Board of Commissioners Meetings

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While social distancing measures are in place due to COVID-19, the Three Rivers Park District Board of Commissioners is meeting remotely in order to best ensure the safety of Park District staff and the public. Although Board meetings aren't currently being held in person at the Three Rivers Park District Administrative Center, the Board of Commissioners is committed to keeping people informed about the Board's policy making process and providing opportunities for people to comment in advance about proposed Board actions.

This site is designed as a resource for the public to find information about the current Board meeting and share their comments with the Board. Comments received by 5 p.m. on the Wednesday before the Board meeting will be shared with the Board at the meeting.

Click here for an archive of past Board agendas, minutes and audio recordings of meetings.

While social distancing measures are in place due to COVID-19, the Three Rivers Park District Board of Commissioners is meeting remotely in order to best ensure the safety of Park District staff and the public. Although Board meetings aren't currently being held in person at the Three Rivers Park District Administrative Center, the Board of Commissioners is committed to keeping people informed about the Board's policy making process and providing opportunities for people to comment in advance about proposed Board actions.

This site is designed as a resource for the public to find information about the current Board meeting and share their comments with the Board. Comments received by 5 p.m. on the Wednesday before the Board meeting will be shared with the Board at the meeting.

Click here for an archive of past Board agendas, minutes and audio recordings of meetings.

  • Item 4A1. Acknowledgement of Donations

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    Superintendent’s Recommendation:

    NO ACTION REQUIRED.


    Background:

    Commissioners and/or staff are encouraged to report any special matters, awards, recognitions, or other acknowledgements at this time.


    Acknowledgement of Donations

    The Board wishes to acknowledge the following donations and grants to the Park District of $500 or more during the month of August 2020.

    Jay Schied -- $500 to plant a Black Cherry tree at the Eagle Lake Golf Center in memory of Dean L. Schied

    Robert Bateman -- $600 for the First Tee

    Jim Mundt -- $825 for the First Tee

    Megan St. Amand -- $2,500 for a bike repair station at Carver Park Reserve in memory of Brad Johnson

  • Item 4A2. 2020 Distinguished Volunteer Service Awards

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    Superintendent’s Recommendation:

    NO ACTION REQUIRED.


    The following information was prepared by Becca Conser, Volunteer Resources Coordinator.

    Background:

    The Distinguished Volunteer Service Award Program is designed to recognize outstanding Three Rivers Park District volunteers. These recipients stand out because of their volunteer efforts during the past year and/or during the total period of their volunteer service. They represent the diverse areas in which Park District volunteers participate.

    Earlier this year six volunteers were selected as Distinguished Volunteer Service Award recipients. These volunteers have contributed a total of 8,710 hours to Three Rivers Park District. 2,020 of those hours were in 2019.

    Award recipients are traditionally recognized each year at the April Board meeting in conjunction with National Volunteer Recognition Week. This year’s recognition was postponed due to COVID-19. We will honor award recipients by recognizing two of them at each of the next 3 board meetings.

    2020 Distinguished Volunteer Service Award Recipients recognized this month are:

    • Wendy Andersen, Bloomington – Animal Care Specialist, Program Assistant, Project Assistant, and Natural Resources Monitor-Bluebirds at Hyland Lake Park Reserve

    Wendy Andersen has been a volunteer since 2011. She volunteers at Richardson Nature Center as a weekly raptor care volunteer and with Natural Resources as a Bluebird nesting box monitor in Hyland Park Reserve. Wendy often works at events, programs and summer camps sharing her knowledge about raptors with park visitors. She is often called on to test new things because she gives great feedback and is very adaptable. She regularly goes above and beyond her duties spending hours with each bird. She is also an amazing advocate for Three Rivers and recruits friends and colleagues to volunteer. Staff appreciate her positive, upbeat, can-do attitude. Wendy has volunteered 1,157 hours for Three Rivers.


    • Cheryl Batson, Brooklyn Center - Natural Resources Surveyor and Project Assistant at Elm Creek Park Reserve

    Cheryl Batson has been a volunteer since 2013. She volunteers for Natural Resources in a large variety of projects including: invasive species surveying and removal, prairie seed collection, camera trapping, and frog, toad, raptor and dragonfly surveys. Cheryl’s knowledge and passion for the natural world comes through in all her work. Cheryl coordinates and actively volunteers in a 33 acre adopted woodlot in Elm Creek Park Reserve. She frequently engages park guests and neighbors and is a wonderful advocate for invasive species work and conservation. She has trained and mentored several volunteers in her woodlot and her expertise in invasives removal was used in training videos produced by U of M extension. Staff appreciate her dedication, curiosity, and her willingness to share her knowledge with others. Cheryl has volunteered 4,694 hours for Three Rivers.


