By Chris Schommer
McRae Park welcomed new full-time director Heather Susag in December. Heather first started working for the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB) as a 16-year-old and has been involved ever since. For the past nine years, Heather has been working full time for the MPRB in the area of youth development and the “Youthline” program that provides youth mentorship, education and recreation programs all over the city of Minneapolis. Heather also has experience working at several local park programs. This is Heather’s first opportunity as park director.
When asked what she was looking forward to in her new position, Heather said she is excited to, “Hone in and develop programming that has a wide spectrum.” Heather says her experience so far at McRae has been very well rounded and she hopes to support the local community by making McRae a neighborhood destination no matter your age. In addition to supporting the youth sports community, there are opportunities to pilot new senior programs and host more programing for pre-school children (such as the new indoor playground on Mondays for pre-K children). She has already expanded youth programming with the return of RecPlus, a summer child care and education program, after a 10-year absence from McRae.
The upcoming athletic field replacement project that is scheduled to begin later this summer and last through 2017 will be a big challenge for McRae Park but Heather says she is excited about it. “I know how tough it has been to play sports in the past. I am excited that [this project] is not only going to re-shape sports but will make the land more usable for everyone.” This includes new multi-sport athletic courts, additional warm-up basketball hoops and completely re-built athletic fields. Heather said she is also very excited about one overlooked aspect of this project – new walking paths, shady areas, benches and lighting that will allow guests to circumnavigate the entire park. “Now you can walk your dog, seniors can walk, and small kids can bike all around the park!”
If people want to contact Heather with their ideas for programming at McRae or for more information, please email email@example.com or call the front desk at 612-370-4909. McRae is open 3-9 p.m. during the school year and 12-8 p.m. during the summer.
Programs at McRae Park
Indoor Playground on Mondays
Mondays from 10:30-12:30 6 month-Pre K Register online or register in person.
Kids can play with newly purchased tunnels, bikes, and listen to music. Free. Starting in the spring there will be a one-time cost of $5.
Summer Rec PLUS
Summer childcare. Includes swim lessons, field trips, naturalist programs and other activities.
Age: Must have completed kindergarten through 6th grade 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
Registration starts March 15