City's Goals.

Below is a description of how this project meets each of the City's Goals.

Public Safety

Collaborative and community-inclusive strategies to ensure safety for all members of our community:

Construction projects in parks improve safety throughout Minneapolis’s parks, ensuring they are inviting and allow for healthful activities. They decommission outdated facilities and replace them with new ones that meet current safety and accessibility standards and expectations.


The City prioritizes equitable access to safe, stable, accessible, and affordable housing to eliminate racial disparities in housing:

Park improvements relate to housing in that they are sometimes identified as a gentrifying force in neighborhoods. The alternative, however, of not improving parks would do a disservice to those that use them. MPRB is committed to working with the City to identify and address potential park-related gentrification and displacement, in order to contribute to stable neighborhoods with excellent park service.

Economic Development

The City prioritizes economic inclusion so that all workers and families are supported and People of Color, Indigenous and Immigrant (POCII)-owned businesses in all sectors can thrive.

Quality of life is a critical aspect in a business's decision to relocate to, remain in, or expand in Minneapolis. City residents consistently rate parks as having extremely high importance to their quality of life. Therefore, park renewal to maintain quality and incorporate desired amenities can contribute significantly to business retention and recruitment, including among under-represented groups.

Public Services

The City prioritizes reliable and equitable access to high-quality public services.

Though semi-autonomous, MPRB strives for the same efficiency, transparency, and responsibility as stated in the City's goal. MPRB follows the City's purchasing procedures to ensure fair selection of services and detailed in-house project-by-project accounting ensures each project has a carefully managed budget. MPRB involves the public extensively in the scoping and design of park projects and provides detailed and extensive notifications during construction. Because the East Phillips Park master plan will be driven by community involvement, implementation of that plan will allow the public to recreate daily and in ways that meet each individual’s particular needs.

Environmental Justice:

The City prioritizes sustainable practices and renewable resources to equitably address climate change while restoring and protecting our soil, water and air.

All park projects are executed with an eye to facility longevity and sustainability. MPRB strives to improve environmental performance and reduce waste with every construction project. Facility renewal and implementation of new amenities are important in meeting current and future needs for park infrastructure, which is a critical aspect of the city. Many park master plans (and MPRB expects similarities when East Phillips's is completed) call for reduction of turf grass and naturalized areas for pollinator habitat and air quality enhancement. When major projects like this one are implemented, this is an opportunity to plant additional trees, convert lawn to more sustainable ground surface, and reconsider stormwater management on park sites. All of the options will be considered as aspects of the project.

Built Environment & Transportation:

The City prioritizes high quality neighborhoods, streets, infrastructure and equitable access to multimodal transportation in all parts of the City through thoughtful planning and design.

Ensuring high quality parks communicates investment in people’s lives, no matter where they come from. In many cases, neighborhoods are physically and socially centered on their parks. Improving the park will improve the neighborhood. East Phillips Park is located in a highly diverse neighborhood with significant economic challenges. It is blocks from the Little Earth community and in an area that has seen recent use by people experiencing homelessness. Implementation of major infrastructure at East Phillips Park, based on a master plan that all community members are empowered to participate in, signals that the City values these neighborhoods on the fringe of the major downtown developments and wants to see them succeed.

Public Health:

The City Prioritizes positive youth development so that all children can grow healthy and safe:

Improving park facilities and adding desired amenities can increase health and quality of life for neighborhood residents of every age, ability level, economic status, race, ethnicity, and national origin. East Phillips Park serves as a major recreational hub for a diverse community, especially for active sports like soccer and basketball. The master plan will engage with youth in and around the park and in the community at large, focusing specifically on Native, Latinx, and Somali individuals, who regularly use the park today but who have previously expressed different needs and concerns. The goal of the master plan and resultant improvements will be to ensure quality recreation spaces for the diverse youth of the area.

Arts and Culture:

The City prioritizes arts and culture as important part of inclusive economic development and placemaking in our communities:

MPRB seeks to incorporate the arts into projects when it can, by partnering with the City of Minneapolis’s public art program. Even without the specific inclusion of art in park improvements, however, creative and inspiring design is a key part of the park improvement process. In addition, parks often sit at the cultural center of communities, whether people are visiting the park for an art class, participating in spontaneous cultural experiences, attending a cultural event, or simply interacting with peers from different backgrounds in the park.

Additional Information

In addition to this request, $425,000 is requested in 2025 under PRK02. This work is part of MPRB's playground rehabilitation program, which targets investments based on equipment longevity and overall quality. It is expected that the total 2025 funding under PRK41 and PRK02 will be considered a single project for administrative, community engagement, and construction purposes.