    A selection committee, comprised of Three Rivers employees and at least one volunteer, meets annually to choose the award recipients. This year’s Selection Committee members included:

    • Bob Iverson, Volunteer and 1998 Volunteer Service Award recipient
    • Dan Fjell, Facilities Supervisor, French and Fish Lake Regional Parks
    • Kimi Aisawa Romportl, Interpretive Naturalist, Richardson Nature Center
    • Missy Anderson, Propagation Specialist
    • Tom Knisely, Media Relations Specialist
    • Becca Conser, Volunteer Resources Coordinator


    Relationship to the System Plan

    The Request for Action supports the following goals(s) of the System Plan:

    • Goal 1: You Belong Here
    • Goal 2: Parks Matter
  • Item 4B. Superintendent's Report

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    Superintendent’s Recommendation:

    NO ACTION REQUIRED; THIS ITEM IS FOR INFORMATION AND DISCUSSION.

    Background:

  • Item 4C. Citizens Wishing to Address the Board

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    Superintendent’s Recommendation:

    NO ACTION REQUIRED.


    Background:

    The public is invited to make comments about topics not on the Board meeting agenda that will be shared with the Board of Commissioners. Feedback received by 5 p.m. Wednesday, September 16, 2020, will be shared with the Board at the meeting.

  • Items 5A - 5G. Routine Business

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    All matters listed under Routine Business are considered to be standard items by the Board of Commissioners and will be enacted by one motion. For more information about Routine Business items, please visit the Board Meeting Archive.


    Item 5A. Rush Creek Regional Trail - Local Trail Connection Agreement with Brooklyn Park

    MOTION TO AUTHORIZE THE BOARD CHAIR AND SUPERINTENDENT TO ENTER INTO A TRAIL CONNECTION AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY OF BROOKLYN PARK FOR CONSTRUCTION OF A LOCAL TRAIL CONNECTION TO THE RUSH CREEK REGIONAL TRAIL.


    Item 5B. Elm Creek Park Reserve Local Trail Connection Agreement with Dayton

    MOTION TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY OF DAYTON FOR A NEW LOCAL TRAIL CONNECTION INTO ELM CREEK PARK RESERVE AT ELM CREEK ROAD ACROSS FERNBROOK LANE/CSAH 121.


    Item 5C. Award of Construction Contract for Katrina Group Camp ADA Improvements at Baker Park Reserve

    MOTION TO AWARD A CONTRACT FOR THE KATRINA GROUP CAMP ADA IMPROVEMENTS AT BAKER PARK RESERVE TO ALBRECHT COMPANY IN THE TOTAL BASE PROPOSAL AMOUNT OF $91,111 PLUS ALTERNATES 2 AND 3 IN THE ADDED AMOUNT OF $57,114 FOR A TOTAL CONTRACT SUM OF $148,225 AND TO ESTABLISH A TOTAL CONSTRUCTION BUDGET OF $163,000 INCLUDING A TEN % CONTINGENCY, WITH FINANCING FROM THE 2018 ASSET MANAGEMENT PROGRAM.


    Item 5D. Minutes of the August 20, 2020, Regular Board Meeting

    MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE August 20, 2020, REGULAR BOARD MEETING.


    Item 5E. Minutes of the September 10, 2020, Joint Board Meeting with Scott County

    MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE SEPTEMBER 10, 2020, JOINT BOARD MEETING BETWEEN THREE RIVERS PARK DISTRICT AND SCOTT COUNTY.


    Item 5F. Summary of the September 10, 2020, Study Session

    MOTION TO ACCEPT THE SUMMARY OF THE SEPTEMBER 10, 2020, STUDY SESSION.


    Item 5G. Approval of Claims for the Period Ended September 10, 2020

    MOTION TO APPROVE PAYMENT OF CLAIMS AS RECOMMENDED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT FOR THE PERIOD ENDED SEPTEMBER 10, 2020, IN THE AMOUNT OF $7,474,679.40.

  • Item 6A. Operational Update

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    Superintendent’s Recommendation:

    NO ACTION REQUIRED; THIS ITEM IS FOR INFORMATION AND DISCUSSION.


    Background:

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, Three Rivers leadership continues to take a proactive approach to operating our parks and regional trails. The health and safety of our park guests and employees is our top priority. We are constantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation and are making adjustments as needed to ensure we are providing the best possible service to our community. We are following and adhering to guidelines from the state and the CDC.

