Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board


Resolution Amending Adopted Resolution 2020-253 to Define a Duration for the Board of Commissioners’ Declaration of Refuge Space in Minneapolis Parks Terminating on September 1, 2020, Limit the Number of Parks with Encampments to No Greater Than Ten Parks, and Reduce the Number of Tents to No More Than Ten Tents in Any Encampment in a Minneapolis Park


Department:Superintendent's OfficeSponsors:


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Item Discussion

Whereas, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) is the Steward of the Minneapolis Parks


Whereas, The Board of Commissioners adopted Resolution 2020-253 during its regular meeting of June 17, 2020;


Whereas, Based on observations of conditions of encampments and clarification of certain Executive Orders, consideration of amendments to adopted Resolution 2020-253 is warranted;


Whereas, The mission of the MPRB states that the MPRB exists to provide places and recreational opportunities for all people to gather, celebrate, contemplate, and engage in activities to promote health, well-being, community, and the environment;


Whereas, Encampments allowed under Resolution 2020-253 have been established at approximately 30 Minneapolis parks, including two large encampments at Powderhorn Park where the population likely exceeds 400 tents and 600 persons;


Whereas, Governor Walz pursuant to Executive Orders 20-33 and 20-55 has declared a peacetime emergency that prevents the removal of homeless people from locations except in certain specific cases subject to certain specific requirements;


Whereas, As part of a meeting conducted on June 27, 2020 the Executive Branch of the State of Minnesota clarified directives of Executive Order 20-55 directing that local jurisdictions shall have the sole responsibility for determining the extent of encampments allowed under Executive Order 20-55 and that limitations on encampment size, if documented by the local jurisdiction, would be considered aligned with Executive Order 20-55;


Whereas, Staff of MPRB, City of Minneapolis, and Hennepin County observed conditions of the Powderhorn encampments and the City of Minneapolis Public Health Department and the Hennepin County Office to End Homelessness and noted the size of the encampment is not wholly aligned with guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic and fails to conform to best practices for public health and human safety;


Whereas, To afford the best opportunities for protecting persons in encampments and to align with guidance for public health, the locations and size of encampments needs to be determined by MPRB staff;


Whereas, The MPRB is providing infrastructure support and maintenance services to encampments in several parks, making those locations preferable for continuing to serve the needs of unsheltered homeless choosing to encamp in Minneapolis parks;


Whereas, MPRB staff’s capacity to provide infrastructure and maintenance services to encampments in Minneapolis parks without compromising other required operations tasks is limited to encampments in no more than ten parks;


Whereas, The MPRB is obligated to provide recreation services to Minneapolis residents and visitors, as referenced in Resolution 2020-253, and has determined methods of defining locations appropriate for encampments in Minneapolis parks that allow for safe, secure and comfortable recreation use by park users;


Whereas, The MPRB has received guidance from the City of Minneapolis Public Health Department and Hennepin County Office to End Homelessness indicating the optimal size for encampments oriented to public health and human safety needs of encampment occupants to be ten tents;


Whereas, The MPRB recognizes that sheltering homeless in Minneapolis parks is not a safe, proper or dignified form of housing and that defining a duration for encampments in Minneapolis parks is a prudent and reasonable response to the need for other agencies to accommodate encampment occupants in permanent shelter;


Whereas, The MPRB has determined as date of termination for encampments in Minneapolis parks at September 1, 2020, or longer if required by Executive Orders of the State of Minnesota;


Whereas, This resolution is supported by the MPRB 2007-2020 Comprehensive Plan, which envisions “Dynamic parks that shape city character and meet diverse community needs” and “A safe place to play, celebrate, contemplate, and recreate; and


Whereas, Resolution 2020-253 and its associated recitals remain unchanged excepting items related to duration, location and size of encampments in Minneapolis parks;


Resolved, That that Board of Commissioners amends adopted Resolution 2020-253 to define a duration for the Board of Commissioners’ declaration of refuge space in Minneapolis parks terminating on September 1, 2020, limit the number of parks with encampments to no greater than ten parks, and reduce the number of tents to no more than ten tents in any encampment in a Minneapolis park; and


Resolved, That the President and Secretary of the Board are authorized to take all necessary administrative actions to implement this resolution.



Resolution added at the request of President Cowgill.