Category Archives: Uncategorized

Washburn Park Improvements

Washburn Park Input from park users

We will do our best to share updated regarding improvements coming to the Washburn playground and park area. You can sign-up for updated from the Park, too.!


Playground Concept Plan approval is anticipated for Spring 2018. Once the concept, followed by the contract, is approved, construction is planned for Summer 2018.

Below are current (2/8) concept drawings. The final opportunity for input will held on Wednesday, March 14 (6:00-8:00pm). Drop in any time. Kids welcome!

Initial drawings (1/18)

Park Location (58th & Washburn)

March 17, 2017 eNews

March Meeting Agenda

March 21, 2017 • 6:30pm • Armatage Rec Center

  • Welcome
  • City Council Update
  • Park Update
  • 2040 Plan & Resolution Update
  • Committee Updates
    • 2017 Goals & Priorities
    • Community Engagement: Renter engagement • Washburn Tot Lot • Happy hour • Welcome bags
    • Safety Team
    • Green Team
    • Summer Festival Team
  • Coordinator Update
    • Annual Meeting
    • Annual Report
    • April Newsletter
    • Financial Audit
    • Trees for Kids
    • Tree lights and charity drive 2017
    • May 8th – Art of Hosting (MLK 6-8:30pm)
    • Garage Sale (June 3)
    • Movie in the Park (what do we want to do)
  • Treasurer Report
  • Secretary Report – February minutes approved online
  • New Business
  • Adjourn

$15 workshops: Creating Weather Resilient Yards

Unseasonably warm weather, long droughts and flooding rains are the new normal for spring and summer in Minnesota. Learn how your yard can adapt to and even help mitigate threats posed by these extreme weather events.

Participants receive:

  • An overview of Minnesota’s changing weather patterns and ways to minimize their impact in your yard by using alternative turf, raingardens, and other resilient-yard practices.
  • 1 on 1 design assistance from Metro Blooms and Blue Thumb landscape designers and U of M Extension Master Gardeners from Hennepin County.

For more information and to register, go to or call 651-699-2426.

Space is limited.

MSP Aircraft Noise Analysis for 2016 is Now Available

02/27/2017 03:03 PM CST

Each year, the MAC reports aircraft noise exposure associated with operations at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and uses the results to determine homeowner eligibility for the MAC’s Noise Mitigation Program. To qualify for mitigation, a home must fall within a higher impact area for three consecutive years.

The report, called the MSP Annual Noise Contour Report, details the development inputs for aircraft noise exposure contours that represent the geographical areas exposed to aircraft noise levels of 60 dB DNL and greater surrounding MSP.

The 2016 Annual Noise Contour Report is available now on the MAC Noise Program Office website here:  2016 MSP Annual Noise Contour Report.

The report concluded that a total of 286 single-family homes are eligible for mitigation in 2018. (NOTE: None are in the Armatage neighborhood.) The eligible blocks are shown in blue in the graphic online. MAC will begin reaching out to these eligible homeowners in late 2017 to begin project orientation.

The MAC is also actively initiating mitigation projects for homes that qualified last year. These homes are shown in green on the graphic online.

Southwest Communities “Future of Neighborhoods” Conversation

May 8th, 6:00 pm (dinner) 6:30 – 8:30 pm (program)
Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 4055 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

The neighborhood organizations of Southwest Minneapolis, in partnership with the Minneapolis Department of Neighborhood and Community Relations, invite you to come discuss your viewpoint regarding the future of neighborhoods, including creating stable communities through respecting residents’ voices and empowering local solutions.  Attendees will work with other Southwest residents to discuss current and future challenges facing neighborhoods and suggest policy and funding streams to support communities to creatively address these challenges.

Free Dinner and Childcare provided

Community Connections Conference 4/1 at Convention Center

Southwest High School Performing Arts

Sweet Charity (Musical)

March 16-18 & 23-25 at 7 pm and March 19 & 26 at 2 pm.

Music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields and book by Neil Simon. It was directed and choreographed for Broadway by Bob Fosse starring his wife and muse Gwen Verdon.

Charity works at a dance club and has only seen the dark side of life but thinks things are changing when she meets Oscar.  Even when things turn sour, Charity stays Sweet and hopeful of her dreams

To find our more or purchase tickets go to

Political Activity

To All Neighborhood Organizations:

With the City’s general election less than a year away, there have been a lot of questions about how neighborhood organizations can be involved in increasing voter registration, turnout and education. You can download a copy of NCR’s guide on Neighborhood Organizations and Elections, which answers many of these questions, at this link:

I especially want to remind you that your contracts with the City state that your organization may not engage in political activity. Partisan political activity is also absolutely prohibited by the Internal Revenue Service for all 50l(c)(3) organizations. The City uses the same rules as the IRS in our oversight of the political activities of organizations.

