BY KATHRYN KELLY
What are we getting with the new Minneapolis Park Board plan for the Hiawatha Golf Course property?
*The Disappearing Park – The neighbors who want to keep their little park at 19th Avenue South and East 43rd Street will have to take up golf, because it will now become part of the new 9-hole golf course with an open storm sewer running through it.
*Whirring neighbors to wakefulness – The plan will put noisy pumps and snow-making equipment directly across the street from homes at 44th and Longfellow. That should help people stay awake through the night with the constant high-pitched whir!
*Trucking down Longfellow Avenue – The cross-country skiing premier locations will be at 47th and Longfellow, so we guess that the snow made at 44th and Longfellow will be trucked down Longfellow Avenue to the joy of the residents.
*The Tunnel of Nets – The plan will put a pedestrian walkway through the golf course to the lake, but for safety’s sake, the Park Board may need to install a tunnel of nets to protect the pedestrians from golf balls. Sounds like a walkthrough nature to me!
*Kayak Dodgeball – The latest sport will be for kayakers who will rent their kayaks at the new event center and then paddle through the golf ball gauntlet until they get through the golf course to Lake Hiawatha.
*More exercise for golfers – Not only is the Park Board stating that riding carts will not be promoted, but the golfers will get to walk up to half a mile between some golf holes.
*The “Wetland Habitat” – The MPRB calls the delta at the inlet of Lake Hiawatha a “Wetland Habitat.” Hmmm! I never knew that a delta created from the sand, dirt, tree limbs, garbage and pollution coming down Minnehaha Creek could be called a “Wetland Habitat.” I thought that it would be something that needed to be “Properly Disposed Of.”
*Building into the Hill – The new restaurant/event center will be built into the hill. I guess state-mandated set-backs for buildings on shorelines do not apply to the Park Board?
*The Plaque – The Park Board assures the Black community that they will honor Black golfers in some unknown way, while the Black golfers ask for the 18-hole golf course to be maintained (in other words, “Don’t give us a plaque”)!
Where is the Park Board getting $42 million to pay for this wonderland? The cross-country skiing portion will not come from the Loppet because they are broke. The Park Board says the money for the 9-hole golf course will come from the Minneapolis Golf Courses, but the Park Board also says that their golf courses don’t ever make a profit, so how is that happening? And, the money for the restaurant/event center is to come from restaurateurs who are all struggling or going out of business. I guess the $42 million will have to come from a money tree!