The future of Three Ring Gardens is currently a combination of two vacant parcels of land. The Lower Parcel (Northern parcel) is just under an acre of land and is being used for snow storage. The Upper Parcel (Southern parcel) is just under 1.5 acres of land and has been vacant for many years. Despite it’s location between University Ave, Interstate 94 and a sea of large parking lots, this block is home to the largest alternative high school in the Twin Cities and over 800 hundred low-income, new immigrant residents. Currently, virtually no public greenspaces exist within over a half mile of this site.

  • Aerial Map of the site. Gordon Parks High School and the future location of Three Ring Gardens sit South of University Ave.

  • Lower Parcel looking south. Just under an acre, this lot is currently being used for snow storage and is often peppered with debris. (Photo: Skyline Tower, large white building, mid-right).

  • Lower Parcel looking west with Gordon Parks High School directly North.

  • Upper Parcel looking north towards Gordon Parks High School. Just under 1.5 acres, this lot was historically known as “Circus Hill.” Here the circus’ assemble would reside after performances as neighborhood kids would peak through the fence in hopes to get a glance at the performers. Years later, it was used by an auto dealership for surplus car storage.

  • Upper Parcel looking northeast, surrounded by barbed-wire, chain-link fences. Sitting 17 feet higher than University Ave, this lot has a unique overlook of nearby tree tops and roof tops. (Photo: Gordon Parks High School Hoop House on far left).

  • Northern edge of the Upper Parcel looking west (Photo: Skyline Tower on far left). A line of volunteer trees have taken root within a 16 foot grade change that exists between the two parcels

  • Upper Parcel looking southeast. Central Medical in background.

  • Looking south from Gordon Parks High School towards the Lower and Upper Parcels as well as Skyline Tower



22 thoughts on “THE SITE

  1. Its pretty nice that people really want to do things with these places. There are many things people came up with. Lets just hope it`ll all work out .

    • Thanks for your support! Here are some ways you can help make Three Ring Gardens happen: 1)Write to your local Council Member, State Representative or the Governor. 2)Talk to people, family, friends and neighbors about what this park would mean to you. 3)Write to a local newspaper or have your class and/or friends 4)start a blog about why Three Ring Gardens is important to you. You have a powerful voice and what you have to say is valuable.

    • Great question! Actually, Three Ring Gardens was an idea that came from some former GPHS students. When looking at a model of the Central Corridor they saw some green patches next to the school and thought it was a good idea. That’s how Three Ring Gardens came about. What’s interesting about Three Ring Gardens is that it’s much more than a garden or a park. In actuality, it’s a mixture of some larger systemic issues, like transportation, open space and food systems. You can see the diagram representing those systems on the Home Page of the blog. We think the design and programming of Three Ring Gardens will bring about greater equity, healthier living, dynamic education, a stronger sense of community within the area and spur more investment in local development and businesses.

  2. I believe that this project will motivate people to go green and it will help people understand the importance of having green space in an asphalt jungle. If we do accomplish this I think people will do more to change the “American Way” and it will show us that we can change.

  3. I think this is a great idea; when finished, Gordon Parks students and the community will have a nice place to enjoy themselves and take advantage of the space that isn’t being used now. I hope we can find a way to make this happen!

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