    Plans for fall operations are underway.


    General Facilities and Amenities

    • Swimming beaches and swim ponds closed September 8th
    • Visitor Centers remain open- adjusted fall hours
    • Nature Centers remain closed for programming
      • Exception -Silverwood Café reopen in September
    • Campgrounds open through October 18th
    • Group Camps open through October 18th
    • Disc golf open as weather allows
    • Fishing piers (selected) removed in mid-October
    • Boat launch docks removed in mid-October
    • Boat rental open weekends through Sept. 12-6 at Carver, Hyland, Baker
      • Twin Lakes Paddle Share through Oct 4
    • Picnic shelters open through September as usual


    Programs

    • We are offering in-person public programming, in-person school programming at nature centers and at schools, and virtual programming. The monthly approach to program offerings has provided staff the ability to be nimble and maximize opportunities that meet current guidelines. Our plan is to continue with this approach at least through the end of the year, but likely into the future.
    • Estimated number of programs per month
      • 135 – In person public programs. Programs will be mostly outside.
      • 75 – In person programs at schools in the school land labs and lawns.
      • 125 – Virtual programs to our school and library partners.


    Facility Rental Reservations

    • Featured venue rental spaces – are available. Includes Hyland Hills Chalet, Elm Creek Chalet, Gale Woods Pavilion, and Silverwood Great Hall
    • Rooms at nature centers, program centers, & visitor centers – are unavailable until further notice. Includes Cleary Lake Pavilion, Eagle Lake Pavilion, and Fish Lake Pavilion


    Enterprise

    • Golf courses and driving ranges remain open as weather allows
    • Prep for winter activities


    Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

    • AIS inspections on weekends in September at Baker, Minnetonka, French and Fish. Fish will also have inspectors on weekdays.


    Park District Events

    • Autumn Woods Classic (virtual) October 1-18
    • Monarch Singletrack at Carver Park Reserve- Grand Opening, October 10th
    • Baker Boo October 17th


    Hosting non-park events

    • High School Mountain Bike race September 12-13 – Lake Rebecca
    • High School Cross Country races- Gale Woods, Lake Rebecca, Cedar Lake, Elm Creek
    • Cycle Health Resilinator October 24-25 - Hyland Lake
    • Smurf the Murph race October 23-25- Murphy- Hanrehan
    • Orienteering October 22 – Cleary



    Relationship to the System Plan

    The Request for Action supports the following goals(s) of the System Plan:

    • Goal 1: You Belong Here
    • Goal 3: Lead by Example
  • Item 6B. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Update

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    Superintendent's Recommendation:

    NO ACTION REQUIRED; THIS ITEM IS FOR INFORMATION AND DISCUSSION.


    The following information was prepared by Mandy Whiteside, Director of Marketing and Community Engagement.


    Background:

    Starting in 2015, finding ways to better connect with and serve communities currently underrepresented in the Park District has been a focus of the Board of Commissioners and Three Rivers Staff. This focus was further emphasized with the adoption of the 2040 System Plan at the July 9, 2020 Special Meeting. The vision of connecting everyone to nature every day and the first goal of You Belong Here, are guiding principles of the System Plan and can only be achieved by taking intentional actions to better serve these communities, including our Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) community members.

    At the Board meeting on July 9, 2020, the Board of Commissioners also directed the Superintendent to proceed with the recommended strategies and actions related to diversity, equity and inclusion within the Park District. As part of that direction, the Board also requested that staff provide regular updates on the progress and impacts related to these strategies and actions.

    Following is an overview of some of the programs and initiatives that have occurred since the July Special Meeting.


