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October 20, 2003 // UPDATED 11:06 am - April 30, 2007
By: Skyway News Staff
Skyway News Staff

Posters to boost park fountain funding The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board soon will begin selling posters of city fountains as a fund-raising effort to pay for their operation and maintenance.

The first two posters will feature the Phelps (turtle) Fountain and the Heffelfinger Fountain, both in Lyndale Park near the Lake Harriet Rose Gardens in Southwest Minneapolis. If the project proves financially successful, it will expand to include other fountains, such as Loring Park's Berger Fountain, said Assistant Superintendent Don Siggelkow.

The posters will retail for $20, or $79 framed, he said. The Park Board will sell the posters on its Web site, www.minneapolisparks.org, at its headquarters building, 2117 W. River Rd. N., and at the Minnehaha Falls concession area.

Norbert Marklin Photography, 4044 Columbus Ave. S., took the pictures and will produce the posters, paying the upfront printing costs, Siggelkow said.

From the $20 sale of each poster, Marklin will get $5.40 for production and royalties, the Park Board will get $5 for its enterprise fund for advertising and sales and the fountain fund would get $9.60, he said.

Marklin said he got the poster idea after he visited Lyndale Park this spring, where the Heffelfinger and Phelps fountains were not running. The Park Board voted to cut fountain funding earlier in the year in a cost-saving move.

Neighbors raised money privately to run the fountains this past year. Marklin said the poster project could provide a source of ongoing funding and give people something in return for their donations.

The Park Board approved the project Oct. 7.

The posters would be ready for sale by mid-November, Marklin said. He will start with 3,500 posters, 1,750 of each fountain. If all the posters sold, they would raise $33,600 for the fountain fund.

Assistant Superintendent Michael Schmidt said a poster sell-out would meet roughly half of the annual operating budget for all park fountains, which runs between $60,000 and $70,000 for seven fountains.

A few fountains need significant repairs, such as Berger Fountain, Schmidt said. A Loring Park citizen's group is raising money to fix it. The posters "would help build momentum" to raise money for fountains, he said.

Marklin said he would also sell 500 limited edition prints through the Park Board for $450 each; the Park Board gets $50 per sale. -- Scott Russell

Loring Park development plan wins added support The Center for Neighborhoods has selected a Loring Park development proposal for a citywide project. The Loring Park proposal hopes to lure more commercial development and housing to the neighborhood's stretch of Nicollet Avenue.

The Center for Neighborhoods' citywide effort, known as the Corridor Housing Initiative, is a collaboration of neighborhood, city and county leaders to address a projected need for 26,000 new housing units in the next 20 years.

The Center for Neighborhoods will assist Loring Park's neighborhood group, Citizens for a Loring Park Community (CLPC), in coordinating development efforts by helping with market research, community outreach and fund-raising efforts.

CLPC submitted a development plan that envisions high-density housing along Nicollet Avenue south of West 15th Street. A nonprofit office cooperative, along with offices for the neighborhood organization, would go above the Red Eye Theatre, 15 W. 14th St.

An outdoor public space would border the theater on Nicollet, along with the new housing and retail development lining the avenue toward Nicollet Mall, according to the plan.

Jana Metge, a CLPC staff member, said the neighborhood has considered ways to revitalize Nicollet Avenue for some time.

"The businesses and the residents have reviewed many plans over the years. Everyone is excited to see those plans become a reality," she said. "More life on our section of this corridor increases the vitality, sustains the businesses and enhances safety."

Gretchen Nicholls, executive director of the Center for Neighborhoods, said the Loring Park project has been chosen for the first of its program's three rounds.

"The goal is to create a proactive conservation among community leaders," Nicholls said, adding that the Loring Park neighborhood group was selected because it's "skilled in collaboration and community partnerships."

The deadline for the project's second round is Dec. 1. -- Sarah McKenzie