Neighbors and friends:

I am running to represent you on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Like you, I am a Northsider. I was born here, I grew up here, we raised our son here, and I’ve owned and operated the Dairy Queen in North Minneapolis for 14 years. I love the Northside, and am a staunch and shameless advocate for our Northside parks.

The Northside boasts some of the best park amenities in the city. We have the first water park in the Minneapolis park system at North Commons Park. There are also pools at Webber Park and Creekview. Farview has one of the most extensive rec centers in the district, with a newly renovated gymnasium, courts, fields, and one of the best skyline views in the city.

The North Mississippi Interpretive Center helps visitors appreciate the Mississippi River. Exhibits in the Center focus on people and their ties to the river, history of the surrounding neighborhoods, and depict the impact of the construction of I-94 on the community. Visitors are encouraged to reflect on how lifestyles, actions and choices affect the sustainability of the river. On the north side of the park, we have the most beautiful picnic shelter in the system, and one of the most interesting kiddie pools with a giant rock waterfall.

The first skate park in the city, Creekview, gets rave reviews from skateboarders.

Wirth Golf Club is one of the oldest public courses in the state, with a challenging and beautiful course set around Bassett Creek with stunning skyline views. It is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary which demonstrates our efforts to improve environmental quality, public involvement, wildlife and habitat management, and water conservation. It also has a great hill for sledding, tubing and snowboarding in the winter.. The cross country ski trails are host to the second-largest racing event in the country.

Adjacent to the district, the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary, the oldest public wildflower garden in the nation, contains 15 acres, 500 plant species , 140 bird species, and 49 interpretive stations for guided or self-guided tours.

We also have 17 tot lots, 9 soccer fields, 17 picnic areas, 16 wading pools, 18 basketball courts, 3 ice rinks, dozens of baseball and softball fields, a cricket field, miles of trails for walking, biking, rollerblading and cross-country skiing, 2 fishing docks and a beautiful beach at Wirth Lake.

Our parks and our people are what make the Northside a great place to live and work. I will continue to fight to make sure we have the resources we need to sustain and expand all of our parks, trails, recreation centers and open space.

Jon Olson