MPRB Update 4-2-20: What’s Open; What’s Closed and What’s Cancelled

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board announces impacts to parks and programs in response to COVID-19 pandemic

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) has initiated many changes to park operations and programming in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is planning many more in the coming months.

The MPRB continues to base decisions on data, guidelines and orders from Gov. Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health. This can be a challenge as circumstances change often and quickly, but it’s clear that social distancing will be part of life in Minnesota for many months to come.

Based on the Governor’s forecast and concern for the health and safety of park visitors and employees, the MPRB is bracing for a future that drastically changes services and programs this spring and summer. All plans are designed to ensure social distancing, prevent congregating and protect the health of the public and employees.

Visit for up-to-date information and FAQs. Receive timely email updates by visiting, entering your email and selecting the “COVID-19” topic in the “News Updates” section.

What is open?

Parks and Trails

All parks and trails remain open. The MPRB urges park users to follow park use guidelines:

  • Do not visit parks or trails if you feel sick. This includes fever, body aches, coughing, nasal congestion, runny nose and sore throat.
  • Stay at least six feet apart from other park users not part of your household.
  • Wash your hands immediately before and after visiting a park.
  • Walk to local parks. Do not drive across the city or metro to visit popular park attractions.
  • Do not hang out at the park all day. Visit to walk, bike or roll, then return home.
  • No group activities with people from outside your household.


Playgrounds remain open. Minnesota Department of Health guidelines do not recommend the closure of outdoor facilities, including playgrounds. However, playground users and caregivers bringing children to playgrounds should be aware that playground equipment is not sanitized and are urged to follow the guidelines above.


Sections of Lake Harriet Parkway, Lake Nokomis Parkway, Main Street SE and West River Parkway have been closed to motor vehicle traffic and opened to pedestrians to allow more room for social distancing.

Soon sections of Cedar Lake Parkway, Lake of the Isles Parkway and more of West River Parkway will also be closed to motor vehicle traffic. Please visit the MPRB Road Closures page for full details.

Athletic Fields and Courts

Athletic fields and courts remain open, with restrictions:

  • No team or contact sports. People may shoot baskets or kick or toss a ball around, but no pickup games.
  • Basketball rims currently remain open.
  • Volleyball and soccer nets will not be installed this summer. Soccer nets already in place will be removed.
  • Athletic fields will be not striped or marked.
  • Tennis court nets will be installed because tennis allows for social distancing.

Golf Courses

Golf courses are preparing to open once allowed by Gov. Walz. Until then, please stay off greens and fairways so staff may work.

Dog Parks

All off-leash dog parks remain open. Permits are still required and available for purchase online at

What is closed?

All Program Buildings

Program buildings remain closed to the public until further notice. This includes:

  • All Recreation Centers
  • MPRB Headquarters
  • Parade and Northeast Ice Arenas
  • Kroening Interpretive Center
  • Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden Visitor Shelter

Public facilities will not be reopened unless social distancing can be assured and staff can operate and clean the facility.

Beaches and Pools

Outdoor aquatic facilities will not open this summer. This includes:

  • Beaches
  • Wading pools
  • Waterparks
  • Webber Natural Swimming Pool

The level of public congregation that takes place at aquatic facilities and the level of staff required to operate these facilities will make it impossible to open and manage these facilities safely this summer.

Restrooms and Drinking Fountains

The proximity of people’s mouths and noses to drinking fountains while they are in use creates an unacceptable level of risk for spreading COVID-19, so drinking fountains will remain closed.

At this point, the MPRB cannot guarantee the high level and frequency of disinfection needed to keep COVID-19 from spreading at public restrooms, so restroom buildings will also remain closed.

Portable toilets will remain in parks and continue to be serviced by an outside vendor. More portable toilets will be added to typical summer numbers and may be redistributed based on need. If park users see a toilet that needs servicing, please call the vendor directly at the number listed on the structure.

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden

The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary is closed. The garden’s narrow paths and boardwalks, fencing and single main entrance make social distancing among visitors and staff too difficult.

What is Cancelled?

All MPRB events are cancelled or postponed through August 31

All events at Minneapolis parks are cancelled through August 31, 2020. MPRB staff will work with event partners to determine if an event can be moved to later in the year, but it’s anticipated that the majority of all MPRB spring and summer events will be cancelled, consistent with what is happening throughout the country.

