New name for Sibley Park?

Playground and wading pool part of revamp


Sibley Park may be renamed as part of an improvement project in 2022.
The draft project includes removing the tennis courts to provide additional space to rearrange and expand the playground and wading pool.
Other possible enhancements including the addition of benches, picnic tables, drinking fountain and shade structure may be included within the project area limits.
“MPRB is looking to rename the park after a request from high school students and park users in the community who questioned the name of Henry Sibley because of the violence he perpetrated against the Dakota people,” explained Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board Project Planner Siciid Ali. “Community engagement led by MPRB staff about the park renaming will happen simultaneously with the park improvements design process.”
A community workshop focused on the park renaming process will be held on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2–4 p.m. at the park’s recreation center.
In an online survey, over 75% of respondents were in favor of changing the name of the park.

P.A.R.K. survey results
In 2015 and 2016, the community identified the playground and wading pool improvements as top priority implementation projects, Ali pointed out.
A P.A.R.K. survey was conducted, and community members asked to provide input on what they would like to Preserve, Add, Remove and Keep in mind.
The following is a summary of the comments:
• Preserve: wading pool, shade, trees, diggers, ladders, slides, playing field.
• Add: resilient surface to the playground, wood chips, climbing wall/structures, benches, picnic tables, nature features, more play features.
• Remove: sand surface, old play equipment
• Keep in mind: no sharp corners in the playground, protect trees during construction, shade for seating area, park safety, play features for big kids, playground closure during construction.
MPRB staff hosted and attended several community engagements events at Sibley park this past summer. “We talked to neighbors at various local events, such as Movies at the Park, a community open house, and pop-up meetings at the playground, about the upcoming improvements; and collected their feedback on the needs for this park,” said Ali. 
An online survey was available to the public for seven months to provide input on the playground preferences and comments on the park renaming proposal. A second online survey will be posted and shared on the website when the playground concept plans options are presented for community feedback. 
“People are mostly pleased with the new improvements to the park,” said Ali. “People are interested in an expanded playground with climbing features and play features for different children ages, preserving shades from the existing mature trees in the playground.”
He added, “The community has this exciting opportunity to envision a more extensive playground for Sibley Park with safe, fun, and engaging play elements and site features that will align with their needs and preferences. We are currently starting the design phase of the project. We invite the Sibley Park neighbors to participate in the community engagement events to share their feedback and guide the design team in the selection of the final concept that will go in front of the board of commissioners at the start of the spring.”
Bidding is expected in July or August 2022. Construction is tentatively set to begin in the fall of 2022.
The project will use $1,020,779 from the NPP20 capital improvements fund and $100,713 from park dedication fees.
Community members can subscribe to the project page for updates and community engagement events schedules.


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