PRK04 Athletic Fields - Site Improvement Program

Project Details:

Project Start Date: January 1, 2026

Ongoing Program: Y

Submitting Department: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Contact Person: Adam Arvidson

Level of Need: High

Estimated Project Completion Date: December 31, 2028

Department Priority: 14

Contact Phone Number: 612-230-6470


Project Location:

Address: 4955 West Lake Nokomis Parkway

City Sector: South

Affected Neighborhoods: Keewaydin, Hale

Affected Wards: 11

Project Description:

Athletic Field improvements may include soil amendments, re-grading, re-seeding, irrigation, lighting, re-alignment of fields to improve drainage and reduce multiple uses, amenities for players and spectators, parking and other site improvements. Safety fencing, accessibility accommodations, and shade structures will also be installed where necessary. New systems to provide for reinforced turf to increase the amount of play that can occur on a field and to maximize the benefits of captured storm water for irrigation will be explored.

The only activity in this project includes the rehabilitation of the Lake Nokomis Athletic Fields--a neighborhood portion of Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park--with a single request of $1,100,000 in a combination of Net Debt Bonds and Capital Levy in 2026.

Purpose and Justification:

Already at a premium in Minneapolis – field availability is far outstripped by demand — athletic fields are a prime social and recreational resource in this city. Whether sponsored by the parks, public schools, private schools, clubs, or businesses, youth and adult athletic teams depend on MPRB fields for both practice and games. Because fields are in such high demand, they tend to be overused and their upkeep is especially challenging. Improving athletic fields to make them more durable, more able to meet the demands of almost continuous programming needs, and having less need to be reseeded or rehabilitated regularly will enhance the delivery of recreational services to the residents of Minneapolis.

Beginning in 2018, most larger projects in neighborhood parks that may involve athletic fields are being consolidated into the PRKCP project or, if they have funding greater than $1,100,000, are being given their own projects.

Project Cost Breakdown

Department Funding Request


Have Grants for this Project been secured?

No grant funds are associated with 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:



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 will take place in the spring 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.

Park sidewalks and trails may be included in the project

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 the park area

Operating Impacts

Operations & Capital Asset Maintenance: Dependent on facilities implemented

Is this request for new or existing infrastructure? Existing

What is the expected useful life of the project/Improvement? 40 years

Year that Operating Incr/(Decr) will take effect? 2028

What is the estimated annual operating cost increase or (decrease) for this project? We expect negligible increase due to higher quality fields.

Any Prior Year Remaining Bond Authorizations? Yes

Prior Year Remaining Bond Authorizations: $390,000

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 installation of premier fields or conversion to different types of uses can increase costs.

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

Not applicable

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:

The only project with outstanding bonds is Northeast Park phase 2. This project was originally brought before CLIC as a 2021-funded project, with a combination of Net Debt Bonds and Capital Levy. In May of 2020, MPRB approved the "COVID Amendment" to the CIP, which shifted several projects between 2020 and 2021. Due to the challenges of community engagement during the pandemic, MPRB moved low-level community engagement projects (such as athletic fields, courts, and rehabilitation projects) into 2020 and more intense community engagement projects into 2021. The Northeast Park phase 2 project was moved into 2020. Therefore, MPRB is accounting here for unspent bonds in that year.

Design for that project is ongoing and construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2021. The project has $390,000 remaining to be spent in bonds, in addition to Capital Levy funds.

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

Master Planning for the Lake Nokomis athletic fields was completed several years ago as an amendment to the Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park Master Plan. The requested 2026 Net Debt Bonds and Capital Levy would fund detailed design and construction that would most likely take place that same year. The fields would likely open in late 2027 or 2028 to allow for turf establishment.

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. This project will improve safety on athletic fields through redesign, safety fencing, uniform surfacing, and lighting.


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.

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. New athletic fields can be designed to better manage stormwater and to include naturalized pollinator habitat around their edges. These stacked benefits can help improve overall sustainability of the park system and city.

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.

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. Athletic fields inherently encourage fitness, strength building, and social interaction for youth and adults.

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

Additional Information

The project area is located within the boundaries of a Regional Park, though athletic facilities are not eligible for regional capital investment or maintenance funding. Under NPP20, MPRB has identified seven areas within the Regional Park System that function primarily like neighborhood parks and have amenities that are not eligible for regional park funding. These include Riverside Park (in Mississippi Gorge Regional Park); Marshall Terrace Park (in Above the Falls Regional Park); Shingle Creek and Creekview Parks (within the Shingle Creek Regional Trail area); and Lake Hiawatha Park, Lake Nokomis Park, and the Lake Nokomis Athletic Fields (in Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park). The Lake Nokomis Athletic Fields were added to this list as of MPRB's 2021-2026 CIP, specifically because this critical sports facility was eligible for no funding at all--neither regional parks funds nor NPP20--without making this designation.