Powderhorn Park encampment cleared after outreach and notices served

minneapolis park and recreation

Temporary Encampments in Parks

Powderhorn Park encampment cleared after outreach and notices served


Today the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) continued its work to remove encampments with documented crime, without temporary permits or in areas that cannot accommodate a temporary permit.


This morning, the MPRB cleared the remaining 35 tents at Powderhorn Park after notices to transition were served on July 31 and two weeks of MPRB outreach, transportation offers, and efforts to incrementally move those living in the remaining tents were unsuccessful. There have been significant crime and safety incidents at Powderhorn Park and the encampments with the park are within a safe school zone, which is not allowed per a resolution unanimously adopted by Park Board Commissioners on July 15.


Encampments in Powderhorn Park had grown to an estimated 560 tents by July 9. The MPRB cleared the Powderhorn east encampments July 18-20 with notices served and removal of the encampment. Many people continued leaving the park after the east encampment was vacated. Notices of transition were served July 31 to those living in 65 tents at the Powderhorn west encampment and elsewhere in the park.


Earlier this week, the MPRB cleared encampments at Elliott Park and Kenwood Park due to ongoing safety concerns and Kenwood’s location in a safe school zone.


The MPRB has provided outreach and transportation options for occupants at these encampments. The use of law enforcement is the last strategy. Once the encampments are cleared of people, the sites are cleaned, including removal of abandoned tents and search for and removal of needles and bio-hazard materials.


Park staff continue to work to implement the resolution directing them to reduce the number of parks with temporary encampments to no more than 20, limit the number of tents per encampment to 25, and require an encampment permit for each site.


The resolution also provides authority to the Superintendent to close encampments when there is a documented threat to people’s health and safety. This is separate from the encampment permit process.


“Park staff have been spending significant time and resources to address the influx of hundreds of unhoused people who have been living in temporary park encampments since this spring. We need safe parks for everyone and having encampments in parks creates unsafe conditions for many of those living in the parks, those visiting the parks, and those living near the parks,” said Superintendent Al Bangoura.


All updates related to the MPRB’s encampment processes and efforts is available at  www.minneapolisparks.org/encampments, including estimated tent numbers, permit details, approved permits, MPRB services, and a timeline of actions, with links to news releases, Board actions and MN Executive Orders related to COVID-19, unsheltered people and encampments.


Stay informed and receive future updates

  • Visit www.minneapolisparks.org/encampments for up-to-date information, and additional details about the MPRB’s response to encampments in parks. This web page includes Park Board resolutions, MPRB staff presentations, news releases, approved permits for temporary encampments, and a list of parks designated as capable of accommodating encampments.