Minneapolis has long been heralded as having one of the strongest park systems in the country.
Civic leaders are coming together to talk about the future of the 125-year-old system for a series of talks called “The Next Generation of Parks.”
A host of challenges confront park planners these days — climate change, financial hardships and changing demographics.
The Minneapolis Parks Foundation, the Walker Art Center, the Metropolitan Design Center and the University of Minnesota College of Design are collaborating on the lecture series.
The first talk, “London’s Green Grid,” will be May 13 at 7 p.m. at the Humphrey Institute’s Cowles Auditorium.
Jamie Dean, program manager for East London’s Green Grid, will talk about the city’s ambitious initiative that is described as a “living network of parks, green spaces, river, and other corridors.”
A group involved in New York’s High Line project, an elevated railway converted into a pedestrian greenway, will speak about the public park on June 16 at 7 p.m. at the Walker Art Center’s McGuire Theater.
The final talk, “Finding Lost Spaces,” will feature Laurie Olin, founding principal of noted landscape architecture firm OLIN, on July 15.
Shuga Records, 165 13th Ave. NE, is presenting the first annual three-day Hoolie Fest — a benefit show for St. Stephen’s Human Services featuring 70 bands May 14–16.
The record store will have bands indoors and outdoors. A few notable performers include Kid Dakota, Communist Daughter, the Brass Kings and Brianna Lane.
For the full lineup and more details, visit hoolie festmpls.com.
City turning vacant lots into gardens
The City of Minneapolis has launched a pilot program that will make 21 of its vacant lots available for community gardeners.
The city already has more than 100 community gardens, but given the growing interest in gardening, new space is in high demand.
City officials selected lots that would not work for new development. They are available to interested gardeners first-come, first-served. Veteran green thumbs can get leases for three to five years while less experienced gardeners will be eligible for one year leases.
City leaders have lauded the initiative.
“Community gardens help people get access to good nutrition, they encourage active and healthy living and add beauty to our daily lives,” said City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, co-chair of the Homegrown Minneapolis Community Gardens committee. “They create spaces where neighbors get to know each other, and finally, community gardens improve the ecological footprint of the city.”
The Community Garden Pilot Program is part of Homegrown Minneapolis — an initiative of the city to encourage a strong local food system. For more information, visit ci.minneapolis.mn.us/dhfs/homegrown-home.asp.
Run for Darfur
The American Refugee Committee in Loring Park will be the beneficiary of money raised at the Run for Darfur event May 15 in Maple Grove.
The run is around Rice Lake. The event starts 9 a.m. at Freedom Field, 8585 Rice Lake Rd.
The cost is $10 and proceeds will help the American Refugee Committee’s efforts assisting the refugees of Darfur. For more information, visit mgrunfordarfur.com.