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All youth programs, activities and sports will be free at 17 Minneapolis parks and facilities this summer. 

It's part of an effort by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) to remove barriers for kids that may keep them from being able to participate. 

Registration fees have been eliminated for programs based at MPRB sites that are located within census-designated Areas of Concentrated Poverty. This includes: 

  • Bottineau Park
  • Central Gym
  • East Phillips Park
  • Elliot Park
  • Farview Park
  • Folwell Park
  • Harrison Park
  • Kroening Nature Center
  • Luxton Park
  • North Commons Park
  • Painter Park
  • Peavey Park
  • Phillips Park
  • Powderhorn Park
  • Stewart Park
  • Van Cleve Park
  • Whittier Park

The MPRB says three Rec Plus School-Age Childcare sites at Harrison Park, Matthews Park and Webber Park are now donation-based. 

This new MPRB policy applies to any Minneapolis resident who is 17 and younger who signs up for any activity at one of the aforementioned sites. It goes into effect for summer youth programs (registration opened on Wednesday) and will continue through at least the end of 2022, the MPRB said Tuesday.

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“We want young people in our recreations centers,” MPRB Superintendent Al Bangoura said in a statement. “We want them involved in our programs, sports, and activities. We want to connect with them and provide them with a place to feel comfortable, safe, and valued. To achieve that, we are removing barriers that might keep youth from getting involved.”

Families can sign up for summer programs online here, by visiting their local recreation center or by calling 612-230-6400.

The programs are free thanks to federal American Rescue Plan money and a "gradual increases in property taxes," which allowed the MPRB to invest $2.6 million in youth programs.

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