8 Years of Advocacy

Jon was first elected in 2001. He ran to serve as an advocate for the Northside parks, and that is just what he has done.

Jon Olson’s first commitment has been to keep our community and rec centers open. These include Bethune Recreation Center, Carl Kroening Interpretive Center, Creekview Recreation Center, Folwell Recreation Center, Harrison Recreation Center, North Commons Recreation Center, and Webber Community Center. Our neighborhood parks are the foundation of our community in serving our youth recreation needs and providing a safe and healthy outlets for all park users.

In those years, North Mississippi Regional Park has seen major renovation and new investment in picnic shelters, band facilities, restroom and parking lot upgrades.

In 2009, Jon Olson, working with Senator Linda Higgins and Veterans Groups, secured a $1 million appropriation (to be matched with Hennepin County’s $3 million investment) to substantially renovate the parkway lighting and other infrastructure at Victory Memorial Drive.

Jon has been a leader on shade tree and urban reforestation issues. For the last five years, the MPRB has been warning state legislators about the onset of Emerald Ash Borer and the need to prepare for it. In 2009, with his leadership, $2 million was appropriated to deal with this emerging invasive species threat. Jon has been a leading tree advocate, testifying at the state legislature and serving on the Minnesota Shade Tree Advisory Commission.

Despite controversy with city hall insiders, Jon was a strong supporter of the MPRB Headquarters move to the banks of the Mississippi River near Broadway in North Minneapolis. It brought several hundred new jobs to the area, and is now the single largest employer in North Minneapolis.

With his commitment to community parks, Jon fought for tot lots in Farwell, Willard, Hall, Jordan, Webber, Shingle Creek, Creekview, Perkins Hill and North Mississippi Regional Park.

Through an NFL grant program, significant improvements have been made to the football field at North Commons Park that greatly benefit the youth football program. Jon championed the first skate park in the city at Creekview.

Trail improvements connecting Theodore Wirth Park and Basset's Creek are now complete. Jon has also successfully advocated for trail improvements for walking and biking at North Mississippi, Victory Memorial Drive and Shingle Creek.

Jon supported more open space and ecological restoration at Heritage Park, and access to an uncovered Bassett's Creek within the development.

The newly completed Luce Line Trail connects Minneapolis to with western stretches of Hennepin County.

With Jon’s advocacy, the Wirth Winter Recreation Area has continued to develop premier ski trails with tubing and snowboarding.