Hiawatha Golf Course master plan heading to board of commissioners for approval after public comments

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The Hiawatha Golf Course master plan is heading to the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board of Commissioners for review and a public hearing in January 2021.
The comment period for the draft master plan closed on Sept. 15, and staff is reviewing submitted comments and preparing for a public hearing and presentation to the planning committee.
The Draft Hiawatha Golf Course Area Master Plan is a written and graphic document intended to guide capital improvements in the area over the next 20-30 years. The master plan document is a direct reflection of the input provided by the appointed Community Advisory Committee (CAC), which met 7 times between March 2018 and July 2019, and additional community engagement.
According to MPRB:
The plan pushes toward a balance of golf and other activities set in a landscape guided by water management. It necessarily bends toward ecology in its aspirations, recognizing that restoration of natural processes – which were significantly altered by Wirth’s dredging of Rice Lake – are a goal greater than those supporting human activities on the site. With ecology as the yardstick, choices are made that err on preservation, conservation, and restoration rather than expanded disturbance and new development. While many uses are described, its restoration of sustainable water patterns and recreation balanced in a new ecologically-driven landscape that forms the higher order goals inherent in the plan.
With the vision and guiding principles, the CAC’s prioritized design element recommendation, focus-session input, community survey input, and input from our collaborating partners, the recommended Hiawatha Golf Course Area Master Plan includes:
• Relocating an improved and reduced pumping strategy at the site to protect nearby low basements from groundwater intrusion to the same degree they are protected today.
• Re-utilizing pumped water for a variety of potential uses (e.g. irrigation, snow making, facility heating/cooling).
• Improving water management at the site while providing opportunities to address flooding in the watershed to the north.
• Improving water quality in Lake Hiawatha and Minnehaha Creek.
• Creating a destination golf facility focused on learning the sport and increasing opportunities for new players, including a 9-hole golf course, driving range, and practice facilities.
• Celebrating the history of Black golfers at the course and supporting and providing an introduction to golf for people of color.
• Expanding access to the site with bicycle and pedestrian trails, a re-envisioned clubhouse area that welcomes the larger community, and other new community gathering spaces.
• Restoring ecological function through the creation of wetlands, riparian and shoreline restorations, upland prairie restoration, and protecting existing wildlife habitat.
• Creating a south Minneapolis winter recreation destination complementary to north Minneapolis's Theodore Wirth Regional Park.
• Developing nine experiences that tell the cultural and natural history through permanent elements and infrastructure, as well as through art, performance, community events, and ephemeral experiences. Experiences include:
-Stormwater Terrace
-Pumping as a Resource
-All are Welcome
-A Place to Learn
-Island Respite
-Telling our Story
-A Connection to Water
-Urban Nature
-Celebrating Minnehaha Creek
View the plan at the Hiawtha Golf Course Property Maste Plan project page on the MPRB web site.

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