Our mission is to work with the City of Minnetonka to ensure that all park visitors can experience high quality, biodiverse places that provide a multitude of positive nature-based interactions, thereby improving the quality of life and the sustainability and ecological resiliency of our parks, park system and community.
We will accomplished this by:
Jidana Park Preserve
We value a park system that:
We consider our natural landscapes to be an amenity that can be enjoyed and appreciated by everyone, and also needs to be protected from negligence, misuse, overuse, and overt or benign degradation. Each park and/or preserve in the city may have its own unique, natural, biodiverse features and should have its own unique restoration management plan and guidelines for use guided by a comprehensive, city-wide vision and plan for our park system.
friends of Minnetonka parks nonprofit formation
Throughout our organizational meetings, our founding members discussed the pros and cons of organizing as a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Discussions included that the City's current (old) NRMP states that a group such as the "Friends of Minnetonka Parks"could help fundraise and coordinate volunteer activities, and the limitation of nonprofits to endorse candidates. Our ultimate conclusion was that the ability to raise funds for all parks under one entity (rather than each individual park group) and eligibility to apply for grants clearly fit our mission. One of our members had recently founded a nonprofit for the shareholders of their employer and volunteered to coordinate the effort.
We also saw strength in numbers. With FoMP, our individual parks groups can tap into the volunteer availability of other groups, help each other by offering a consistent approach with city staff, and coordinate our efforts so as not to compete with each other. As a result, we have provided the City with volunteer buckthorn removal "blitzes" in numbers beyond their imaginations. We hope to continue this trend with significant and meaningful projects for each of the friends of parks groups that will launch the City of Minnetonka into a productive restoration mode. Restore Minnetonka!
2021 by the numbers
We have been an organization for just eleven months, but we have had a banner year (even in a pandemic). With dozens of restoration and other events, hundreds of hours of volunteer time, and nine formal proposals submitted to the Natural Resources department for 2022, we are off to a great start. The city, too, has shown their interest by beginning a formal volunteer management system and also a proposal submission process: two important parts of a successful partnership between a volunteer organization and city staff. We look forward to collaborating on the development of both.