Construction Begins on First Public Natural Filtration Pool in the U.S. at Webber Park

Minneapolis Park Board begins construction on first public natural filtration pool in the U.S. at Webber Park


Pictured L-R: Community members Beka, Sarah, Abby and their father Brandon Burbach, Roberta Englund and Pastor Linda Koelman, City Council President Barbara Johnson, Park Board Commissioner Liz Wielinski, County Commissioner Linda Higgins, Park Board Commissioner Jon Olson, resident Kimberly Caprini, Park Board President John Erwin, BioNova Global CEO Rainer Grafinger, Landform VP Bob Schunicht and resident Stephanie Gruver.

August 19, 2013 -- Groundbreaking for improvements at Webber Park occurred Wednesday, August 14, as the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) begins construction of the first public natural filtration pool in the United States. Other park improvements include a new “bathhouse” pool building, connecting park trails, regeneration pond and expansion of the existing parking lot near the recreation center and athletic fields. View a map of the Webber Park improvements here.

Remarks about the landmark renovations for Webber Park and the benefits to the community were given by MPRB District 2 Commissioner Jon Olson representing North Minneapolis, MPRB President John Erwin, Minneapolis City Council President Barbara Johnson, Hennepin County Commissioner Linda Higgins, Chair of the Webber-Camden Neighborhood Association Board Pastor Linda Koelman and CEO of BioNova Global Rainer Grafinger. Also in attendance at Wednesday’s groundbreaking were Minnesota Senator Bobby Jo Champion, MPRB Vice-President and District 1 Commissioner Liz Wielinski, Webber-Camden and Folwell Neighborhood Director Roberta Englund and Vice-President of Landform construction Bob Schunicht.

“I am very excited that the improvements are underway to increase the community’s value of Webber Park – in 2014 we can look forward to bringing free swimming back to this neighborhood gem,” said Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner Jon Olson, who represents North Minneapolis. “We had so many families and community members actively participating in the planning process. Because of their input, this park will bring equity of summer lake-type activities to this neighborhood and the region for generations to come.”

BioNova Natural Pools and Landform, in conjunction with the MPRB, will be providing the design and consulting work for the Webber pool project, scheduled for completion summer 2014. Webber will be the site of the first public swimming pool in the United States with a natural filtration system; natural filtration pools have been built in several locations throughout Europe. Featuring BioNova's patented biological filtration system, the pool is designed to use plants in a nearby regeneration pond instead of chemicals to treat the water. For an enlarged image of the plans for the new Webber Park pool click here.

The new pool design includes a 4,500 square foot wading area with a maximum depth of 39 inches and a 16,800 square foot swimming area and lap pool that features five swimming lap lanes and a diving area with a maximum depth of approximately 13 feet. The new pool will offer triple the recreation space of the park’s aging concrete pool and wading pool that was removed in 2010. Additionally the new pool will include three sanded beach areas and a small walk bridge.

“I’m proud of the Park Board for dedicating funding and making this important project a reality,” said John Erwin the President of the Park Board. “This project is happening because of the dedication of community, city, county and state leaders to providing equity in park amenities in all parts of Minneapolis. This is a long overdue needed addition to North Minneapolis!”

Fencing for the construction zone will be installed the week of August 19 and major renovations within the construction zone will begin the week of September 3 including the removal of paths and trails, pond drainage and construction, picnic area removal, swimming pool and bath house construction and doubling the size of the parking lot adjacent to the recreation center to accommodate park use and bus access and turnaround. The Webber Park Recreation Center, playground and tennis courts will remain open throughout the construction phase.

Check out our fact sheet on the full project at Webber Park here. For further information about the Webber Park Master Plan, please visit and select “Webber Park” to see the project webpage.

For timely email updates about the project subscribe to the MPRB emails to stay informed - visit, click on the red envelope icon, enter your email address, when the topic page appears select Webber Park from the Planning topic options.


Dawn Sommers, 612-230-6407
Communications and Marketing Manager

Robin Smothers, 612-230-6410
Communications and Marketing Department