A politically charged push is taking shape, with millions of dollars at stake, to break down barriers that are making Twin Cities parks and trails feel to some like white people’s preserves.
The Metropolitan Council’s initiative to move toward racial equity in metro-area parks — closing the gap in park usage between whites and people of color — has raised suspicions best captured two years ago, when a suburban member of the council publicly asked: “Will [Theodore] Wirth Park get all the money because it’s next to north Minneapolis? I mean, how does this play out?”
As details have jelled this spring, no such funding shift from the suburbs to the cities is being proposed. But the council seems determined to take a more forceful role in local decisions made on parks, using equity as a lens — and dollars as one of the tools.