The IRS states that 50l(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations “are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.” Whether an organization is engaging in prohibited political campaign activity depends on the facts and circumstances in each case. The IRS rules state that the motivation of an organization is not relevant in determining whether the political campaign prohibition has been violated.

The IRS rules cover the publishing of information in organizations’ publications, advertisements in these publications, speakers at organizational events and meetings, and the acts of individuals in their capacity as officers of an organization.

Any activities related to candidates or campaigns for political office must be conducted in a non-partisan manner. For instance, if one candidate is allowed to speak at a meeting of the organization, then all other legally qualified candidates for the same office should be invited to speak. All candidates must be given an equal amount of time on the agenda. Similarly, if a forum is sponsored by the organization, then all candidates must be invited, questions must be prepared and presented in a non-partisan manner, the topics discussed should cover a broad range of issues of interest to the public, each candidate must have the opportunity to present his or her views on the issues discussed, and the moderator must not comment on the questions or otherwise make comments that imply approval or disapproval of any of the candidates or their responses.

Since the IRS prohibition is an absolute bar, it would be wise for your organization to avoid any activity that even hints at partisan participation in a political campaign. If your organization does have an interest in some level of participation in the election process, however, it is strongly suggested that you contact an attorney to ensure that your activity is not a violation of the ban on political activity. Any violation of this ban could result in the revocation of your organization’s tax-exempt status and the cancellation of your organization’s contracts with the City.

Here are some examples from recent years that may put your organization at risk:

  • A candidate shows up at a neighborhood meeting and asks for time to discuss their candidacy. Note that allowing a candidate to even mention their candidacy could violate the IRS’ absolute bar on political activity. We recommend immediately informing the candidate that, while they are welcome to participate, they may not campaign or mention their candidacy in any form.
  • Conducting a candidate forum prior to an endorsing convention can violate the absolute bar, since it would appear to be favoring a group of candidates (e.g., those seeking endorsement from a particular party). We recommend not holding a candidate forum until after the deadline for candidate filings.
  • Introducing an elected official at a neighborhood meeting as a candidate and encouraging (or discouraging) support for that candidate. While an elected official can present at your event in their capacity as an elected official, you should not refer to their candidacy in any way.

Please see the guide on Neighborhood Organizations and Elections for more information, and contact your Neighborhood Support Specialist here at NCR with any questions you may have.


David Rubedor
Director of Neighborhood and Community Relations
ADA Title II Coordinator

Gypsy Moths

Gypsy Moth Treatment 2017

Gypsy Moth treatment map

UPDATED 5-19-2017

  • March 1, 2017 – Public open house held. 18 citizens attended. All questions and/or concerns were addressed
  • March 30, 2017 – Environmental assessment for the project posted publicly. Comments due to either the MDA or USDA by April 29.
  • April 4, 2017  – MDA awarded project aviation to Scott’s Helicopter Service.
  • April 12, 2017 – MDA staff will be presenting project information to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board of Commissioners.
  • Week of April 12 – Press release reminding residents about temporary ban on moving tree and wood debris out of quarantine area. This is a temporary quarantine and is expected to be lifted June 15.
  • Week of April 24 – Postcard reminders to be mailed to all residents within and near the proposed treatment block.
  • FIRST APPLICATION May 11, 2017 – 6AM
  • SECOND APPLICATION scheduled for  Monday, May 22, 2017. If weather conditions become unfavorable over the weekend, there is a chance they could delay until Tuesday morning.
    Should take less than 2 hours to apply

Minnesota Department of Agriculture

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, February 16, 2017

MDA planning gypsy moth treatment for Richfield/Minneapolis area in 2017

Public information meeting set for March 1

ST. PAUL, Minn. –The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and partner organizations are planning to tackle a gypsy moth infestation in parts of Richfield and Minneapolis this spring. In anticipation of the treatment, the department is inviting people to learn about the effort at an open house to be held March 1 in Richfield.

Ranked among America’s most destructive tree pests, gypsy moth has caused millions of dollars in damage to forests as it has spread from New England to Wisconsin in recent decades. Gypsy moth caterpillars can defoliate large sections of forest. The pests are common in Wisconsin and are now establishing themselves in Minnesota.

