Type: MWMO Action Grant
MWMO Funding: $49,373
Partners: B.E. Landscape Designs; California Skateparks; City of Skate; Elliot Park Neighborhood Inc.; Hennepin Youth Sports Program; Leo A. Daly; Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board; Sherwin Williams; X Games Minneapolis
The MWMO helped install green infrastructure at a Downtown Minneapolis skate park, which was updated by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and its partners. The MWMO-funded features capture and treat polluted runoff on the site, as well as provide pollinator habitat. The project builds on knowledge and partnerships created through the JXTA Skate-Able Art Plaza project in North Minneapolis.
The MPRB replaced the current Elliot Park skate facilities with a premier street-style skate park featuring a skate-able seat wall, quarter pipe, rail, and ledges. The original equipment installed in 2004 consisted of a single pitch concrete slab with bolt-on skate features. The constant use of the park by Elliot Park neighborhood residents and visitors indicated the need for an upgraded park meeting the needs of the existing and future skating community. The park design includes “traffic lanes” and good element placing to encourage flow.
The MWMO funded stormwater infiltration features and pollinator lawns for the park. The skate plaza was sloped such that rainwater falling on the hard surfaces flows to a pair of raingardens on the west and north sides of the park and a permeable paver patio on the northeast side. Attractive native plants such as blue false indigo, prairie dropseed, and fox sedge selected for the raingardens help filter out pollutants and reduce stormwater runoff while providing food and shelter for pollinating insects and birds. The permeable paver patio infiltrates rainwater that falls on the patio as well as capturing runoff from some of the northeast portion of the skate park. The patio serves as a lunch space for adjacent businesses as well as a gathering space for skate plaza users.
A number of partners worked hard to thoughtfully design and implement this project. The Elliot Park Neighborhood, Inc. (EPNI) provided key community input on ranking the implementation of features identified in the Elliot Park Master Plan, which showed strong support for a newly designed skate plaza. This led to the approval of over $400,000 of MPRB Park Dedication funds and a $200,000 grant through the Hennepin County Commissioners’ Youth Sports program. City of Skate (COS), a local nonprofit, also played a critical role in moving this project forward. Through the COS coalition, the Leo A. Daly Minneapolis office provided construction documents pro bono. COS will continue to help coordinate interpretation and skate group involvement for Elliot Skate Plaza. Sherwin Williams contributed paint for restoring the wrought iron decorative fencing.
Interpretive signage at the site was designed to include the shared theme of how to manage both skate and stormwater flow. In collaboration with the MWMO, the MPRB will program events with the City of Skate that can also be a platform to share the water quality and habitat aspects of the project through a “skatepark stewards” program. Construction started in September 2020 and the skate park opened in summer 2021.