Lowe’s Owns the Outside

And don’t you forget it.

Minnesota Monitor has an item on proposed corporate sponsorship for our parks.

Minneapolis taxpayers could soon be greeted at their city parks by banners advertising a national home improvement chain that has no stores in the city proper. Lowe’s says it’s willing to donate $90,000 in goods and services to six parks. The string attached: Lowe’s wants to hang 8-foot by 2-foot banners proclaiming “This area brought to you in part by Lowe’s” in outdoor locations such as Loring Park as well as smaller signs near donated equipment reading: “These products and more are available at Lowe’s.”

Say wha? No, WTFF?!

Like it’s not bad enough that there are parks called “Gold Medal Park” to begin with (scandal-ridden as it is) (not that it’s not a nice space).

I’d readily take my $30/year from the Twins Stadium and add them to my tax dollars that already go towards city and regional parks. Yes, I will gladly pay extra to keep your corporate sponsorship off our parks.

Funny how with a stadium, you’re glad that there is corporate sponsorship so that’s less out of your pocket to pay for a stadium you probably didn’t want to pay for in the first place.

There’s another argument in here somewhere about corporate interests in government affairs and privatization.

I guess the said thing is that we can’t find enough money in the budget to adequately fund the parks in the first place. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if Lowe’s made the offer anyway.

(Isn’t there already a water park in North Minneapolis somewhere with a corporate sponsorship? Or Cedar-Riverside? Or did someone blog it? I can’t remember now where I saw this.)

6 Comments so far

  1. davep on May 29th, 2008 @ 6:47 am

    Lupient Water Park on Johnson and 16th NE is owned by the Park Board, but was paid for in part by an auto dealership.

    Plus the portion of Hennepin Island that’s a park (on the east side of the falls) is owned and operated by Xcel Energy. Xcel WANTED to give the park to the city, but Walt Dziedzic was a butthead. Negotiations started with Xcel and the Park Board about 20% apart in the amount of money that NSP would give the city with the land. Our esteemed representative decided that wasn’t good enough so he tried to play hardball, more than doubling the Park Board’s demand for money, and NSP walked away and instead built a corporately-owned park (with my encouragement — I was involved in the FERC relicensing of the St. Anthony Falls hydro plant as a neighborhood representative from the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood).

  2. Erica M (ericam) on May 29th, 2008 @ 8:32 am

    Lupient Water Park on Johnson and 16th NE — Yes! That’s the one I was thinking of.

    That MnMon article did bring up the strange case of public/private parks like Gold Medal Park and Water Power Park.

    I continue to be amazed by how active the Park Board is and how much politicking is involved. I don’t remember it being like this in Detroit, but I guess if they had the park land and natural facilities that we do it’d be different.

  3. David (jacc) on May 29th, 2008 @ 12:35 pm

    I’m torn on the issue. One one hand, it’s nice that someone,albeit a corporation, is willing to kick in a little extra money to help out the parks. On the other hand, I don’t think it’s something a city should rely on.

  4. Erica M (ericam) on May 29th, 2008 @ 1:36 pm

    I want one park to get a banner so I can spray paint "this is what happens when we don’t fund our parks" on it. Then Ed Kohler can drive by and cover it up.

  5. davep on May 30th, 2008 @ 6:38 am

    Erica, the park board here is as active as it is because it’s been an independent entity, apart from the city council. That’s influenced the politics around the Park Board here since its inception.

  6. kevinfromminneapolis on May 30th, 2008 @ 8:06 pm

    In Soviet Russia, the park brings you Lowes.

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