    Program Partnerships

    • Mississippi Gateway staff worked with partners to create pop-up Explorer Camp opportunities throughout the summer. Previously scheduled Explorer Camps were canceled due to COVID-19.
      • 15 events serving more than 450 youth
      • 12 locations throughout Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Robbinsdale, Crystal and New Hope
    • Enhanced the offerings, process and promotion of the Rec Pass Plus fee assistance program.
      • Rec Pass Plus provides free annual activity passes (archery, cross-country skiing, dog off-leash areas and swim ponds), free equipment rental and 60% discount on programs & events.
      • Launched a monthly e-newsletter to participants with general info, park and program highlights and activity introductions.
      • Creating introductory videos in English, Spanish, Hmong & Somali to explain the program. We will also be creating additional videos about the features of the program, intros to parks and activities, etc.
    • Developed new and enhanced existing partnerships to reach BIPOC communities in COVID-safe ways.
      • Partnered with Interfaith Outreach and Wayzata Public Schools through food distribution events to raise awareness of Three Rivers and provided activity samplers. More than 30 people signed up for Rec Pass Plus at the event.
      • Expanded partnership with CAPI in Brooklyn Center through their food distribution events to build awareness with immigrant and refugee community members.
      • Hosted and introduction to paddling and biking event with Outdoor Latino at Hyland Park Reserve. Participation was roughly three times more than expected, and staff signed up 54 new Rec Pass Plus participants.
      • Staff at Richardson Nature Center provided a week-long summer camp for students through the Office of Educational Equity in Bloomington. For many of these students, it was their first outing since school went virtual in March.
    • Coordinating and hosting listening sessions and collaborations with biking focused organizations community groups, with a goal of developing new programs and offerings focused on biking and the regional trails. Current partners include:
      • Cycling without Age
      • MN Bike Alliance
      • Outdoor Latino
      • Las Bici Chicas
    • Developed camping kits to make camping accessible when equipment is a barrier. The kits include all of the key equipment, a non-electric campsite reservation & the opportunity for an in-person Camping 101 overview with staff.
      • The kits are currently being offered to Rec Pass Plus participants and other partner groups.
      • Within the first days of promoting the program, we had 18 sign ups to camp yet this fall. Six kits are being used the weekend of Sept. 11-13.
    • Staff from multiple departments are collaborating with leaders and community members from the Native American community, including the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, to develop new programming, interpretation and historical acknowledgement opportunities.
      • Park District historical interpretation staff are part of a planning team with Scott County, the City of Shakopee and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community focused on connecting the parkland along the Minnesota River and interpreting and sharing the story of land’s history.


    Serving & Protecting

    • The public safety department coordinated and participated in a full-day training on September 2nd with Dr. Timothy Berry from Metropolitan State University. The training focused on a history of black culture and systemic societal racism.


    Staff Diversification

    • The Pathways Internship Program was adjusted to better focus on hiring youth with barriers to employment.
      • Eight interns were hired and joined teams at Community Engagement, French & Fish Lake Regional Parks, Gale Woods Farm, HR, Hyland Lake Park Reserve and Mississippi Gateway Regional Park.
    • We have developed cross-functional, staff-driven action teams to explore various opportunities for the Park District to adjust operations to be more equitable and inclusive with a focus on better serving BIPOC communities. These teams will be bringing information and ideas forward to the Leadership Team for future consideration. Topics being explored include:
      • Recruitment, hiring & retention efforts for diverse staff
      • Allocation of resources
      • Developing a DEI-related communication toolkit
    • Recruitment and interviews are underway for the 2020-21 Teen Council with a goal of having 10-15 members. This year, a stronger focus will be placed on leadership development and relationship building, in addition to park-related projects. The Teen Council will also be working with the Community Engagement team to support and align with Park District’s DEI efforts and goals.


    Relationship to the System Plan

    The Request for Action supports the following goals(s) of the System Plan:

    • Goal 1: You Belong Here
    • Goal 3: Lead by Example
  • Item 6C. Gale Woods Special Recreation Feature Master Plan Amendment - Boundary Adjustments

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    Superintendent’s Recommendation:

    MOTION TO SUBMIT A GALE WOODS FARM MASTER PLAN BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT REQUEST TO THE CITY OF MINNETRISTA AND THE METROPOLITAN COUNCIL FOR REVIEW AND APPROVAL.


    The following information was prepared by Ann Rexine, Principal Planner.


    Background:


    Three Rivers planning staff have prepared a master plan amendment to include an additional 31.2 acres (5 properties) within the Gale Woods Special Recreation Feature master plan boundary (Reference 6C-1 - Map and Summary Table; Reference 6C-2 – Draft Master Plan Amendment). Amending the master plan to include these additional properties is important as it allows for partial Metropolitan Council acquisition, development and operations and maintenance funding support where applicable.


    The additional properties represent a variety of acquisition scenarios including:


    • An immediate acquisition opportunity of 28 acres in the park’s southeast corner which has a willing-seller with a strong desire to close on the property this year;


    • Two properties already within Three River’s ownership;


    • Two properties anticipated to be included in a future land exchange with the Boys and Girls Club; and


    • A future opportunity to include the entrance right-of-way, when vacated (an additional 1.5 acres).


    This boundary expansion allows for:


    • Additional natural resource protection and consistent management of existing and new natural areas – especially those natural areas which cross the park boundary.


