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Hiawatha Golf Course's controversial redevelopment plan approved

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis Parks and Rec Board voted Wednesday night to move forward with a controversial plan to revamp a golf course near Lake Hiawatha.

For years, the board has been looking at a plan to revamp the area due to environmental concerns caused by flooding, garbage and other issues some residents have complained about in the area.

In a 6-3 vote, the board voted to move forward with the master plan, despite the objections of some.

“It’s just got a lot of history to it. It’s a great, old course, and the park board’s making a big mistake,” said Steve Barland, who frequently golfs at the course. “For south Minneapolis, this is the golf course that people come and play. They’ve got a great kids program here that a lot of kids go through and so, you know, they’re really kinda wrecking it.”

This course does have a rich history involving Solomon Hughes, who helped integrate it in the late 40s. His name is now on the clubhouse.  



“Either way, it’s stolen Dakota land, so that holds no water for us whatsoever. There’s no historical significance whatsoever,” said Mike Forcia, chairman of the American Indian Movement and supporter of the board’s plan. “We all know the earth is burning and it’s for the animals, it’s for the fish and the wildlife that’s there and the people who use that area. That’s what it’s for, that’s why we’re here to fight for.”

Under the plan, the 18-hole course would be removed by allowing flooding, before it’s eventually brought back as a redesigned nine-hole course.

After the vote, board superintendent Al Bangoura grew emotional, acknowledging the culmination of years of debate over the issue.

“I do sincerely apologize. This has been very difficult. I support this board. I support the work that the staff had done. I support the community’s work, but I also understand the real challenge around this and the very difficulty around this,” Bangoura said.

Superintendent Bangoura added that he would be releasing a statement on the vote at some point Thursday, including next steps in the process for the golf course

Source: CBS Minnesota

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