The MDA maintains a monitoring program to watch for start-up infestations, and when an infestation is found, the department conducts aerial treatments of the infestation before it can spread. In 2016, the MDA found an infestation in the northwest corner of Richfield. The MDA implemented a quarantine of the area in November. The department is now developing a treatment plan for an affected area that runs from West 61st Street in Minneapolis on the north to West 67th Street in Richfield on the south, and Washburn Avenue South on the west to Logan Avenue South on the east. (SEE MAP) Details of the area can be found at

The MDA will host an open house to share information with citizens about the threat gypsy moths pose to the environment, and how officials plan to protect the urban forest.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Sheridan Hills Elementary School
6400 Sheridan Avenue S
Richfield, MN 55423

Over the years, the MDA has successfully treated dozens of gypsy moth infestations across eastern Minnesota from Grand Portage to the Twin Cities to Houston County. These successful treatments help postpone the full-scale invasion of gypsy moth, saving local communities and homeowners money and protecting the health of the state’s urban and natural forests.

For more information on the proposed treatments, go to

MEDIA CONTACT: Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications
651-201-6185 /

Articles & Resources

The Teal Pumpkin Project®

The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages people to raise awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.

Why is this important?

Halloween can be a tricky time for families managing food allergies. The Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies. It keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!

What do I do if I want to participate?

Participating is simple. Pick up some inexpensive toys, and place a teal pumpkin and/or a free printable sign from FARE outside your home to show that you have non-food treats to hand out.

Is this a big problem?

Food allergies are a life-altering and potentially life-threatening disease, and a growing public health issue. In the U.S., one in 13 children has a food allergy. For these children, even a tiny amount of their allergen has the potential to cause a severe reaction.

Virtually any food can cause a reaction. Many popular Halloween candies contain nuts, milk, egg, soy or wheat, which are some of the most common allergens in children and adults. Additionally, many miniature or fun-size versions of candy items contain different ingredients than their full-size counterparts and some miniature candy items may not have labels, so it is difficult for parents to determine whether these items are safe for their child with food allergies.

Non-food treats provide a safe, fun alternative for children with food allergies and other conditions for whom candy may present a problem.

The goal is not to exclude candy from the Halloween tradition. The goal is simply to ensure that children with food allergies – and other children for whom candy is not an option – are able to enjoy a safer, happier Halloween.

Can I still pass out candy?

Sure – just do it safely! The point of the Teal Pumpkin Project is to make trick-or-treating as inclusive as possible. You can keep the experience safe by keeping your food treats and non-food treats in separate bowls.

If I’m handing out candy and non-food treats, how do I determine which treat to give to each trick-or-treater?

You can either ask trick-or-treaters if they have any food allergies, or give every visitor a choice of which treat they’d like: candy or a non-food item.

More info, ideas and downloads available online!

Trunk-or-Treat Inspiration

Check out some of these sites for some ideas:

2016 Highlights

  • Set 3 engagement goals:
    (1) Increase involvement in organics recycling in Armatage
    (2) Engage with under-represented residents
    (3) Engage with renters
  • Hosted an organics recycling workshop in June and regularly promote organics through our various forms of communication.
  • Hosted several “happy hour” events to give residents a more casual way to connect with the board and each other.
  • Had our first utility box wrap installed at 60th & Penn.
  • Annual meeting was a bike-theme event with presentations and information from: Bike Fixtation, Perennial Cycle, Midtown Greenway Coalition, Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene, Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, and Cycling Museum of Minnesota. (Facebook photo album.)
  • Supported the following improvements at our park: window blinds in the multi-purpose room, reupholstering the lounge furniture, new park staff sign, new park event canopy, new ping pong table
  • Created a new event for charity surrounding our tree lighting in November.
  • Summer Festival improvements: more games for older kids and adults, henna tattoo artist, greater area business involvement (24 tables and sponsorships), gained area church involvement for volunteers to staff a carnival game. (Facebook photo album.)
  • Partnered with our park to host a Halloween event including new Trunk-or-Treating fun! (Facebook photo album.)

2015 Highlights

  • Engaged with our Precinct Inspector as well as our Crime Prevention Specialist, in response to our neighborhood safety priority, including having both as featured speakers at a quarterly safety update.
  • “Spring Fling” theme for our annual meeting, including a presentation from Beez Kneez about pollinators.
  • Quarterly “Safety News” hand delivered to every resident.
  • Focused on block leader recruitment and recruited 14 new leaders. There are only 16 unorganized blocks remaining in the Armatage neighborhood.
  • Transition to a new coordinator mid-year.
  • Development of new, more accessible website.
  • Stronger and more regular use of our email newsletter.
  • Expanded our social media presence and regularly post to Nextdoor, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Lots of changes made to our Summer Festival in the hopes to increase appeal to a broader range of residents and make it easier to run and attend. (Wristbands, raffle, signage, new games, additional inflatables, food trucks, water bottles and station.)