    • Potential securing of associated Baker-Carver Regional Trail land.


    • Protection of existing parkland as one property is land locked and the owner could petition the City of Minnetrista for access across existing parkland disrupting the operations of the working farm and natural areas or the adjacent Dakota Rail Regional Trail.


    • Ownership and maintenance control including associated pavement management responsibilities of the park entrance road.


    • More logical and straight forward boundaries which are easier to manage and convey to the public.


    Gale Woods is located along the eastern shore of Whaletail Lake and was conveyed to Three Rivers in 1999 and 2000 via donation from Alfred P. and Leona Gale for the purpose of establishing, operating and maintaining a public facility while preserving the farm character for park visitors. The original donation was 410 acres. Revision of the park boundary to include the additional 31.2 acres would bring the total park acreage up to 441.2 acres once all land within the park boundary is acquired.


    As part of the donation process a master plan and program statement was prepared in 2000 and the park officially opened three years later in 2003. This master plan amendment only updates the master plan boundary – all other existing, approved information remains in place.


    Upon Board approval, Three Rivers will also seek review and approval from the City of Minnetrista and Metropolitan Council.



    Relationship to the System Plan

    The Request for Action supports the following goals(s) of the System Plan:


    • Goal 2: Parks Matter






  • Item 6D. Glen Lake Golf and Practice Center Proposed 2021 Budget

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    Superintendent’s Recommendation:

    MOTION TO ADOPT THE 2021 OPERATING BUDGET FOR GLEN LAKE GOLF AND PRACTICE CENTER AND AUTHORIZE THE SUPERINTENDENT TO SUBMIT THE PROPOSED BUDGET TO THE HENNEPIN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR ADOPTION.


    The following information was prepared by Howard Koolick; Jeff May; Bill Vollbrecht, Doug Berens and Mark Hill.


    Background:

    Three Rivers operates the Glen Lake Golf and Practice Center under a cooperative agreement with Hennepin County, which is the owner of the facility. The agreement outlines responsibilities of the Park District and the County and creates the Glen Lake Golf Joint Operations Committee, which is composed of staff from the Park District and the County. This committee oversees the operations, maintenance and fiscal affairs of the facility. The agreement also includes a variety of financial issues including how any profits would be allocated between the County and the Park District.


    The cooperative agreement calls for the Park District to develop an annual operating budget for the facility, including recommended fees. The annual operating budget is proposed by Park District staff, reviewed by the Glen Lake Golf Joint Operations Committee, recommended to the Park District Board of Commissioners for consideration and, once approved, is then submitted to the Hennepin County Board for adoption.


    The Operations Committee reviewed the budget at the August 20, 2020, Operations Committee Meeting. The attached budget packet (Reference 6D-1) provides highlights and details of the Committee’s budget recommendations. If approved and authorized by the Park District Board, the proposed budget is then forwarded to the Hennepin County Board for consideration.


    The 2021 Budget projects revenues of $1,010,259 and expenditures of $869,031 with $147,398 in contingency (net revenues). This compares to the 2019 budget, which included revenues of $998,791 and expenses of $998,791, with a contingency amount of $4,358. The difference in the contingency from 2020 to 2021 is a result of the final debt service payment being made in 2020.


    Positive net revenues are needed to rebuild the Glen Lake Enterprise Fund balance, which showed a deficit of $184,753 at the end of last season. Based on this season’s projections, the fund balance deficit is expected to increase to approximately $205,000 by the end of 2020.

    The fund balance goal was established by the Operations Committee at $150,000. As a condition of the Cooperative Agreement between Hennepin County and Three Rivers, the Park District retains 30% of the net profits after the minimum fund balance of $150,000 has been achieved. Staff expects to reach the $150,000 fund balance goal in 2023 and begin splitting profits with the County in either 2023 or 2024.


    The attached budget for Glen Lake includes:


    · 2021 budget summary and work plan highlights

    · 2021 revenue and expense summaries

    · Fee schedules and comparative rates

    · 2021 position complement summary


    Relationship to the System Plan


    The request for Action supports the following goals of the System Plan:


    • Goal 1: You Belong Here
    • Goal 2: Parks Matter
  • Item 6E. Resolution Approving 2021 Preliminary Tax Levy

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    Superintendent’s Recommendation:

    - ROLL CALL VOTE REQUIRED -

    MOTION TO ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 20-06 CERTIFYING THE PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX LEVY AND ADOPTING A PRELIMINARY GENERAL FUND BUDGET FOR 2021.


    For background information about Item 6E., visit this link.