All summer programs and team sports that do not allow social distancing are cancelled

Spring and summer sports leagues are cancelled, along with classes and programs unless they can be done virtually or adjusted for social distancing. Details about future virtual and modified programs will be announced and listed online once determined.

Hiring seasonal and temporary recreation employees is on hold

Most summer positions typically hired for programming and recreation services will not be hired, including the Team Teenworks program. Hiring for certified summer seasonal employees required for critical service work will continue, including mobile equipment operators, parkkeepers, gardeners.

New Park Ambassador Program

The MPRB Recreation Services Division is rolling out an ambassador and outdoor supervision program on April 11, or as soon as Governor’s Stay at Home Order is lifted. Recreation staff will be placed in neighborhood and regional parks to encourage social distancing and discourage social congregation

There is NO August NEPNA meeting

There is NO August Northeast Park Neighborhood Association meeting.  The next meeting will take place on Thursday, September 12, at 6:30 p.m., at the Northeast Park Recreation Center.  Have a great rest of your summer!

NEPNA Board Meeting on December 13, at 6:30 PM NE Park Recreation Center

Northeast Park Neighborhood Association Seeks Community Organizer

Movie in Northeast Park on June 27, at 9:15 pm

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is hosting a Movie in the Park at Northeast Park on Wednesday, June 27.  Kicking and Screaming (2005), rated PG, will start at 9:15 p.m., or approximately 15 minutes after sunset.  Bring a lawn chair or blanket and come early to grab a good spot.

East of the River Park Master Plan – Park Design Week April 30 to May 4

NEPNA Meeting on April 12, at NE Park Recreation Center

The next Northeast Park Neighborhood Association Board Meeting is coming up on Thursday, April 12, at 6:30 p.m., at the new NE Park Recreation Center – 1530 Johnson St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413.


1. Review and vote on NEPNA’s 2017 MN Charitable
Organization Annual Report
2. Review and vote on strategic plan for funding NEPNA
NEPNA Community Engagement Plan
Funding Availability
3. Update on the East of the River Master Plan from our
committee advisory member
4. Representatives from the Zombie Pub Crawl will
present on their plan to bring the event to NE

I-94 Shutdown Info Session on March 23 at Firefighters Hall

Celebrate new Northeast Athletic Field Park Recreation Center at March 21 groundbreaking!

New recreation center will feature full-court gym, track, classrooms, exercise/activity space & community kitchen

Please join the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and Northeast Athletic Field Park supporters at 5 pm on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 for a special groundbreaking ceremony commemorating the beginning of construction on a new recreation center next to Jim Lupient Water Park.

The Northeast Athletic Field Park Recreation Center will feature a full-court gym, walking track, classrooms, activity space and a community learning kitchen. The recreation center will be built using sustainable building practices and the MPRB will pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification upon its completion.

A generous $100,000 donation from Barbara Lupient through the Minneapolis Parks Foundation was critical in bringing this long-awaited project to fruition. Northeast Athletic Field Park has benefitted from longtime support from the Lupient family, which was also instrumental in funding the construction of Jim Lupient Water Park and youth scholarships for programs at the water park.

Plans for the new recreation center were first outlined in the Northeast Athletic Field Park Master Plan, a 25+ year vision for the park approved by the Board of Commissioners in 2014. Construction on the recreation center will begin shortly after the groundbreaking ceremony and the building is expected to open by early 2018.

“The new recreation center will be an incredibly valuable community asset where people of all ages and abilities can come together,” said MPRB Commissioner Liz Wielinski, whose district includes the Northeast Park neighborhood. “I’d like to thank community members who contributed their time and ideas to the Northeast Park Master Plan and Barbara Lupient and the Minneapolis Parks Foundation for donating the funds necessary to get this project to the finish line.”

Groundbreaking Ceremony

Date: March 21, 2017

Time: 5 pm

Location: Northeast Athletic Field Park

Address: 1615 Pierce St. NE (Festivities will take place in the northeast corner of the park, next to Jim Lupient Water Park)

Event Details: There will be a brief program featuring local officials, a ceremonial gold shovel dig, light refreshments and time for the neighborhood to connect.

Community Connections Conference on April 1

We invite you to participate in the 6th Annual Community Connections Conference on Saturday, April 1!
The conference is designed to showcase and build successful community collaborations between neighborhoods, cultural communities, residents, and the City. A major theme of the conference is building diversity and capacity of our neighborhood organizations and communities by providing new and innovative ideas through collaboration and participation.