The Principle of the Commons

I will center the legacy of the parks and that they belong to us all.

Our parks are outstanding.  Do your eyes glaze over when you read that?  Mine kind of do because we hear it all the time.  So what does this claim actually mean?

For such an urban place, Minneapolis has incredible natural resources.  From the lakes and the creeks to the Mississippi River.  Unlike most other U.S. cities, in Minneapolis the majority of the lands surrounding these beautiful resources are not hoarded private property but are accessible to everyone.  This is the Principle of The Commons which means that natural resources – air, water, green space, open space – are accessible to us all and subject to our own democratic governance.  The Park Board is the body with oversight for this special system.  Just how special is it?

According to The Trust for Public Land, across the United States, 100 million people do not have a park within a 10-minute walk of home.  In Minneapolis, 98% of people do.  Further, about 15% of all land in our city is park land.  Given this and other factors, it’s no wonder that year after year, Minneapolis Parks ranks number one by The Trust for Public Land.

This could not have been possible without decades of vision and investment in our parks system.  When it comes to our parks, continuing to strive for best in class will be a top priority for me.