Park Acquisition and Development

The nearly nineteen acres for Armatage Park were purchased September 1, 1948 for $7,500. The land was planned from the outset as a combined development of a park and school following a joint resolution by the park board and school board to develop new park and school complexes together. The primary objective of those joint developments was to provide a park that would double as a playground for the school and a school gym that could be used by the park board when school was not in session. It was the second park and school—Waite Park was the first—developed together by the two boards.

Joint development of the property had been considered as early as 1926, when that section of Minneapolis was annexed from Richfield. With  the annexation, both the park board and school board faced the challenge of providing facilities for the newest section of the city. In 1927, land in the neighborhood had been proposed for development as a park, but property owners in the area opposed the additional tax assessments that would have been needed to pay for the development. With the advent of the Great Depression, followed by World War II, the project was delayed until the late 1940s. When the park and school were finally built in 1952, they were paid for by assessments on property in the neighborhood.

The purchase price of the property paled in comparison to the cost of developing the land for a park and athletic fields. Leveling and grading the property and preparing playing fields cost about $400,000. Because the western border of the park was significantly lower in elevation than Penn Avenue on the east, a lot of earth had to be moved to create level fields.

The original park improvements, completed in 1954, included regional athletic fields, a wading pool, a battery of tennis courts and a warming house and shelter. In 1955 the final touches were put on the park with the blacktopping of a parking lot and the installation of five sections of ten-tier bleachers for the regional athletic fields.

Armatage Park’s shelter was enlarged in 1962-63 and replaced with a new recreation center in 1977. The baseball and softball fields at the park were rebuilt in 1979. Significant renovations to the park property began in 1997 with the addition of a new parking lot and a new gym  attached to the school and recreation center. The new gym opened in 1999.

In 2000 Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) funds were used to commission an eighteen foot-high bronze sculpture by artist Scott Wallace, called “Garden Party,” which was placed in the park. Additional improvements to the playing fields and tennis courts were made in 2004 and a skate park was added. The skate park was one of four created in Minneapolis parks that year.

An irrigation system was added to the baseball/soccer fields at Armatage as part of a playing field upgrade in 2010-11. The hard courts at the park were also resurfaced in 2011.

Park history compiled and written by David C. Smith.

Maude D. Armatage Bio

Armatage was the first woman elected to the park board—and was the only woman on the board for her entire length of service. Armatage was elected to the park board in 1921 in the first general election in which women had the right to vote. She was vice president of the board from 1924 to 1927. She chaired the Privileges and Entertainment Committee in her early years on the park board and when a combined Playground and Entertainment Committee was created in 1928 she chaired that committee until her retirement from the board in 1951.

One of Armatage’s first special assignments as a park commissioner, perhaps reflecting stereotypes of women at the time, was to be responsible for the “artistic selection and arrangement of furnishings at The Chalet,” as noted in the park board’s 1923 annual report. The Chalet was the new golf clubhouse and shelter built at Glenwood (Wirth) Park. Armatage and her uncle, F. A. Dunsmoor, both contributed to the furnishings of the clubhouse.

Armatage was especially active in promoting cooperation between the school board and park board to avoid duplication of facilities and get the most out of spending by both boards. When the park boards and school boards were first considering cooperative development of facilities in the southernmost portion of the city after its annexation from Richfield in 1926, Armatage visited Detroit on behalf of the park board to view the results of cooperative efforts there. When the possibility of developing joint facilities was renewed after nearly two decades of depression and war, Armatage sponsored a joint resolution between the park board and school board in 1948 that led directly to cooperative development of Waite, Armatage, Kenny and Cleveland parks and schools.

Armatage lived near Lake Harriet in a nine-family community called the “Colony.” According to research by Tom Balcom, nine families built homes on land given to them in 1893 by Charles Loring in the 4600 block of Fremont Avenue in the hopes that initial development would lead to more families wanting to build homes in the area.

In addition to her work on the park board, Armatage was a local leader of Campfire Girls and was on the national board of directors of that organization.

Upon her retirement in 1951 at the age of 81, the park board passed a resolution honoring Armatage’s service on the board, noting that “it is to her, more than to any other person, that the people of the City of Minneapolis owe a debt of gratitude for the promotion of the integrated school and park idea.” The 1951 annual report also noted that she had “championed many activities and diversions for the recreation of youth which are commonplace in the recreation program of today.”