Beltrami Neighborhood Council awarded U.S. Bank Places to Play grant; custom timber framed picnic pavilion coming to Beltrami Park
In May of 2016, the Beltrami Neighborhood Council (BNC) was awarded a grant from U.S. Bank Places to Play to construct a custom timber framed picnic pavilion at Beltrami Park in partnership with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB), Spark-Y, and Clark Bremer. The BNC is matching the Places to Play grant with $25,000 of City of Minneapolis Neighborhood Priority Plan funding. Clark Bremer, board member of Northeast Art & Science Polytechnic and member of the Timber Framers Guild, is donating his time and expertise to this project. Bremer says, “I love my neighborhood, and I love timber framing. This project was just a natural fit. I’m so glad that [MPRB President] Liz Wielinski was able to connect us.”
From 2000-2015, the MPRB invested a mere $7,500 in capital improvements at Beltrami Park (source: MPRB Park Capital Funding Snapshot – Beltrami Park). Having requested programming and capital investment for years, residents took a more aggressive approach in gaining the attention of the MPRB. In the fall of 2015, Beltrami residents flooded an MPRB Closing the Gap meeting to demand attention on their notoriously overlooked park. Following the meeting, the BNC hosted a series of listening sessions with residents to identify and prioritize park needs. Construction of a picnic shelter emerged as a top priority. The BNC worked with the MPRB to further develop the concept, identify potential funding sources, and secure partners for the project. Since the concept was born, Beltrami residents have been involved in design, placement, budgeting, and the Places to Play site visit, and will continue to be involved throughout construction. “A lot of parties within the community have really stepped up in support of this project, which has made it more manageable for us all. This will come to fruition because of the passion, effort, donations of time, money, and resources from everyone involved,” said Nick Brogren, BNC Chair.
Construction on the pavilion will begin in June, with the timber carving occurring in July. This community-led project will feature work days during which the public can learn more about timber framing through demonstrations and hands-on work. The timber framed pavilion will be erected in August through a barn-raising group effort and celebration.
Vanessa Haight, BNC Neighborhood Coordinator